Bipolar Disorder Medications and Weight Gain: Prader-Willi Syndrome

Screen Shot 2016-04-11 at 9.03.11 AMWeight gain from bipolar disorder medications, especially anti psychotics represents one of the most difficult challenges those of us with bipolar disorder face when we try to manage this illness. I gained 80 pounds my first three years on meds. In the past few years, I gained 35 due to troubles with lithium.

It’s an awful experience to ALWAYS be hungry and NEVER fill full. It’s frustrating and rather scary to see your stomach turn to mush and your once healthy body get bigger and bigger….but it’s also fascinating. I am always on the lookout for why the drugs are doing this to so many of us, while some people can take lithium for example with ZERO weight gain.

There are stories in the news that might give us some answers. The story linked below talks about Prader-Willi syndrome.  Is it possible that the drugs that often save lives, are creating a similar problems in our bodies?

The more we can understand why something is happening, the better we can make decisions that help us stay stable and healthy.

I use lithium only in emergencies because of the weight gain for myself. I wish I could take it regularly, as it works well for me.

Some of my friends have been on lithium for over 20 years with great success and no health problems. It’s an individual issue. There is a lot of talk about metabolic syndrome and bipolar disorder medications. It’s time to do something about the weight gain from medications. So many of us need meds, but we need our physical health as well.

I have other meds I can take without weight gain. Interesting. What do you think?



Click on the picture above or click here to read the article on Prader-Willi syndrome and insatiable appetites. Could there be a link to this type of disorder that big pharma needs to address? 


PS: A friend once said to me, “Julie, you successfully manage one of the most dangerous illnesses in the world- you write books on the topic and yet you can’t get a handle on your eating.” She wasn’t being cruel. She simply pointed out what I have known all of my adult life. I find it EASIER to manage bipolar disorder than my own eating disorder.

2 comments to Bipolar Disorder Medications and Weight Gain: Prader-Willi Syndrome

  • Maureen

    Im on lithium again second time around, taking it now this past year, but started hitting a very low period just recently, so was put on Sertraline which after 2months and being upped to 100mg was doing nothing so just last week Lamotrogine was added at a very low dose 25mg a few days later I have begun feeling like me again Praise God.
    About the weight gain, although I don’t seem to gain I cannot loose either, it is the Lithium I know, but was told I need it for the manic part of bipolar Ive only ever had one episode over 10yrs ago but still need the med I guess.
    I know you have much good to say about Lamotrogine Julie, and it was for this reason only that I asked my psychiatrist for it.Keep up your good work God willing.

  • Sheri K.

    I am happy to see your statement about shining regardless of weight gain! I am 50lbs up, but cannot function without my meds. My doctor actually told me to “shut my mouth” (meaning, just quit eating) when I complained about the weight gain. Then he tried to explain basic nutritious eating. I told him I was offended. I am highly educated and had been a gymaholic and nutritious eater until the meds came on board. Heck, I am still a very nutritious eater. What I need isn’t education about calories and health food. It is education about how to combat weight gain due to meds that put the pounds on. I am overweight despite a 1200 calorie a day intake. I find your information refreshing and uplifting. Thank you!