How does weight gain from antipsychotic medications affect patients?

weight gain

Rapid weight gain is common when individuals take antipsychotic medications. A study published in Psychology and Psychotherapy: Theory, Research and Practice explored patients’ experiences of weight change and preferences for managing weight.

In interviews with 10 individuals taking antipsychotic medications, patients described that initially the extent and speed of weight gain was overshadowed by psychotic experiences and their treatment. This led to an eventual shocking realization of weight gain, which contributed to loss of self-worth, agency, and hope. Weight gain amplified a sense of vulnerability, which contributed to social withdrawal, depression, and for some, psychotic experiences.

Investigators noted that understanding the psychological journey associated with weight gain in patients taking antipsychotic medications may offer potential novel targets for weight loss treatments.

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