Depression, Meds and being Happy

I’ve not kept it a secret that I take medication to treat depression. I’ve also not kept it a secret that I’ve gained a fair amount of weight due to said medication. I’ve tried to accept it, that gaining weight is simply a side effect that can’t be avoided. I’ve tried to accept the way I look now, as that’s just the way things are. But it’s not easy. I’ve spoken to my doctor many times about the weight gain and he answers that it’s essentially a side effect of most antidepressants so he doesn’t encourage changing mess. I am petrified to change meds anyway or alter my current regime because it took so long to achieve this winning combination that has beat down the depression. For so long it seemed the depression was “winning”. I’m happy that now I can laugh again and have fun with my kids instead of simply existing on a good day.

I remind myself of my grandmother at my age. She was not overweight but a healthy weight. There were some years she loomed heavier than others. She was happily married, stayed at home, and raised my mom and my aunt. After my grandfather passed away in my teen years my grandmother lost at least 30 pounds. She was depressed due to her loss and she only ate enough to survive. She lived on coffee with half and half, a bowl of cheerios, Twix bars and mallomars. My Mom had her over for dinner every Sunday and would send her home with food and my grandmother would make that last all week for her dinner.

When I was a depressed, anxious mess I didn’t eat much and was very thin and that is how I judge my personal sense of beauty. That magic number on the scale that right now seems impossibly unattainable. My husband reminds me that I wasn’t happy when I was thin, as that is when I was suffering from anxiety and depression. He’s wonderful and tells me I’m beautiful now. And always tells me I look “nice” even when I don’t feel like I do.

The meds not only make you eat more they change your metabolism so you’re double whammy’d. And I think of my grandmother. At the happiest time in her life she had “meat on her bones”. At the worst time of her life, living without her husband, she was so very thin. I want a happy medium.

Fwiw I’m not looking for weight loss advice or fishing for comments on how I look today. I’m venting about a situation in my life that frustrates the snot out of me. And I’m not saying if you’re thin you must be depressed. I’m seeing parallels that I have witnessed first hand in my own family. There’s my disclaimer:  your mileage may vary.


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