I had been on the drug Zyprexa (olanzapine) for four weeks and had already gained 15 pounds which, you know, didn’t help my depression. After going to a wedding and catching a side view of myself, I called my doctor and told him that my name was now Violet Beauregarde, the gum chewer in “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” who floats to the ceiling as blueberry balloon. Except that when I rose to the top of the room I was crying.
“The two most common questions that patients ask me are, ‘Will I become dependent on the medications?’ and ‘Will I gain weight?’” says Everyday Health contributor Sanjay Gupta, M.D. It’s a serious concern for people considering taking any kind of psychiatric medicine, and a sensitive subject among patients who are currently on meds. “A rapidly expanding waistline is one of the major reasons why patients prematurely discontinue an otherwise effective treatment, fall back into depression, and experience a poor outcomes,” says Gupta.