Handling Reactions to Rapid Weight Change from Mental Illness

December 1, 2020 Court Rundell

Rapid weight change due to mental illness is challenging enough without dealing with people's reactions. I've experienced rapid weight loss and gain on three separate occasions. The most dramatic weight change I survived was a 30-pound loss that left me looking like a skeleton with dark circles under my eyes. The only thing more shocking was people telling me how great I looked.

As infuriating as these reactions were, I learned that my rapid weight change created an opportunity to start talking about mental illness.

What I Learned from My Rapid Weight Change from Mental Illness

The two times I lost a lot of weight rapidly, the reactions were either congratulatory or shaming. Yes, skinny-shaming is a thing. I also gained 30-pounds in three weeks once and experienced fat-shaming as well, but only from those closest to me. For some reason, it's more acceptable to talk openly about weight loss than gain.

Every type of reaction about my weight made me feel exposed, insecure, and ashamed until I realized those reactions were actually opportunities to talk about mental illness out in the open. I was tired of feeling uncomfortable about something I had no control over, so I turned the tables and let them be uncomfortable for a while. Becoming comfortable talking about my struggles with rapid weight change because of my mental illnesses opened the door to my advocacy journey. 

Dealing with the Reactions People Have to Rapid Weight Change from Mental Illness

My biggest learning was far beyond how to handle other people's reactions. Watch the video below to find out more about that learning. Please share with me your experiences of rapid weight change due to mental illness in the comments -- I'd love to hear from you.

APA Reference
Rundell, C. (2020, December 1). Handling Reactions to Rapid Weight Change from Mental Illness, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, July 16 from

Author: Court Rundell

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