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Bipolar, Depression, and Anxiety Disorder Medications Plus Weight Gain

Do medications make you voracious?  Wanting or devouring great quantities of food?

Chato Stewart Mental Health Humor Cartoon
Insatiable Appetite-Weight Gain Mental Health Humor cartoon- by Chato Stewart Over-Medicated
Meds Weight Gain 1 | Meds Weight Gain 2 | Meds Weight Gain 3       

Voracious  Synonyms:    
insatiable, unquenchable, unappeasable, prodigious, uncontrollable, compulsive, gluttonous, greedy, rapacious; enthusiastic, eager, keen, avid, desirous, hungry, ravenous; informal: piggish.

If you were prescribed any medications for Bipolar Disorder, Anxiety or Depression, chances are one of the medicines (if not all) had a little side-effect associated to it called…weight gain.

To be clear, what type of medications are we talking about?  Some mood stabilizers with the side-effect of weight gain include the following: lithium (Lithobid), valproic acid (Depakene), divalproex sodium (Depakote), carbamazepine (Tegretol, Equetro), olanzapine (Zyprexa), risperidone (Risperdal), quetiapine (Seroquel). Also, many SSRI’s and antidepressants will cause weight gain. 

There is a long list, but it’s best to ask “your” doctor about each medication.

Weight gain and Bipolar medication, sometimes, they are hand-in-hand.  Some of the side-effects can be drastic; we’re talking about 15, 30, 50, to 100 pounds or more.  I know this because I live it!  I have had weeks and months of an insatiable appetite.

The insatiable voracious appetite was medication induced.  Nothing appeased my furious appetite! I remember eating everything eatable in the house one day being still hungry and then ate a frozen pizza…still frozen. I couldn’t wait to cook it.  All I felt was: I MUST EAT EVERYTHING!!

That was my epiphany moment! I talked with my doctor as soon as possible and we adjusted the medications.  The binge eating didn’t entirely stop, not till I maxed out at 405 pounds.  I’ve been fighting the “losing weight” battle for more than 30 years.  In 2013, I was asked if I was “weak-willed or lazy” my reply:

“I am not Lazy!  It takes a lot of work to get to 400lbs!” – Chato Stewart

Not being balanced, and the meditations and poor understanding of food and diet don’t help the situation either.  I would have small successes, but then significant defeats in the weight loss game.

Meds Weight Gain 1 | Meds Weight Gain 2 | Meds Weight Gain 3              

To Be Continued

Bipolar, Depression, and Anxiety Disorder Medications Plus Weight Gain

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. (2017). Bipolar, Depression, and Anxiety Disorder Medications Plus Weight Gain. Psych Central. Retrieved on July 14, 2020, from


Last updated: 19 Oct 2017
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