Medical Specialty >> Psychiatry

Doctors Lounge - Psychiatry Answers

Back to Psychiatry Answers List

If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or 911 immediately. Doctors Lounge ( does not recommend or endorse any specific tests, physicians, products, procedures, opinions, or other information that may be mentioned on the Site.

DISCLAIMER: The information provided on is designed to support, not replace, the relationship that exists between a patient/site visitor and his/her physician. Please read our 'Terms and Conditions of Use' carefully before using this site.

Date of last update: 8/24/2017.

Forum Name: Antidepressants

Question: Mental Health Meds Related to Being Weight Loss Resistent

 lillymae - Wed Jul 21, 2010 10:11 am

Firstly I thank you in advance for reading this. I am desperate for support and suggestions.I have taken mental health meds for approximately 10 years to assist with depression and anxiety. I gain weight on all of them I have tried.I was told by my mental health professional that I have now tried them all and am considered weight loss resistent. Recently I read a book written by a popular doctor and several other doctors and mental health professionals. They also address the term weight loss resistent . They stated that no matter how much one exercises and or eats a super healthy diet they will not lose weight. Supposedly this happens for about 15% of people. I know only two other people that are also currently dealing with this. One of them is a marathon runner and works as a dietican. She too cannot take off even 5 pounds.
The doctors writing the book offer no specific solutions for this type of weight gain challenge other than to try other meds.
I am 46 and get at least three hours of vigorous activity each day. I eat a low fat diet that is made up of fruits, fiber, veggies, beans, fish and small amounts of meat. I have lived a super healthy life style since in my 20's. My father died at 51 and I have already outlived my grandparents. Prevention has always been a top priority in my life and I actually enjoy lots of exercise esp. outdoor work . Eating super healthy is not hard for me. I teach a weekly class on basic healthy food choices at a local treatment center for women in recovery. I actually eat less while on meds as I feel so much better. Four months ago I gave up all sugar and do not eat any foods high in sodium.
At times I have tried to come off meds and use holistic measures to manage my mental health issues as I am trained in holistic practices. During these times I am able to take weight off easily but all the holistic practices still don't take care of my anxiety and depression. On my last time off meds I ended up in the hospital after months of being off the meds. As hard as it is I have found a bit of acceptance with needing to take meds. I just can't accept the fact that there is nothing I can do to take off even 5-10 pounds. I feel out of control and being out of control is starting to control me.
I have also had ever test under the sun to determine if there are other factors that cause the weight gain. I have spent thousands of dollars on tests, vitamins, supplements, alternative treatments etc...
The 40 to 50 extra pounds really,really scare scare me esp. as I get older and think about my family history. The extra pounds also are just so hard to carry on my small frame. I never had a weight issue in my life. People called me "TOOTHPICK" I only wish I would hear that these days while walking down the street.
HONESTLY I have to stay so active each day and maintain a super healthy diet in order to not go over my current weight gain. My husband says I am starving myself but this is the guy who went on mental health meds and lost weight despite eating large amounts of food. Ya that sucks.The cruel comments others make also hurts my self worth. No doctor has ever been able to help with this issue. I know that I am a bit obbsessed by my exercise and food choices and could be considered to have an addiction to physical activity and a possible eating disorder.
 Faye Lang, RN, MSW - Wed Jul 21, 2010 3:10 pm

Hello, lillymae,

I'm sorry to hear of your distressing time. The category "weight loss resistant" is applied to persons who, despite all efforts, are not able to lost weight. The contributing factors that have been suggested are thyroid deficiency, estrogen/progesterone imbalances, excess cortisol levels, insulin resistance (resistace to one's own insulin), food allergies, disruption in intestinal bacteria levels/balance, and "toxic burden". Toxic burden refers to environmental metals, toxins, or medications. Hormonal deficiencies can be measured and are addressed by replacement therapy; insulin resistance is often successfully treated with Glucophage, a diabetic medication; and intestinal bacterial levels can be assessed via laboratory tests. Some doctors also recommend a basal metabolism test. The best approach is to discuss it again with your doctor and review the information you have given. Perhaps you and your doctor can work together to achieve a balance between medication and holistic practices with which you have had success in the past. I sincerely hope this is helpful to you.

Good luck!

| Check a doctor's response to similar questions

Are you a Doctor, Pharmacist, PA or a Nurse?

Join the Doctors Lounge online medical community

  • Editorial activities: Publish, peer review, edit online articles.

  • Ask a Doctor Teams: Respond to patient questions and discuss challenging presentations with other members.

Doctors Lounge Membership Application

Tools & Services: Follow DoctorsLounge on Twitter Follow us on Twitter | RSS News | Newsletter | Contact us