Bipolar Depression Symptoms

Weight Change

Why is weight gain or weight loss significant?

Small weight changes are normal. Large weight gains or losses may reflect a change in appetite due to depression.

What is it like to suffer from appetite and weight changes?

Weight gain can result from overeating in order to cope with feelings of sadness, loneliness, guilt or anxiety.45 Food can comfort and distract a person from these feelings.

Some medications used to treat bipolar disorder increase appetite.43 The individual may say they are hungry or wish to eat more, even though they have recently eaten.

Weight loss can result from decreased appetite.

How can I recognize this symptom?

There is a substantial increase or decrease in the quantity of food consumed. Significant appetite changes eventually will result in physical manifestations of rapid weight gain or loss.

How does this bipolar disorder symptom impact life?

Weight gain may result in low self-esteem12 and increases physical complications such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and stroke.28

Significant appetite disturbances are less common in bipolar depression than unipolar depression.37

My Story

My weight changes consistently with my mood. The lower my mood, the more I eat. Pizza, ice-cream, french fries, anything oily will do. It's not that I'm hungry. I could be bloating and still eat more. When I'm down, food comforts and distracts me.

~ Juana, Havana, HA