One of the *ahem* issues yesterday’s trip to Brisbane raised was that I HATE standing in dressing rooms staring at myself – all the more so since the !@&(^* damned anti-psychotic has caused weight gain around the middle in a pattern (?!) that I’ve NEVER had to deal with before. Usually I put on weight around my middle pretty evenly – but Seroquel is notorious for developing a blobby pudding of fat that is almost like a separate entity. F**K I HATE IT!! And I don’t normally SEE it because I don’t often look in mirrors, especially not for loooong loooooooooong minutes at a time when I’m half dressed.
The psychologist warned me I would have to be gentle with myself in trying to lose weight this time, as it’s a whole different ball game. She was also quite shocked that both my GP and Psychiatrist had recommended wight loss SURGERY as an option, knowing that I was taking Seroquel -that’s just cruel. At least there are other people out there (Oh, how I LERVE Teh Interwebs!) who recognise this:
Physical activity and diet can help prevent this weight gain, and sometimes reverse it — but simply telling patients to eat right and get exercise as a means of coping with the weight gain medications can induce is pretty close to an insult and generally simply attempts to shift the responsibility for the problem to the patient. It takes more than this simple advice. (Psycheducation.org)
and more from here:
Weight gain is a common side effect of Seroquel® (quetiapine fumarate). In clinical studies, up to 23 percent of people gained at least 7 percent or more of their body weight. While a small or modest increase in weight is typical during treatment with this medication, some people can gain large amounts of weight while taking it. [bold and italics mine]
GEE, ya THINK? What really pisses me off is that I don’t eat that badly. I KNOW about healthy eating – I read news articles about it, I buy magazines about it and read them, I generally don’t buy or eat junk food. We already shop around the outside aisles of the supermarket. We hardly ever eat out – and when we do, it’s likely to be a once a month treat of a muffin and a coffee, not a burger-and-fries-and-soft-drink calorie explosion, or an all-you-can-stuff-in smörgåsbord meal. Hell, I don’t even drink Diet Coke anymore! (I’ve had ONE 600ml bottle in the last 8 weeks.) (I will ‘fess up to drinking Diet Lime Cordial with fizzy mineral water, though. Even that’s not every day.)
And I’ve joined a gym, and now I even have suitable bras to wear to exercise in. (Resistance training tomorrow, yay, I’m actually looking forward to it!)
But I still have problems with my body, the size I am, and the shape I am now. I admit to engaging in hours of self recriminations and loathing over eating a chocolate bikkie. That’s just mad.
I started reading Fat Acceptance blogs because I’d become a fan of Natalie’s drawings. Then as I read a few more, I realised that while the movement is more about accepting people WHATEVER their size. And that a lot of these blogs were helpful for anyone with “disordered” eating. If you really want a primer on what Fat Acceptance is, go read what Elizabeth of Spilt Milk has written in this brilliant post, “Acceptance is not ‘giving up'”.
See, Seroquel doesn’t just make me hungry. The horrible, unforgivable thing that Seroquel does is make me RAVENOUS and uncertain of what my head is doing. I feel like I’ve been deprived of food FOREVER and I can’t eat enough. The normal “Full” signal seems to either get lost or to disappear far too quickly. Combine that with trying to battle thoughts of “food food FOOD FOOD” and wondering if I’m actually HALLUCINATING about food because I can’t stop thinking of how good some peanut butter would be RIGHT NOW and you can see that it’s a cruel, cruel drug.
Does taking Seroquel actually help the Bipolar? Probably. I can’t tell, because I’m the one with the mad head. I know that if I had been left alone with my credit card in the music shop yesterday I probably would have spent around $1000 without even blinking or thinking – and that’s a problem, because we just don’t have that sort of money. Mr Beloved was with me and sensibleness prevailed, but it could have been bad. This new (semi) obsession with changing instruments COULD just be a symptom of the Bipolar. I honestly can’t tell.
Anyway. More to write later.