When I began treatment for depression and anxiety, I have found nothing more frustrating or annoying than going to the doctor and being told I’ve gained weight, every single time. I mean, we are prescribed medication to get and maintain our health, so why do some of them cause weight gain? Talk about ridiculous and counter-intuitive.

I enjoy being a healthy eater and cooking for my family. Now, that doesn’t mean I don’t occasionally enjoy dessert, some chips or ice cream but for the most part I eat well because it’s an important part of self-care. Yet, anything I put in my mouth seemed to stick and not let go. I recently went on an 8-day vacation and ended up 8 pounds heavier. Honestly? Who gains a pound a day? My family, who pretty much eats the same thing I do, hasn’t gained an ounce.

My doctor and I have addressed the weight gain at every
single appointment and have changed prescriptions several times, but no matter what I take, the weight gain just got worse. Diet and exercise didn’t seem to help either which is the scary part. I even joined an exercise studio, started drinking healthy smoothies, and counted calories. It did nothing.

The hardest part is the embarrassment because I know when
people see me they look at me differently. They notice the weight gain but
don’t want to say anything because it would be rude, however, their expression says it all. And let’s not forget the clothes that no longer fit. That alone adds to the frustration.

I’m not sure how unhealthy weight gain is even considered an
acceptable side effect. I’ve read that some medications can cause 20 to 40% weight gain. I’ve considered stopping the medication altogether to get back down to a healthy weight but ideally that would mean I’m going against my treatment plan and what’s best for my overall health. My physician explained that it was a tradeoff. Some people have different side effects from
medication. While one person can experience headaches, nausea or lethargy, my body experiences weight gain.

While it does bother me, I have do have look at the pros and
cons. In my case the pros of having good days and managing my health far outweigh the frustration of my weight gain. Many people I’ve spoken to about their experience with medication and weight gain have had similar feelings. While weight gain is annoying, they much prefer not feeling depressed, manic or anxious. I beginning to accept this my new reality.