Thursday, March 29, 2012

Weight Gain, Smoking, and Mental Illness

“A healthy attitude is contagious but don’t wait to catch it from others. Be a carrier,” Tom Stoppard.

The prevalence of people on psychotropic medications to manage their symptoms has a correlating effect on weight gain and smoking, but there is hope. 

People living with a mental illness can often prevent or reverse the side effects of weight gain and can choose not to smoke by deciding to live a better life and always having a goal of fitness and good health in mind.

Schizophrenic patients tend to be extremely sedentary, and many -- an estimated 70%-90% -- are heavy smokers. The combination of physical inactivity and taking meds that cause weight gain can also take its toll.

It may not be as easy, but with the right supports in place, quitting for good can be done by anyone. Only YOU must make it happen. 

Here are some personal suggestions culled from the mistakes I have learned from: first, seek out medical advice, both from your primary care provider and your mental health provider; second, educate yourself on your illness, its symptoms, and ways to avoid any side effects; third, live a more healthier life by exercising, quitting smoking, and changing your diet.

Your body and your mind will thank you for it.

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