The Depression-Weight-Gain Cycle

By Olga Khazan
Olga Khazan
Olga Khazan
July 28, 2014 Updated: July 24, 2014

Antidepressants are the most-prescribed drugs in the U.S. for people between the ages of 18 and 44, and more than 10 percent of Americans are on them at any given time. And yet, some people who desperately need to be taking them are afraid to start because certain types of antidepressants have been associated with weight gain.

Thus, a bitter cycle ensues: You’re depressed, so you get on antidepressants. You get “fat,” which doesn’t help the depression. And repeat.

One 29-year-old woman who has been taking Zoloft for two years described her own internal battle on Reddit:

“All of the SSRIs I’ve taken] have caused weight gain, and lately it feels totally unmanageable. I work out 5 days a week, cardio and lifting free weights, and still the pounds keep coming. I watch what I eat. I don’t drink or do recreational drugs anymore, I even gave up smoking. I’m in therapy. Basically, I am doing all the shit necessarily for an emotionally healthy and stable life and it really frustrates me that I am still piling on the pounds. I was a fat kid and body issues are a big deal for me. Weight gain tends to spark feelings of panic and self-loathing and hopelessness, all of which can help me slip right into depression again.”

This article was originally published on Read the complete here.

*Image of “girl at gym” via Shutterstock

Olga Khazan