Nutrition is often overlooked when managing patients with bipolar disorder. But given that more than two-thirds of bipolar patients are either overweight or obese, and nearly 60% of those with severe depression are obese, improving dietary habits may lead to improvements in mood.
One challenge to maintaining healthy weight in bipolar patients is the fact that many second-generation atypical antipsychotics contribute to weight gain. Encouraging exercise, as well as nutritional education and support, can combat this.
Illnesses such as bipolar disorder often come with weight gain, which can complicate recovery by prompting not only physical problems but also mental fallout. A 2011 research analysis concluded that up to 68% of treatment-seeking bipolar disorder patients are overweight or obese, and 57.8% of those with severe depression are obese. In a recent column in Psychology Today, David Sack, MD, offers advice for managing weight in these patients.