Having Schizoaffective Disorder and Being 'Hangry'

April 27, 2023 Elizabeth Caudy

Today I'd like to share the challenges I face balancing weight loss and avoiding becoming "hangry" (hungry plus angry) with schizoaffective disorder.

Medication for Schizoaffective Disorder Triggers Being Hangry

I'm trying to lose weight because I have early-onset osteoarthritis in my knees, and I'm trying to take pressure off of them. I shouldn't say I'm "trying" to lose weight. I've already lost almost 20 pounds. But weight can fluctuate, which can be maddening, as dieters well know.

I weighed myself two mornings ago. I had gained four pounds, and I was crushed. I knew I had let myself indulge in foods I wouldn't normally eat before my birthday and on my birthday, which was April 15, but four pounds is tough to face.

So, how do I lose the four pounds and, in the longer term, continue to diet without getting hangry? The other culprit at play here is that the medications I'm on for schizoaffective disorder induce weight gain, partly because they make me eat more. They make me hungrier.

I don't know if my nutritionist and my dietician understand this. They expect me to eat only four times a day, and they probably wouldn't approve of the fact that the way I try to do this is to cram as much (healthy, protein-rich) food in my mouth as I can at mealtime.

Gosh, I'm getting hungry even writing this. And I just had lunch.

Losing Weight If You Have Schizoaffective Disorder, You Don't Want to Be Hangry, and You're Not a Robot

When I told my therapist I was expected to eat no more than four times a day, including one small snack, she said that was absurd. When I asked her why, she said it was because I'm not a robot.

I know it's also absurd that I let it ruin my day that I had gained four pounds over two "cheat" days. As I said before, weight fluctuates. And as much as I may say I'm not giving into diet culture even by going on a diet, becoming so upset by gaining four pounds means I've clearly bought into diet culture.

I'll have to find a mindset to stick with this diet without buying into the diet culture of guilt and the diet yo-yo. That said, if all the sugar and carbohydrates I ate over just two days are why I gained so much weight, this should be easy. I'll just go back to eating foods that are low in sugar and carbs. In short: I will do what I've been doing for months now and eat healthy foods until I'm not stuffed but satisfied. That way, I'll lose weight without getting hangry.

It may not be healthy to be overweight, but it's not healthy to be hungry, either, especially if you have a mental illness.

APA Reference
Caudy, E. (2023, April 27). Having Schizoaffective Disorder and Being 'Hangry', HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, June 18 from

Author: Elizabeth Caudy

Elizabeth Caudy was born in 1979 to a writer and a photographer. She has been writing since she was five years old. She has a BFA from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago and an MFA in photography from Columbia College Chicago. She lives outside Chicago with her husband, Tom. Find Elizabeth on Google+ and on her personal blog.

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