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Is Your Mental Health Causing You to Gain Weight (part 2) - Bipolar Disorder Associated with Weight Gain

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Bipolar Disorder Associated with Weight Gain

 

Patients with bipolar disorder cycle between periods of depression and mania.  During depressive states, patients experience sadness and low energy levels.  They may also think of suicide.  During manic states, patients with the disorder experience extreme happiness and excitement, and they also have increased energy.   When manic, they may engage in risky behaviors, such as having unprotected sex and spending large sums of money.  Unfortunately, patients with bipolar disorder may also find themselves gaining weight. In 2009, scientists for the journal Psychiatry Research analyzed eating behaviors among patients with bipolar disorder and found that 18 percent of them met criteria for binge eating disorder, whereas no subjects in a control group met these criteria. Compared to those in the control group, patients with bipolar disorder had significantly higher body mass indexes and waist circumferences.

 

A 2015 study in the Australian & New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry analyzed eating patterns among individuals with bipolar disorder.  Study results showed that individuals with bipolar disorder struggled with feelings of hunger and difficulty with healthy eating. The authors concluded that these eating patterns may explain the high rates of obesity associated with bipolar disorder.

 

Because bipolar disorder and other mental illnesses are associated with obesity and weight gain, it is vital that you and your doctor discuss any concerns involving your mental health.  If you feel that you are struggling with a mental health condition, your doctor can recommend an appropriate course of treatment, such as counseling or medication, and the two of you can work together to monitor your eating and exercise habits to ensure that you maintain a healthy weight.

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- Is Your Mental Health Causing You to Gain Weight (part 2) - Bipolar Disorder Associated with Weight Gain