And Then…the Weight Gain

ScaleWhen we last left Blake, he was struggling with depression.  Struggling so much, he was, that he could not stay awake.  My mornings became centered around keeping him up and moving.  He returned to therapy.  We stuck to a strict routine of sleeping and waking to reset his internal clock. We worked to have him agree to turn off the computer and electronics at an earlier hour, and his psychiatrist added a small dose of something to boost the anti-depressant effect of the SRI he was already on.

Slowly, Blake began to be better able to stay awake in the mornings.  He started to argue less. He started to show an interest in actually doing things. Our boy started to come back to us.  Yes, the OCD stuff was still there, but we had a better functioning human being in our home.  We had someone who wasn’t a zombie until mid-afternoon.  It all seemed to be going along well, until…

“Does Blake look like he’s gained some weight to you?” the hubby wondered.

“He does.  He hasn’t said anything though.  I’m keeping an eye on it.”

Then, the pants I’d bought him just a couple months earlier no longer fit.  I noticed his belly protruding over the waist band.  Still, Blake didn’t comment.  One morning, I asked him to get on the scale.  He did so, not asking why.  I made note of the weight.

“Thank you, honey.”  He walked away.

I went to the files and pulled out the records from Blake’s last visit to the pediatrician. Twenty-two pounds.  He’d put on twenty-two pounds in five months. I’m nearly certain most of it was in the past five to six weeks. I knew he was growing, but this was too much.  I called the psychiatrist and left a message asking if the new medication could have contributed to this. I called the pediatrician to request we do the followup blood work it was time to do.

The psychiatrist asked me to keep monitoring his weight and he reduced the dosage of the medication.  The pediatrician was alarmed at the numbers on the scale and made sure the blood work took a look at his thyroid function.  I had to explain the situation to Blake.  I didn’t tell him how much he’d gained, but just knowing he’d put on weight sent him into a downward spiral.  Weight gain triggers his OCD.  Eating has been a real issue in the past. Calorie restriction, to be more specific. He plunged back into depression.  He wouldn’t get up; he couldn’t seem to do the simplest of tasks; he didn’t want to eat – at least for twenty-four hours. Then, he emerged.

“You know what? It’s not worth it if I can’t eat. So, I’m going to eat.” And he did.

The blood work came back normal. I watched his weight. He lost three pounds. He gained back two. Then, he rose higher than ever.

“How did this happen?” Blake lamented, looking at the scale. “I don’t want to be on this medication anymore.” He buried his head in his hands.

I contacted his psychiatrist.

“Stop the medication,” he told me. We did.

So now he is off the possible culprit of the weight gain and is still on his SRI. We meet with the psychiatrist next week. What will happen with Blake’s depression? I hope things can stay stable. Why is it that something that might have been helping so much could have possibly have created another, potentially health-threatening issue? I guess that’s the tricky world of medication. For now, we hope that Blake remains stable and we see what we decide with the psychiatrist next week.


8 thoughts on “And Then…the Weight Gain

  1. Oh, it’s so hard, Angie, and I’m so sorry Blake experienced the abnormal weight gain associated with some meds. I know these drugs can also lead to metabolic syndrome, and my son experienced dangerously high triglycerides as well. I wish I had some answers for you, and hopefully Blake’s psychiatrist will have a good plan on how to proceed. I’m keeping you and Blake in my thoughts!

  2. I’m very sorry to hear you’re going through this as you work to find treatment. We dealt with much the same thing with my husband, and I know that medication experimentation is a long, slow, and upsetting process. Hoping for something to present itself soon that actually works well for Blake.

    1. After my initial “freak out” at realizing he’s gained so much weight, I’m keeping myself in a state of calm by telling myself that maybe he is stable enough to hold onto the gains he’s made while on this med. Fantasy, perhaps, but that works for me for now. 🙂

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