Can psych meds cause a persons head and shoulders to grow

  • Medical
  • Thread starter Forestman
  • Start date
  • #1
212
2
Ever since I have been taking psych meds, since I was 18 I think; my head and shoulders have grown really big. When I graduated from high school I looked completely normal, but now my head and shoulders are gigantic. Plus my back sticks out now. It is like I am a tall hunch back.
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
Ever since I have been taking psych meds, since I was 18 I think; my head and shoulders have grown really big. When I graduated from high school I looked completely normal, but now my head and shoulders are gigantic. Plus my back sticks out now. It is like I am a tall hunch back.
Nobody can give you a diagnosis here, but I'm not aware of any medication you'd possibly be taking could have that effect. This could be a postural issue, a matter of normal muscle growth and issues with body image and perception, or so much else.

To be really blunt, you'd need to list your medications, and even then I don't know that you'd get an answer. Certainly if you're concerned it would be best to speak to you doctor, and if s/he concurs, see a PT or Orthopedist.

The fact that you take medications of any kind doesn't mean that there's a causal relationship, even if what you describe is clinically significant. Your previous mention of repetative head rolling could be a contributing factor, and if you often rock back and forth, or curl into yourself... that can have an effect. Then again, you could have a family history of neck and shoulder issue, etc...

Given the information, I really can't say better than that, sorry Forestman. Maybe Bobze or Moonbear could better help.
 
  • #3
212
2
Thanks anyway though.
 
  • #4
Thanks anyway though.
No problem Forestman, remember once again that bobze and Moonbear are the experts here, so you may well want to wait for them to weigh in at least.

I will say, the fact that you're under medical supervision is a nice change of pace... it's not so worrying when someone asks these questions and you know they have a doctor to go to. I'd just say this: dont' be afraid to ask these questions of your doctor either; you have a right to know and even if this is anxiety... so what? I doubt I need to explain to you how REAL anxiety is, and how much it can effect a person... whatever the cause, this is a good thing to discuss with your doc.
 
  • #5
212
2
You don't have to worry I don't ever have any violent feelings, although if I did not take meds I am sure that I probably would.
 
  • #6
You don't have to worry I don't ever have any violent feelings, although if I did not take meds I am sure that I probably would.
I'm not worried; I don't equate mental illness with violence, at least, not usually not towards others. Based on what you've said, you're living with conditions that are hardly destroying you, and clearly you've been accepting treatment for a while. I'm sorry that people do sometimes leap to conclusions, but in this case believe me, I don't, nor do I judge.

Hell man, what's the point of therapy and medication if you have to walk around like you've been marked anyway? You're doing the right thing, that's all I meant to say.
 
  • #7
212
2
Oh okay. Yeah I am pretty open about having mental problems. I feel that I shouldn't have to keep it a secret. It has gotten me into some situations in the past being so open about things, but I feel that the only way to end stigmas is to bring everything out into the open. I suffer from bipolar, OCD, and schizotypal. If you met me in person though you might not be aware that I had mental problems though, at least not in the very beginning; because I am pretty well medicated.
 
  • #8
Oh okay. Yeah I am pretty open about having mental problems. I feel that I shouldn't have to keep it a secret. It has gotten me into some situations in the past being so open about things, but I feel that the only way to end stigmas is to bring everything out into the open. I suffer from bipolar, OCD, and schizotypal. If you met me in person though you might not be aware that I had mental problems though, at least not in the very beginning; because I am pretty well medicated.
I think you're right about your openness, and having no reason to keep this a secret. I'm just glad that you've found a combination of medications that work for you, too often people struggle terribly with that, sometimes for life; I've seen it... not pretty.

Bottom line: secrets are usually about shame, embarrassment, or fear (realistic or not)... you're right about the need to be open, and it's not as though you're advertising either... it's the medical forum! :smile:
 
  • #9
264
0
Ever since I have been taking psych meds, since I was 18 I think; my head and shoulders have grown really big. When I graduated from high school I looked completely normal, but now my head and shoulders are gigantic. Plus my back sticks out now. It is like I am a tall hunch back.
I'm not aware of any known effects on head and shoulder specifically, but maybe one could experience a modification of his/her body scheme following weight gain. The last is known to be a secondary effect of medication. See http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21050724" [Broken]for example (although I don't expect to teach you something here!).

I am pretty open about having mental problems. I feel that I shouldn't have to keep it a secret.
:smile:
 
Last edited by a moderator:
  • #10
212
2
Thanks for the link Lievo.
 
  • #11
Ever since I have been taking psych meds, since I was 18 I think; my head and shoulders have grown really big. When I graduated from high school I looked completely normal, but now my head and shoulders are gigantic. Plus my back sticks out now. It is like I am a tall hunch back.
I know a lady that is on such meds that too is becoming very large and very hunch backed, I wonder if they are disolving bones in upper spine that hold up the head straight. I remember something about a barrell chest related to breathing patterns in nursing school...
 
  • #12
I know a lady that is on such meds that too is becoming very large and very hunch backed, I wonder if they are disolving bones in upper spine that hold up the head straight. I remember something about a barrell chest related to breathing patterns in nursing school...
I forgot to ask , do you have psorasis problem too? I think Dr Amen has better results with brain scans and nutrition than all these psyche meds, see him on PBS stations and online naturally.
 
  • #13
212
2
Thanks Justablonde I will look into it.

I do get scared when messing with my meds though, last time I went off of abilify I lost the ability to feel emotionally connected to other people, and I became super depressed and almost committed suicide. Never the less though I will check it out. In looks I used to be a A-, but now I am more like a D+. I have to take a lot of stuff too.

If I go without abilify I loose the ability to emotionally connect with other people, I loose a lot of motivation, I start having strange perceptions, and I get super depressed.
If I go without lithium I start feeling super angry and paranoid.
If I go without tregretol l then I loose all impulse control, constantly make up stories, obsessively talk about sexual things, cry all the time, and my IQ seems to drop by about 20 points.
If I go without paxil then my OCD really kicks in and I start seeing horrific images in my mind, and obsess about other things constantly.
If I go without xanx then I have a lot of problems with anxiety.

I have to take this other medicine too, I don't remember what it is called, but it is for the tremors in my hands. Which I have even if I don't take lithium. The older I get the worse the tremors become.
 
Last edited:
  • #14
Thanks Justablonde I will look into it.

I do get scared when messing with my meds though, last time I went off of abilify I lost the ability to feel emotionally connected to other people, and I became super depressed and almost committed suicide. Never the less though I will check it out. In looks I used to be a A-, but now I am more like a D+. I have to take a lot of stuff too.

If I go without abilify I loose the ability to emotionally connect with other people, I loose a lot of motivation, I start having strange perceptions, and I get super depressed.
If I go without lithium I start feeling super angry and paranoid.
If I go without tregretol l then I loose all impulse control, constantly make up stories, obsessively talk about sexual things, cry all the time, and my IQ seems to drop by about 20 points.
If I go without paxil then my OCD really kicks in and I start seeing horrific images in my mind, and obsess about other things constantly.
If I go without xanx then I have a lot of problems with anxiety.

I have to take this other medicine too, I don't remember what it is called, but it is for the tremors in my hands. Which I have even if I don't take lithium. The older I get the worse the tremors become.
Nothing there should cause deformation of the musculature or bones of the back and neck, but it's certainly an impressive list. It's an interesting combination, and clearly very effective at combating very painful and difficult mental states. Given the perceptual issues inherent in some of what you describe, and the low-level tardive dyskinesia might cause some overdevelopment of the rhomboids, trapezius, and smaller muscles of the neck.

It's hard to tell; above all it's just a good thing that you've found a stable group of medications with minimal emphasis on a neuroleptic therapy, and except for xanax (alprazolam) not terribly addictive.
 
  • #15
100
1
I'm not aware of any known effects on head and shoulder specifically, but maybe one could experience a modification of his/her body scheme following weight gain. The last is known to be a secondary effect of medication. See http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21050724" [Broken]for example (although I don't expect to teach you something here!).


:smile:
that is interesting. do the results appear as something similar to cushing's disease? glucocorticoid weirdness would explain a lot.
 
Last edited by a moderator:
  • #16
100
1
Nothing there should cause deformation of the musculature or bones of the back and neck, but it's certainly an impressive list. It's an interesting combination, and clearly very effective at combating very painful and difficult mental states. Given the perceptual issues inherent in some of what you describe, and the low-level tardive dyskinesia might cause some overdevelopment of the rhomboids, trapezius, and smaller muscles of the neck.

It's hard to tell; above all it's just a good thing that you've found a stable group of medications with minimal emphasis on a neuroleptic therapy, and except for xanax (alprazolam) not terribly addictive.
it could be adipose tissue. he mentioned gaining a lot of weight in another thread. corticoid issues might lead to remodeling, too.
 
  • #17
264
0
that is interesting. do the results appear as something similar to cushing's disease? glucocorticoid weirdness would explain a lot.
I won't guess there's a link, but I don't think we know where this effect comes from. Maybe seems the best we can say now.
 
  • #18
it could be adipose tissue. he mentioned gaining a lot of weight in another thread. corticoid issues might lead to remodeling, too.
Yep, that's been mentioned (not by me), but you don't have adipose tissue on the head. At best, you get the back of your neck and back, but your head overall? Then again, Forestman, did you mean your head appears larger to you, or is it around your neck and throat?

I'd add, if that's the case, you may want to be on the lookout for mild sleep apnea.
 
  • #19
100
1
Yep, that's been mentioned (not by me), but you don't have adipose tissue on the head. At best, you get the back of your neck and back, but your head overall? Then again, Forestman, did you mean your head appears larger to you, or is it around your neck and throat?

I'd add, if that's the case, you may want to be on the lookout for mild sleep apnea.
maybe not on the scalp, but it's on the face, isn't it? there is also edema that occurs with obesity.

the only things i can think of that would add mass to bone on the skull would involve growth hormone or androgens, or maybe androgen receptor modulators.
 
  • #20
212
2
Well it is really both, my face has gotten a lot fatter, but the overall size of my head has gotten bigger as well. It has gotten so big that I cannot wear a baseball hat, even if it it fixed at the maximum size.

I do know too that I had an increase in testosterone sometime after high school. During high school I had very little hair on my chest, and no hair on my shoulders. But sometime during the time after high school my chest became very hairy, and my shoulders got hairy as well. Also my voice got a lot deeper as well. In high school my voice sounded kind of like I was gay. Not saying all gay males have a high voice, but sometime after high school my voice really deepened.
 
  • #21
Hmmm... I'm going with Proton Soup here; the face and "collar" up to about an inch above the base of the skull is subject to forming adipose tissue and edema as Proton says. That would potentially change how a hat fits, and give the illusion of a larger head.

Bone remodeling... I've never heard of in this context unless there is some kind of osteoporosis, and that wouldn't make your head any larger. Heck, if our heads could expand, we wouldn't die so easily from a closed head injury... our skulls are a cage for our brains in every concievable way.

As for the rest Forestman, that's just puberty, it's an ongoing process for men sometimes into their early 20's when medications are involved. You shouldn't be concerned from what you've described unless your doctor is.
 
  • #22
212
2
I think that there is something up with my head. I don't know what it is though. If I try to put on a baseball hat I am unable to get it down to my neck. To where there would be extra fat.

Yeah, I thought that was part of puberty, I just brought it up because it was like I was having a second one, and I thought that perhaps that might have contributed to my head size in some way given that testosterone is a hormone. I already had a lot of testosterone in my system because my muscles were really big in high school.

Thank you to everyone though for giving their input in on the subject.
 
Last edited:
  • #23
OK, I've done a bit of research:

You absolutely do NOT have a larger head, this is genuinely impossible unless you're a ghost typing... in which case I need MY head examined.

You absolutely an have fat (adipose tissue) up to the level of tops of your ears. In addition, you can have a LOT of edema (fluid) in the back portion, wrapping around your "collar", and all of that would change your hat-size.

In general, looking in the mirror this is going to look like a bigger head.

Now, on to the shoulders: back fat! You can be only modestly overweight, but the remodeling mentioned earlier could easily cause adipose tissue to be deposited on the upper back below the neck, and that also is prone to edema.

When you add a muscular torso and shoulders to that, you could have a very "top-heavy" look. The good news is that this is NOT a hormonal issue, nor is it likely to be a perceptual issue on your part. Do you smoke cigarettes, and eat a lot of salt? Either or both could be a contributing factor, but your medications and natural body-type are the likely culprits.

From what I can find, there is little to no health risk beyond the normal risks associated with carrying extra weight. In short, while this may not be your ideal body-shape, your medications work, you interact with the world and seem to enjoy life. I'd say a bit of fat is a VERY good trade, having seen people with your illnesses for whom medication doesn't help.

So, time for a new hat, and if you want your doctor might have advice as to how to burn off some of this or otherwise fight the remodeling.

Biggest point: This is temporary, change meds, or lifestyle, and this will change as well. Still, you'e on a good list of medications, far milder than some... I'd stick with what you're doing in your place.
 
  • #24
212
2
Oh okay, your probably right.
 
  • #25
Oh okay, your probably right.
Unless I'm not! :wink:

Just kidding, I think Proton got there first anyway.
 

Related Threads on Can psych meds cause a persons head and shoulders to grow

Replies
12
Views
4K
Replies
2
Views
4K
Replies
31
Views
23K
Replies
21
Views
7K
Replies
3
Views
3K
Replies
8
Views
15K
Replies
4
Views
27K
  • Last Post
Replies
2
Views
3K
  • Last Post
Replies
15
Views
1K
Replies
10
Views
23K
Top