Bipolarity and Food: Help!

Being home for the holidays, my parents notice how much I eat. When I was on meds like Seroquel, I ate a lot. Currently, I hardly do. Comments in either direction tend to hurt my feelings for whatever reason.

I try to be healthy and eat even when I’m not hungry (if I only ate when I was hungry, there would be one ten-minute window of me stuffing my face with crab rangoon per day). I have gone from vegan to gluten free vegan to pescatarian all in efforts to maximize my health from what seems like minimal food on my part. I’ve learned that if I crave something, I need to go out and buy it. Usually my cravings are extremely healthy (90% of cravings are sushi or produce). The rest are calorie-dense and decadent (ice cream, gelato, cheese, egg drop soup).

Although I would rather not have eggs and dairy and fish in my diet, it is just too hard to maintain my weight without them. When I can only eat one thing per day at my worst, that thing better be as calorie- and nutrient-dense as possible. My miracles are sushi (very healthy, pat on the back) and crab rangoon from Chinese takeout places (*licks fingers* I’ve been a bad vegan).

I have good appetite weeks. I’ll go to the store and buy lots of produce to roast, eat raw, or blend into a smoothie. Then my meds change, and I am nauseous all of the time. Or I become hypomanic, and food is about as interesting to me as a user manual on a sleeper sofa. All I devour in hypomania: my literature, my lover, my data plan. In depression, I would rather sleep. And the $50-$70 of fresh groceries will rot. And my lover will say “Can I bring you Chipotle? Do you want some crab rangoon?”

I haven’t figured out if he does it for love of me or for love of tits and ass.

Just kidding, babe. 🙂

But it is a struggle. Especially when my mood stabilizer makes my appetite go away completely and my antipsychotic must be taken with a hearty meal 2x per day or it all comes back up.

I have quit seeing food as transference of vitality and now view it as a chore. How to fix this?

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8 comments

  1. edwinkimmd · December 27, 2014

    Reblogged this on Are. You. Mental? and commented:
    Thank you for sharing.

    Like

  2. blahpolar · December 27, 2014

    No idea, but a Mediterranean diet is balanced and healthy and really your best bet. And seroquel increases hunger urges, it definitely ain’t your fault.

    Liked by 1 person

    • MarthasMakeup · December 27, 2014

      I had a mental breakdown after my 30 pound weight gain on Seroquel. I was doing everything I could — calorie restricting, running, pilates, yoga. Chain smoking on top of everything. Eventually I called my doctor and I said I can be crazy or I can be fat but I will not be both it’s just not FAIRRRR (sobs). Then I didn’t take any meds at all for about three days because of course they were evil and taking away all control I had over my life. Obviously, I wasn’t top of my class in the rational thoughts category on that drug either. It was useless and expensive.

      Liked by 1 person

      • blahpolar · December 27, 2014

        It really didn’t work for me either. Fat and could hardly breathe at night and very bad RLS. seems to work well for some though.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Zoe · December 29, 2014

    I understand your feeling 100% except my problem is that I don’t like healthy food, so it’s very hard for me to find eating a pleasurable experience. I mean, I’ve always had a healthy, balanced diet, but after having a kidney problem as a teenager… my diet got a lot stricter. Aside from food allergies (milk and eggs being the biggest villains) I had to go on a low protein diet. I could only eat one gram of protein per kilo of my weight (and I was like 105 pounds, so that meant very little protein a day.) Eventually my wheat allergy caught up with me in a bad way too, forcing me to go wheat / gluten free. That limited me even more.

    What helps me eat is constantly reminding myself that my body is like a garden. I don’t know why this works for me, but it does. I kind of view it as the car that carries my brain. While I don’t follow a protein restricted diet anymore, I have to continue on the allergy diet (because my allergies hit me like the flu when I eat what I’m not supposed to on a regular basis.) I just remind myself that it’s not only bad for my “car” but also bad for my brain. I have a love of all the bad foods for my moods. One thing that has helped my appetite is exercise (yoga) and heavy meditation about an hour before I have to eat.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Kitt O'Malley · December 30, 2014

      The garden metaphor is beautiful. Something you must tend, weed, fertilize — wait, maybe I’m getting carried away with the metaphor here. I do like the image, though.

      Like

      • Zoe · January 1, 2015

        You didn’t get carried away. I mentally imagined it just as you said, but refrained… because I thought it would be too much. 🙂 I hope you have a wonderful 2015.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Kitt O'Malley · December 30, 2014

    I love this line: “I haven’t figured out if he does it for love of me or for love of tits and ass.”

    Like

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