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I Am Fat: Medication or Weight-Loss?

Evil Steak 666
Evil Steak 666

When I posted “You Lazy Fat Slob – Fat Shaming Weightloss Makes Us Fatter”,  I had just seen the fat shaming article and it inspired me to draw the cartoon for that post.  What I did not expect were the comments I got and how they would make me rethink some of my preconception and the way I look at myself (being 400 Lbs).   Even got some great advice that I wanted to share:

I am in the process of losing weight, and when I start feeling like I’m ugly or I let myself go or people think I’m fat, I try to push those thoughts from my head – GB

In order to become healthy, one must choose healthy goals in nourishment and physical activity. Along with physical activity and proper diet, one other factor is key to long-term success in any diet or weight loss program. What is this key factor… It’s the brain. If you are not mentally ready to lose weight or to start a weight-loss program (NOT A DIET but make health choices) then you’ve already failed before taking your first step toward a healthier you.  Mental preparation gears you up for a long-term fight against the fat obesity. The only problem is when you are living with a mental illness there tends to be many outside factors that could cause failure before you even start.Mental-Health-Humor-Medication_jill_500

Let’s get right into it and talk about medication! Yes, it’s true if you live with a mental illness and you are medicated there is a HUGE chance you are overweight. There is an EVER BIGGER chance you dealt with weight issues due to medications during your road to recovery (remission).  It could be anywhere from a few pounds to a few hundred pounds. Why is this? As I understand it, it’s primarily because many medications activate a part of the brain (hypothalamus) that is associated with hunger and it triggers a ravenous appetite. There is a common belief that we (peers living with mental disorders/illnesses) have to give up our physical health in order to maintain our mental health. That we HAVE to deal with the side effect of weight gain in order to have a balanced mind without mood disorder symptoms. While this seems true, in my case I gained a lot of weight.  I know a lot of peers that have a wider waistline to have more balance. Then, there are many people who take medications but eat right and stay active and they do not gain any weight.  Why is that?

I recognize one’s metabolism plays a large part in this process of weight-gain or weight-loss. If you have a naturally high metabolism, the likelihood of you putting on a ton of weight from taking an SSRI, Antidepressants and psychotropics are diminished.  That doesn’t mean over time the medications won’t slow down your metabolism. It just means they have a higher chance of not being totally affected by weight gain.

Medications are only one factor slowing down weight-loss.  Should you Choose Medications? or Do I choose Weight-Loss? or…adjustments of medications or changing the med that might be triggering the weight gain? You will have consider this with your doctor, but for me, i put my mental health first and now i’m working on my physical health.  What other factors must be considered in order to keep on the path to nutrition?



I Am Fat: Medication or Weight-Loss?

Chato Stewart

Chato Stewart has a mission, to draw and use humor as a positive tool to live, to cope with the debilitating effects symptoms of mental illness. Chato Stewart is a Mental Health Hero and Advocate. Recovery Peer Specialist board-certified in Florida. Chato is the artist behind the cartoons series Mental Health Humor, Over-Medicated, and The Family Stew - seen here in his blog posts. The cartoons are drawn from his personal experience of living with bipolar disorder (and other labels). [email protected]

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APA Reference
Stewart, C. (2013). I Am Fat: Medication or Weight-Loss?. Psych Central. Retrieved on December 18, 2018, from


Last updated: 9 Aug 2013
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 9 Aug 2013
Published on All rights reserved.