Sanity vs Self-Esteem: The Weighty Issue of Medicating Bipolar Disorder

belly-body-calories-diet-42069.jpegLet’s face it, one of the things that those of us with bipolar disorder complain the most about is the amount of weight we gain while taking these medications our psychiatrists prescribe for us. And it isn’t just a small amount for us. It is a lot.

A lot of people who struggle with bipolar disorder are placed on varying types of anti-psychotics, anti-depressants, and anti-anxiety medications that can wreak havoc on our systems. Many include side-effects that read “excessive weight gain”, “increased risk of diabetes”, or even hidden more casually in “increased appetite”. Either way, there is an issue at hand with the risk of weight gain when dealing with the psyche.

1517170399980I’ve not always been overweight. In fact, I used to be rather fit and healthy. However, once I received my bipolar diagnosis and was placed on these medications, maintaining a healthy weight became very difficult. Even with working out and eating healthy, it was next to impossible to do. Once the weight started to pile on, I noticed that my self-esteem began to plummet, which also affected the amount of depression and anxiety I dealt with on a daily basis, as well.

The photo to the left shows what just a three year difference can make with the medication we take. I know that I have also struggled with a back injury, but I’ve only struggled with that since October 2016; however, it still exasperates the situation.

My point is this: those of us who struggle with bipolar disorder feel imprisoned by the very medications that are supposed to free us from the grip of depression and anxiety feel like we’re forced to make a choice between sanity and self-esteem. We want to feel good about ourselves. We want to feel healthy and whole. But how can we feel healthy and whole when the very medication that is prescribed to make us feel that way makes us even sicker and destroys our self-esteem and throws our physical health into an uproar?

butterfly-common-blue-restharrow-polyommatus-icarus-158536.jpegIt feels like we’re in a never ending battle with our disease. We want to be free of the unending cycles we go through, yet we want to feel good about ourselves, too, and not feel judged by society due to the weight we’ve gained or the diabetes we now have thanks to the medication we were prescribed.

We want to fly with the butterflies and feel just as free as one! Not burdened down by the chemicals that sicken us more.

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