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eating disorders and antipsychotics


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Hello everybody, recovering anorexic here. I was wondering if anybody else with anorexia or another eating disorder have taken antipsychotics before and how it effects them. I was diagnosed with anorexia at 17 and anxiety and depression a couple of months later (I was on diazepam and Lexapro for this).

 

I had three hospitalisations for my anorexia the first was for 2 weeks, I enjoyed it overall and enjoyed the art classes I got to do and I also put on a few pounds which I think must of helped my mental state. Anyway right before my second hospitalisation I was at my low weight  and I was going to go in for a 6 week stay where I was not allowed to leave the ward.

 

 During the weeks preceding this I started to use pot for the first time to I guess relieve anxiety about the upcoming hospital stay and also help to try and gain weight so I thought I wouldn't be admitted. I went into a psychosis three days before the hospital stay and was put in the ED ward anyway but with a lot more strict conditions, I was diagnosed with first episode psychosis and put on Seroquel with olanzapine p.r.n and also my other meds. Anyway this made me very very hungry, I went from being able to control my hunger and fast for days in a row to being ravenous all the time,  it was also a very distressing time battling psychosis and the ED all at once.

 

Skip forward 5 years and I am now at a healthy weight, I haven't gone over this but I have been steadily gaining weight. I managed to maintain a bmi of 20 for a year after switching from the seroquel to abilify but I am now diagnosed with schizoaffective bipolar type (I tend to get manic and go on spending sprees etc.) I found the abilify almost weight neutral but in the last few years when I was put on a high dose of sodium valproate, olanzapine and Seroquel I can just not control my appetite. So I was wondering if anyone had any experience with getting a lot of hunger and weight gain on antipsychotics and also dealing with an ED, I still battle with lots of bad thoughts about my weight and I don't want to put on anymore weight and be overweight as it will just make it a whole lot worse.

 

p.s sorry about the length heh

 

thanks = )

Edited by allanon
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Hi.

Just as a side note, I find numbers to be quite upsetting. My ED is really competitive and I'd rather not have it telling me to get my BMI lower than yours was. Can you possibly edit your post a bit? Thanks :)

 

Also, hello and welcome to crazyboards!

If you haven't already, please be sure to read the new user agreement. We find that it helps to avoid complications and confusion later if everyone goes in on the same page. If you have any questions or concerns now or going forward, please don't hesitate to contact the staff. It's what we're there for.

 

Looking forward to seeing your posts around.

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Well I know it's hard to hear but the most important thing is being mentally stable, and unfortunately that might mean gaining some weight which I know is very distressing. I didn't really think I was putting weight on with seroquel (what with my strict no scales rule) but I did, not a lot but enough to bump me into the middle of the healthy bmi range, and my then psychiatrist made a comment about weight gain and it bought back a lot of behaviours and things I haven't used for a long time and I'm still trying to shake some of it now.

 

You can eat healthy amounts before becoming overweight. Most people that have had ED's severely under estimate the amount of food they can eat and not gain weight. I suggest eating as healthy as you can, including protein and bulky meals of vegetables. Can you see a dietician? that might help. Hunger has a purpose, your body wants you to eat enough to be healthy. If you're eating healthy and enough and still feeling out of control hungry it might be something to discuss with both your gp and pdoc.

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I'm on antipsychotics and have anorexia nervosa; olanzapine really threw my appetite out of whack. Some days, I'd be too sleepy to harbour any desire to eat; others, I couldn't get rid of nagging cravings. I enjoy hunger-emptiness itself, but despise hunger-cravings. Eventually, i asked to investigate other meds, and was changed to aripiprazole, which both does a better job of keeping my mind in check and doesn't (seem to) fuck with my appetite.

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  • 1 month later...

Hi,

 

I too struggled with an eating disorder on and off for nearly 19 years. It started when I was a teenager. I was more bulimic then, but as I got older I struggled more with anorexia. I also struggled with depression and substance abuse. Once I got into recovery from my substance abuse, the anorexia really took off. As an adult I also started hearing persistant auditory hallucinations and suffering from paranoia. My doctors tried every medications possible, but I wouldn't always take the full dose of antipsychotics for fear of weight gain and some I refused to take for longer than a week or two because I was convinced I was gaining weight. I went to eating disorders treament twice as an adult, and it didn't help,

 

Finally in 2012, I went to one of the best hospitals in the country because I was severly depressed. I'd been suffering from the auditory hallucinations for 5 years at this point. My weight was really low, but I wasn't specifically seeking help for my anorexia. The doctors told me that I'd never get any better unless I gained weight. For some reason I listened to them, despire years of ignoring people who told me I needed to gain weight. I allowed them to put me on CLozapine, which caused a great deal of weight gain. It made me really hungry. I also did ECT in the hospital. The medication and ECT worked wonders. The voices went away, as did the depression. Several months after getting out of the hospital, I was able to come off the Clozapine and switch to the Latuda. My weight stabilized at a healthy weight and has remained the same for over a year now. It was hard at first because I felt so huge compared to what I used to weigh. I had to buy all new clothes. I'd weighed more in the past, but just getting to a healthy weight seemed so big because I was used to soemthing else, even though I never really relaized how small I was. I no longer worry about what I'm eating or what I look like, and I think this is because of the medication. I wouldn't mind loosing a couple of pounds, but I'm not willing to ruin my life just to do so. I'm mentally stable and happier than I've ever been.

I don't think my medicine was able to work before when I was at a low weight, so I think I had to gain some weight in order for it to work. For me, antipsychotic have played a big role in my recovery from anorexia.

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I don't think my medicine was able to work before when I was at a low weight, so I think I had to gain some weight in order for it to work.

 

I believe this also; that a person needs to have enough weight on them in order for the meds to work.  (by "enough" weight, I mean it just depends on a person's situation).

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  • 1 month later...

I was very emaciated when I first started to grt treatment for psychotic symptoms, I had been in ed treatment for several years and really I think the mefication did not work at my weight.

I have had a lot of trouble taking antipsychotics because of ed, I am almost at my ideal body weight now but it is hard to think of gaining more because after being at such a extreme it causes a paradigm shift and I dont know I will ever feel the same way about my body again. i feel like a different person, I dont recognize myself.

I'm so ambivalent, never know which is more important to me, being a weight that I dont suffer with, being healthy, or avoiding the terror of psychosis. I really dont know, so I have to rely on my doctors and to take it one day at a time. its one day at a time for me still, I restored my weight but mentally I dont consider myself recovered, everyday I think about skipping my meds or a meal.

My doctors try to put me on meds that have less weight gain potential, but I haven't found one that actually doesn't make me gain weight, they just give me more meds to try and cover up the ed thoughts but nothing helps. Everyday I still struggle to grt out of bed because I can't accept my weight a nd feel so humiliated by having a healthy body. Probably only therapy can hrlp that one.

I'm going to bring up a med change though because I have been having trouble making myself eat again. Im glad to hear more people deal with ed and aap meds. I think about dying a lot recently because I dont want to be psychotic but I am really miserable at my weight. still don't know which is more tolerable.

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Geodon is fairly weight neutral, and Abilify can be for some. Some of the older AP's can be too.

It's hard eating "normally" after being eating disordered for so long. It feels like a lot of food. I'm glad you got treatment, but I'm sorry you went through psychosis. It's scary.

 

There are weight neutral meds. It can take a while to find the right ones. Depakote is used as first line treatment, but often has bad side effects. Odds are you won't end up  overweight. You have to let your body settle for a bit before messing with meds. You need to let your metabolism return to normal. You may gain a bit, but don't worry, it will settle and you'll return to a "set" weight for your size. Try not to panic. If you can do gentle exercises, if your doctors allow it, that can help. It also improves mood.

 

A dietitian and counselor can definitely help you out, especially with the meds and other conditions popping up. It's not an easy road but it can be managed.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I'm on Quetiapine (Seroquel) only 100mg atm but they're upping it regularly... It plays havoc on my appetite for a few days when they up it and i end up bingeing. I haven't gained anything on it but it's driving my BDD crazy and makes me even more paranoid about gaining weight....

 

When they up it I try and keep some healthy snacks near by so I don't go into a full binge on junk then want to purge. Lots of fruit/vegetables and protein. Just don't try to restrict in any way it'll only make things worse

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  • 5 weeks later...

 

 

I don't think my medicine was able to work before when I was at a low weight, so I think I had to gain some weight in order for it to work.

 

I believe this also; that a person needs to have enough weight on them in order for the meds to work.  (by "enough" weight, I mean it just depends on a person's situation).

 

 

I had a friend who was so thin that she was put in the hospital and had to be treated medically before she could be transferred to the ED hospital.  Idk which meds she was on, if any, but she said that in order for anything to really "work," including therapy, that she had to medically stabilized first.

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  • 1 month later...
  • 2 weeks later...

I only have psychotic symptoms during the most severe points of depressive episodes (was diagnosed with Major Depressive Disorder with psychotic features). But, as a preventative measure I take antipsychotics always. At one point I was on Seroquel and it made me really hungry too, it also made me feel like a zombie (although I've never been a real zombie so I have no point of reference), and for a few hours immediately after taking it I was so groggy that I struggled to speak or walk or even stay awake. I tried taking it before bed but couldn't get up in the morning so I switched to Abilify. Abilify doesn't make me feel brain dead and I don't notice being hungry on it either so thats a plus, but I'm not sure it is working very well because I have been having a depressive episode again for a while and the other day I had a very loud opera playing behind my head which I'm pretty sure was a bizzare hallucination because no one else in the room could hear it :/    Strange thing to hear huh?

 

I will probably have my meds either increased or changed again when I can get into the pdoc, and I am concerned about it effecting appetite too. I'm very resistent to taking anything that causes weight gain because I don't see it as worth it for me personally since the majority of my issues are psychological rather than chemical imbalance in my opinion, with the exception of the MDD which only effects me sporatically.  Still, I will be good and take my meds, just saying I will ask the pdoc to prescribe something that is not known to cause weight gain.

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  • 3 weeks later...
  • 2 weeks later...

One thing I REALLY can't stand my mom saying is "better to gain weight and be sane on meds than be skinny and crazy". Crikey, that just drives me nuts, because NO, in my mind it is NOT better.

 

My disordered ED thinking mind tells me that I'll be happy when I'm skinny. Even though I'm at a normal weight for my height.... it just doesn't matter.

 

That's why I stopped taking Seroquel, it made me so paranoid. I'm ashamed to admit I just got my pdoc to put me back on a med that I think helps me lose weight, but might not actually be good for me. But it does help my atypical depression symptoms. Le sigh.

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