Modern Family star Ariel Winter warned fans on Monday that, although she’s lost quite a bit of weight after switching antidepressants, not all users should expect the same results.
As Yahoo Lifestyle reports, the 21-year-old actor has been open about her body issues, as well as her mental health, for quite some time now. And on Monday, she and her Instagram fans had a public conversation about the effects her medicines have had on her weight.
In the comments on Ariel’s Monday Instagram post, in which she showed off her bright red hair and her slimmed-down figure, one fan noted that antidepressants can cause some users to lose weight and some users to gain weight. He or she asked Ariel to name the medicines she switched to and from.
Other users shared their experiences with antidepressants and weight loss and/or weight gain. But then, Ariel herself joined the conversation. She started off by stating that she wasn’t going to name the specific medicines she switched to or from, and then went on to explain why.
“My psychiatrist (& therapist) both advised me that it could potentially be harmful to anyone who thinks that since it worked for me it will automatically work for them.”
She then went on to explain things a bit further. For example, she mentioned at least one medication as an example that caused weight loss for her but could cause weight gain in others, explaining that people are different and that not everybody reacts the same way to the same medications. She then explained that she’s used over 10 different antidepressants over the course of her life, and that, like all patients with clinical depression, it can be a long process of trying different things before finding the right medicine.
Antidepressants can cause weight loss or weight gain in different patients because of several factors, according to the Psychopharmacology Institute. For example, some depression patients self-medicate through overeating; when their depression is controlled, they eat less and lose weight. In other patients, depression suppresses their appetite, and when their depression is controlled, their appetites return, causing weight gain. And of course, there are other physiological and psychiatric factors at play as well.
As for Ariel, she’s been exceptionally forthright about her personal struggles with mental health and with her body. A few years ago, for example, she underwent breast reduction surgery, proudly showing off her new figure and clapping back at haters and shamers.