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Naamah

Changing Medications

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I've been on abilify for eight years and am now struggling with involuntary eye blinking, and tremors in my left arm as a long term side effect. My doctor and I talked and we are going to lower the dosage of the abilify and if these long term side effects keep happening, they are going to switch the medicine. We are thinking about switching me to Latuda which is a newer antipsychotic.

Has anyone ever taken Latuda and does it cause people to gain so much weight to where they end up being 330 or more pounds? I'm really scared that I will have to choose between having permenant involuntary movements and staying fit or gaining 330 or more pounds and stable. 

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Health above everything peep! Stable is what you need!

I'm on keppra for epilepsy,  and yes it did make me gain 20 extra pounds (bringing me to an unpleasant 235lbs. Normally I was 215lbs and losing weight.), BUT it helped! I have to take it for the rest of my life which sux, but if it helps you, it helps you.

But do not forget to weigh the pros and cons!!! For me:

Pros:helps reduce seizures, suppressed appetite 

Cons: weight gain, suicidal thoughts,  depression. 

Everything has a side effect.  It is up to you what you can handle. Hope that helps.

Have a good day/night 🙂

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I feel for what you're going through because I've had to change medications for chronic conditions several times. I've never been on Latuda so I can't offer anything personal for that medicine, but I always try to keep in mind that side effects vary from one person to another, just as effectiveness of medication does. For some, the side effects wind up being more serious than the condition you're aiming to treat, which is horribly disappointing but often means that you and your care team look for another alternative. Other people will experience much milder versions of the same side effects, and yet others may not experience some of the side effects at all. There's usually no reliable way to predict how the side effects of a medication will impact an individual in advance. 

It's a sucky game of roulette sometimes, but treating chronic conditions, especially mental illness, is not an exact science, and I force myself to remember that. We have come so far with treatment options, but there is still a lot that we don't know. We just have to do the best we can with what we have to work with and rely on our support systems - both medical professionals and our networks of friends/family - to help handle what comes.

The most important thing to remember is that it's worth searching for the best treatment for your specific situation, even though it's scary. You are worth it. We all are worth it. We all deserve to live with as much health and happiness as we can, even if that means that we have to change things up when something that did work doesn't work so well any more, or when something else might work better. Keep your chin up and stay strong. Just putting yourself out there to ask other people's opinions can be scary, I admire you for being a great advocate for yourself!

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7 hours ago, DragonPhoenix said:

The most important thing to remember is that it's worth searching for the best treatment for your specific situation, even though it's scary. You are worth it. We all are worth it. We all deserve to live with as much health and happiness as we can, even if that means that we have to change things up when something that did work doesn't work so well any more, or when something else might work better.

This is SO true.

Naamah I completely understand your fears with switching to a new treatment, the meds I'm on for my MS? One of the potential side-effects is a brain infection called PML, the symptoms of which are severe disability and death... 😧 So I very much had a "do I really want to be taking this?!" decision to make when I had to try a new treatment as the previous one wasn't working at all. But so far I'm still alive (I have blood tests every 3 months to make sure - the hospital's really hardcore about these; don't get your bloods done and they'll take you off the treatment because of the PML risk) and the treatment is preventing me from relapsing (unless there's outside influences like me getting a cold, viruses raise your temp which triggers MS stuff) so it was definitely the right decision for me.

I know you're worried about your weight, you've talked to us about that before, so I can only imagine how you feel about a treatment that might make you gain way more, but it is only MIGHT, isn't it. Can you safely try this treatment out and switch to another if it does give you side-effects you're not willing to put up with? I know switching between some meds, and the "dry-out" period inbetween can cause a whole slew of problems in itself.

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My mom mentioned how she could "totally" see me wearing men's band tees and goth boots. She says she doesn't care what I wear and while I do think band tees and goth boots are socially acceptable, I'm going into early childhood education. I need to dress prissy and girly 24/7 for that job or else I'll get fired. I love wearing girly clothes and that appeals to me more than dressing like an emo kid. I know they make stylish clothes above a size 20/22 (my current clothing size) but what if I get too massive for clothes above that size? I can kiss being a stylish and professional woman goodbye. 

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1 hour ago, Naamah said:

but what if

The "what ifs" are the scourge of humanity, they're like some mental health bludgeon. Don't give them any room in your life.

Life: But what if?! ...

You: NO 💪

 

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On 9/18/2018 at 8:58 PM, LonelyHanakoKoi said:

Health above everything peep! Stable is what you need!

I'm on keppra for epilepsy,  and yes it did make me gain 20 extra pounds (bringing me to an unpleasant 235lbs. Normally I was 215lbs and losing weight.), BUT it helped! I have to take it for the rest of my life which sux, but if it helps you, it helps you.

But do not forget to weigh the pros and cons!!! For me:

Pros:helps reduce seizures, suppressed appetite 

Cons: weight gain, suicidal thoughts,  depression. 

Everything has a side effect.  It is up to you what you can handle. Hope that helps.

Have a good day/night 🙂

I feel like gaining weight would make me unworthy of everything including video games and Beanie Boos. I wouldn't be feminine and beautiful anymore. I just get so tired of focusing on looks and I can't stop focusing on my appearance. I was on Depakote for seizures and it made me gain so much weight. I felt like I missed out on being the trendy teenager who won best dressed in the year book. Instead I won the most friendly award. I feel guilty because I didn't get to be a cheerleader with blonde hair who got engaged to the captain of the football team after college. I don't like who I truly am. I like the idea of the perfect woman. 

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11 hours ago, Naamah said:

I feel like gaining weight would make me unworthy of everything including video games and Beanie Boos. I wouldn't be feminine and beautiful anymore. I just get so tired of focusing on looks and I can't stop focusing on my appearance. I was on Depakote for seizures and it made me gain so much weight. I felt like I missed out on being the trendy teenager who won best dressed in the year book. Instead I won the most friendly award. I feel guilty because I didn't get to be a cheerleader with blonde hair who got engaged to the captain of the football team after college. I don't like who I truly am. I like the idea of the perfect woman. 

Being slim and being a perfect woman are two completely unrelated things. Please remember that. We live in a society that puts so much ridiculous focus on weight, when that should only be a tiny part of who we are. Your weight does not define you. I know this is something that might not be easy to fully embrace, since it's drilled into us from a young age that weight is important, but it's really important to try to remember that what we weigh is not who we are. There's a movement called 'I_weigh' started by actress Jameela Jamil (from The Good Place, which is an amazing show, btw), which emphasises that we are not our weight, and we should stop focusing on it so much.

Your health is more important than your weight, and you are no less than any other woman just because you're not skinny. ❤️

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You all are so supportive. 

18 hours ago, Nielo said:

Your health is more important than your weight, and you are no less than any other woman just because you're not skinny

I understand that. I'm just concerned that I won't be able to even fit into a size 6x due to weight gain from medication. I'd have to wear men's clothes. 

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8 hours ago, Naamah said:

You all are so supportive. 

I understand that. I'm just concerned that I won't be able to even fit into a size 6x due to weight gain from medication. I'd have to wear men's clothes. 

I'm gonna say your fears are completely understandable, but do fight to not let that concern get too much of a foothold. The vibe I pick up seems to be that you pretty much expect your weight to balloon if you go on these new meds, you're kind of resigned to it. I know that's just my interpretation of your words so I could be way off, but I'd hate for you to lose hope before things even happen, that's almost inviting them in, I think.

Do you know what the likelihood of weight gain is? What the percentage of people it happens to is? If the new meds work well for you, but you DO start to gain weight, how open will your doctor be to letting you try something else?

If the worst case scenario happens and you do get bigger, don't go down the men's wear route, don't do that to yourself, it'll only make you look like a fridge because men's clothes aren't built for curves, your self-esteem would hit rock-bottom. Wear dresses, the ultimate in feminine apparel! Ones that fit just below the bust then fall in gathers so they skim the stomach/behind.

These cute enough for ya?

80842_WHITE_GEORGE_FRONT-min_300x.jpg?v=IMG_0046_c6383649-e639-4e37-b822-0cb2a6bIMG_0300_d4eecfe9-61f8-443c-9824-7e79ec2

These are all from a UK website but they ship worldwide and their prices are pretty reasonable. There's a lot of stuff out there that lets your femininity shine

Of course learning to make your own clothes, (or altering thrifted ones which is cheap, and a lot of fun too), is the ultimate way to totally own this kind of situation, you'd learn to work WITH your body then, find out what shapes flatter, so every garment you owned would make you look amazing... how would that make you feel? Fabulous? Things that you've said show you've got a really poor self-image, which is super sad 😞 but you can learn to love yourself, if you'll let it happen.

I think pretty flattering dresses are part of the way forward and they ARE made for larger sizes if your meds make that necessary. That site I linked to goes up to UK size 32, which is US Size 28, I think?

I wanna say dress for yourself, wear something that when you look at yourself in your pretty mirror, you see the pretty girl that you are and you feel good. Outfits that make you want to twirl in front of the mirror, that's what you want, every day.

Now someone needs to wave a magic wand and make it all happen...

That magic wand is inside your head, and you can do it. 👍

Well yeah I've rambled on enough here, haven't it! *hits submit*

 

 

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On 9/23/2018 at 9:31 AM, jellysundae said:

Things that you've said show you've got a really poor self-image, which is super sad

I'm actually a really confident and body positive person. My mom says that she wishes she had my confidence. I worked really hard for my confidence and I'm worried that if I gain weight all of the years of ignoring and shrugging off rude comments will go to waste. Believe it or not I hated my body when I was smaller. I've gained weight over the years and it seems that I've stopped in the 250 range and am stuck there. 

Those dresses are cute though. Thanks for showing them to me. 

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On 9/18/2018 at 5:58 PM, LonelyHanakoKoi said:

Health above everything peep! Stable is what you need!

I'm on keppra for epilepsy,  and yes it did make me gain 20 extra pounds (bringing me to an unpleasant 235lbs. Normally I was 215lbs and losing weight.), BUT it helped! I have to take it for the rest of my life which sux, but if it helps you, it helps you.

But do not forget to weigh the pros and cons!!! For me:

Pros:helps reduce seizures, suppressed appetite 

Cons: weight gain, suicidal thoughts,  depression. 

Everything has a side effect.  It is up to you what you can handle. Hope that helps.

Have a good day/night 🙂

Ohhhh Keppra... I was allergic to the Dilantin I was originally prescribed to prevent seizures after I had major brain surgery, so I got put on Keppra. I was only on it for maybe 6 months, but it made me feel awful. Like a whole different person. I was SO angry, irritable, and emotional. I picked fights with my SO, freaked out over nothing, and life was just generally horrible. I'm glad it works for you! It just goes to show that meds affect everyone differently, and you have to give it a try to truly know how your body is going to react. Give it time to work, and weigh the pros and cons. If it's effective and you feel better, even if it has some side effects, you may have to decide which side effects you are happier to live with.

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I suffer from bipolar depression and I've actually tried all those antipsychotics and all of them made me sick sadly. 😓 My doctor recently started me on Topomax which seems to help with my bipolar depression and I'm actually losing weight. I mean I don't know what problem your doctor is giving it to you for though. 

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