How Your Weight Affects Bipolar Disorder


How your weight affects bipolar disorder… oh bite me may be your first thought. I have enough problems living with this bitc* of an illness and taking medications that turn my metabolism into sludge and make me feel lethargic.

Now you want to give me something more to worry about? Yes, I do.

Focusing on a Healthy Weight Can Help Your Bipolar Disorder

I know that focusing on weight issues can help someone survive and thrive with bipolar. And it can help them also to get off of debilitating medications.

Focusing on a Healthy Weight Will Help Your Bipolar Disorder. Click To Tweet

Medications that they may not need to be taking in the first place.

Focusing on Weight Helps Keep Me Sane

Focusing on weight helps keep me sane – what a silly thing to say, you may think. And, ok, you are probably right.

But I think there is some useful coping strategy in striving to maintain a healthy body weight when you live with a mood disorder. It may be even more important when someone is taking medications that are causing weight gain – not good for anyone.

Neither is diabetes – a potential ‘side effect’ from long-term use of antidepressants or antipsychotic medications.

“Psychiatric medications do not cause type 1 diabetes. But some psychiatric medications increase the chance of developing type 2 diabetes or insulin resistance (which is when the body can’t use insulin properly and sugar builds up in the blood).”

“The weight gain caused by many medications is one reason why people who take them are at greater risk for diabetes. Not getting enough exercise is another reason. You can lower your risks by watching your weight and exercising.”

Source: Psychiatric Meds and Dibetes.

Appeal to Your Vanity to Help You Get and Stay Well

Being not much of a ‘big is beautiful’ type of gal and hating the double chin photograph look I’ve always been someone who will exercise and diet if I start to get fat. That’s a good thing.

Having the goal of keeping weight down and having that as motivation to live a healthier life is excellent.

As well, exercise is one of the best survival strategies to combat bipolar weight gain, and to help someone keep their moods more stable. It will also help your sleep patterns and your ability to get into deep, restful sleep.

Win, win, win – so who’s in?

No one wants to add more health issues to a situation of already having to deal with a serious health issue. Bipolar 1 Disorder is a lifelong, serious medical condition. Depression – whether related to bipolar or not – is another serious health issue.

And if you think popping psychiatric medications is going to cure you, keep you stable throughout your life and treating an identifiable chemical imbalance you were born with – you are simply being given incorrect information.

Related post: What is the Chemical Imbalance Theory?

Taking medications may be needed at times, but then try to move forward and treat underlying causes of your illness, help heal your body and your life and hopefully avoid having to take more meds.

And possibly reduce the dosage or eliminate one or all of the meds you are already on.

Related post: Root Causes of Depression.

Ignoring Weight Gain Can Lead to Serious Health Issues

Besides the benefits it will give you in dealing with mood swings, low moods, etc. regular, low impact exercise will help prevent additional serious medical condtions from developing.

My mainstay daily exercise routine is to walk for 20 minutes. I can just wander off, check the time on my phone, then after 10 minutes or so waltz on back to the car. How easy is that?

And as you feel better and feel more in control of your life and your moods, it may give an added bonus of helping you to reduce or slowly eliminate toxic medications you have been prescibed.

The goal is to get well, feel well and live a healthy life. Work, enjoy relationships, raise a family if that is your dream… not to be debilitated by psychiatry and treatments that are harmful.

So if those meds – or you are not on any and just feel lethargic and have no motivation to exercise – are making you feel sluggish don’t ignore it.

Feeling tired and lethargic and not wanting to do any simple exercise routine is a sign of ill health. And you can be helped in many ways.

When I get that way, it usually has to do with being off a supplement, off my thyroid medication or other issue.

Related post: Your Bipolar Symptoms May Be Undiagnosed Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis.

I figure it out, do what I need to do to get back on track and back to my normal routines. That doesn’t turn my life into sunshine and rainbows everyday – but it does help prevent me from develping more unwanted health issues.

I think I’ve had plenty of medical issues in my 50 odd years living on this planet – thank you very much. πŸ™‚

Don’t ignore weight gain and think ‘that’s just the way it has to be’. It isn’t. And not making some simple changes in your life could end up with you just getting sicker and sicker.

That we don’t want.

To your good health, Molly



  1. Anne Naylor said:

    Hi Molly,
    Exercise is my biggest challenge at the moment. What sort, how much and most importantly, how to re-frame ‘I hate exercise’ to ‘Wow, I love the endorphins and the feeling of exhilaration I get from exercise’. I’ve never been a fan of exercising, but I know that I have to embrace it. I’m thinking – walk the dog every day. I’ve done that in the past and never enjoyed it. But maybe you don’t have to enjoy it. Maybe you just have to do it. ?

    June 27, 2016
    • Molly said:

      LOL, I’ve never gotten to the “Wow, I love… ” reality in a long time πŸ™‚ I can’t exercise strenuously anymore, so it’s almost more of an exercise/mindfullness (relax, let my mind wander, enjoy the fresh air) thing. And I have to say it’s a forced routine of sorts too. Some days it falls into place and it really is exhilerating (if camping and get to walk along a lake, say) but the day to day stuff is definitely the ‘have to do it’ as I know if I don’t it will affect my moods.

      June 27, 2016

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