Am I Blue?

(Reprinted from the Barbara Thompson Newsletter
dated Feb 15, 2008)

It's a gloomy time of the year, with days shorter and often overcast.  You're tired of the cold weather and yearning for Spring.  This time of the year we are particularly vulnerable to depression. To deal with that depression many of us turn to antidepressant medication.  However, many of the antidepressants cause us to gain weight.  And the extra weight can cause us to be depressed.  It's a vicious cycle.

The reason that some antidepressants cause us to gain weight is that some of them block the histamine receptor.  And when histamine isn't working our appetite increases we get hungry and we eat.

The antidepressants that may cause the most weight gain are Paxil, Zoloft, Remeron and Luvox. Cymbalta is advertised as not causing weight gain. Prozac and Wellbutrin sometimes cause weight decrease. For a more thorough list of antidepressants and their effects, go to If you are taking an antidepressant that is known to cause weight gain and you are gaining, talk to your doctor about the possibility of switching.

It is widely recognized that depression can be effectively treated with exercise so you may not need an antidepressant. Even a little bit of exercise will help how you feel. What better reason to exercise?

Remember that in a little over than a month Spring will be here and your depression might lift without the use of medication.