Latuda and Abilify had me gain a total of 30 lbs in less than 2.5 months and going from 132 to 162 has been difficult for me to accept. I haven't weighed that much since I was pregnant 11 years ago. The Latuda threw my binge eating out of control to the point where I was pulling my hair out in cold showers just to stop thinking about eating for 10 or 15 minutes during the day. Binge eating is a symptom of borderline personality disorder, it's a form of self harm, just like cutting is. It's terrible because all you can think about is eating nonstop and when you binge on all the shitty foods you're craving the relief is so miniscule and so momentary that it actually makes you feel worse. It creates a cycle of feeling like shit because you gave in and the only relief is eating. You're filled up with self loathing from what you think is a lack of willpower when it's really part of your mental disorder that strips away any control you think you have over yourself.
It's not because I didn't want to stop eating, I couldn't. I would grind my teeth as I paced around the house trying to go over why eating a pound of candy is a very bad idea. I tried to pacify the impulse with herbal teas, gum, planning out all of my meals, trying to limit how much candy I would buy and eat, and dozens of other tricks but not a goddamn thing worked. I was spending so much of my day fighting the impulse to binge eat that I didn't have energy for anything else.
I thought about it day and night, I couldn't focus on anything else. It got to the point where I knew I was losing the battle. I couldn't overpower my body's impulse to eat all the time. If I couldn't stop eating I needed to gain control in another way. I resorted to the only thing that made sense in that state of mind- throwing up all the food I couldn't stop myself from consuming.
I had a short stint of bulimia and the only reason I stopped is so my husband wouldn't find out and feel worse for me than he already does. For 2 weeks I tried to throw up after my binges, I could never feel like I got as much out as I put in and it only caused me to feel worse about myself. It's a scary cycle and I wanted out before it got worse, thankfully after those 2 weeks I was no longer purging.
My doctor took me off Latuda when I told him about my bingeing and unstoppable sugar cravings, I never told him about my purging. He put me on Abilify and I lost about 10 lbs during the switch, which was a relief. Finally I can get back to a normal weight, or so I hoped. After 2 weeks I started gaining weight but this time without binge eating. My cravings weren't gone but there was a 50/50 chance of me giving into them and they weren't as strong. I wasn't hitting my calorie goals each day but I was no longer overeating. I also felt more relief after eating while on Abilify, it wasn't as empty or as hollow of a feeling. But then those 10 lbs came back.
I'm now back to 162 lbs and I hate my body.
I'm uncomfortable, bending over is difficult because there's so much more to me now. Even Though I have clothes that fit me they're terribly uncomfortable. Things don't sit or fit right, I feel heavier and weighed down whenever I move around. I'm not even going to get into how awful it feels riding uphill on a bike.
I hate how I look in the mirror and can't accept it. The world beats into our head that there's nothing wrong with being overweight, and I honestly couldn't care less about other people's bodies. I don't judge others for their weight or body type, I save all unfair and cruel criticism for myself. When I look in the mirror I don't see me, I see 30 lbs of burden thrusted upon me because of psych meds that didn't end up helping me in the end anyway. I had no control over how I got here, yet I experience all of the blame and guilt. I don't want to be this size, it isn't me.
It's completely destroyed my self esteem. I feel like I'm living in someone else's body, not the active bike woman my life actually is. It affects how I act around other people, it affects what I do that day, it keeps me in a mild state of depression because the situation feels hopeless. I'm being weaned off Abilify but I don't know if that will help me lose any weight. I'm overwhelmed and lugging this odd, 30 lbs heavier flesh vessel around makes me miserable.
I don't feel powerful, I don't feel strong- I only feel shame. I want to wear a shirt that says "this body isn't my fault," but I would only be trying to convince myself.
But I'm only 162 lbs, I can't imagine what it's like starting off heavier and having medications add to that. I know people who have gained over 100 lbs thanks to meds and I can't imagine how someone could deal with that. My 30 lbs make me feel hopeless about getting my body back together, trying to imagine the situations other people are dealing with blows my mind.
I've gained empathy where there was once apathy about body image.