This article was on PsychCentral.com via Twitter this morning:
If you’re like half the population of the United States, you’ve been worried about your weight at some point recently. That stands to reason as 39% of adults in the U.S. are overweight and 13% are obese. I am one of those people. In fact, when I came across the research on bipolar disorder and obesity, I didn’t want to write about it. It’s too personal.
I spend a lot of time worried about my weight. It’s not just vanity. Let’s be real, vanity is at least one factor for most of us who want to lose weight. I tell myself that if I were thinner people would respect me more, that my weight makes them think I have no self-control or self-worth. Well, the latter happens to be true sometimes because I have bipolar disorder; so there’s that. My focus is also on my health. I just want to feel better overall.
Let’s be clear. This will not be a list of excuses or accolades about accepting your own body. It will not be about fat-shaming. I will present the facts to you and you can do with them what you will, so let’s get to it.
The fact is, more than two-thirds of bipolar patients are overweight. That’s a serious increase over the general population and desperately needs to be addressed. Sadly, at least in my case, it’s not a topic that comes up often in treatment, whether with a physician or psychiatrist/therapist. We talk about mood. We talk about other symptoms.
Doctors will give you the “P.S. This medication may make you gain weight,” but weight in general doesn’t seem to be something that automatically comes up. Other than the high population of overweight patients, why would it be important to discuss the link between weight and bipolar disorder? I can give you four reasons, though there are more that can be discussed.
I can relate to this article, I was at my highest weight while on Olanzapine. It took me no time to gain 40 pounds, but years to lose it.