Wellbutrin For Weight Loss: Miracle Drug Or Silly Snake Oil?

Wellbutrin For Weight Loss: Miracle Drug Or Silly Snake Oil?

In my last article I talked a lot of trash about people with depression. Kind of ironic considering that I can’t live without my Wellbutrin.

What is that, you ask? Well it’s only the best medication ever to be invented. It makes you happy, increases verbal fluency, and allows you to work on things that would normally feel like a grind without wanting to kill yourself.

And most importantly, with Wellbutrin, weight loss is a piece of cake.

Should you take Wellbutrin for weight loss?

(turn the sound up on this video)

If you’re wondering if you should take Wellbutrin for weight loss, the answer is a resounding POSSIBLY.

Originally developed as an antidepressant, Wellbutrin (chemical name: Bupropion) is one of the most effective drugs that I’ve ever taken.

Technically a norepinephrine-dopamine reuptake inhibitor, it’s been found to have several other pretty cool uses over the years.

Prescribed under the name Zyban, it has been shown to be effective as a smoking cessation aid.

I started taking Wellbutrin back when I was 19. I had just wasted my first year at university getting high and not going to class, so after failing everything across the board, I was re-absorbed into my parents’ household.

During this particular time period, I was not in a good place.

I had stopped working out, wasn’t eating healthy food, and was literally just sitting around all day getting high and watching porn. I had no motivation to do anything and to say I was depressed would have been an understatement.

When I moved back, my parents fortunately decided to give me some tough love and whip me into shape. One of the first things they did was take me to a shrink to get me on some medication.

I naturally fought them every step of the way, but when you’re 19 and financially dependent on your parents, you don’t really have much say in the matter.

My interaction with the shrink went something like this:

Him: How are you?

Me: Good.

Him: Really? You seem depressed.

Me: Nah, I just hate my parents.

Him: No. You’re depressed. I’m going to write you a prescription for Wellbutrin.

Me: What? No, I don’t want –

Him: That’ll be $250.

Me: But –

Him: NEXT!

I’m only half joking here. It really was kind of like that

Wellbutrin: life on easy mode

Wellbutrin: weight loss is a SIDE EFFECT?

Taking Wellbutrin turned out to be one of the best decisions I ever made. It helped me with so many things.

At the time, I was already underweight and didn’t really need to lose any more. However, it helped me with several other areas of my life that indirectly helped me to add mass.

Here were some of the benefits of Wellbutrin that I experienced:

  1. Wellbutrin made studying in school easier
  2. I had more power/motivation in the gym from Wellbutrin
  3. Wellbutrin made socializing easier
  4. Wellbutrin cured my depression

I’ll go over those in a second, but suffice to say that the next two years of my life were some of the most productive that I had ever experienced up until that point. I eventually stopped taking it when I thought I didn’t need it anymore – which turned out to be a huge mistake, especially considering the consequences. But we’ll get that in a later section.

Wellbutrin for weight loss and… ADHD?

Wellbutrin for weight loss and... ADHD?

First of all, I think ADHD is a fake disease. It’s really just a medical term for “people being forced to study boring things.”

Case in point, I found it virtually impossible to sit in class and take notes on something boring like plate tectonics. But I could play video games for 16 hours a day during a free weekend. Explain that.

You can’t, because there’s no such thing as “selective ADHD.” Either you can’t concentrate on one thing or you can. I, like most people, had absolutely no problem concentrating on things that I personally found interesting.

The problem comes when our modern world funnels people into boring schools and lifeless jobs and expects them to perform like robots.

It violates our human need for freedom, which is why I believe so many people (at least in America) have so many mental problems.

But all that said, once I started taking the Wellbutrin, I had no problem studying at all.

Taking the earlier example, I used to have trouble taking notes in class on things that I found boring. But give me 300 mg of Bupropion and watch me voluntarily sit in the front row and write down every word that comes out of the professor’s mouth.

But more than that, I actually enjoyed it.

I’m not sure if it was a result of the improved mood I felt on Wellbutrin, or just the fact that the increased productivity made me feel better about myself. Maybe a little bit of both. But I would even say that I enjoyed going to school.

Wellbutrin for weight loss, happiness, and… mad gainz?

Wellbutrin for weight loss, happiness, and... mad gainz?

Another crazy thing that happened to me when I started taking Wellbutrin (weight loss aside), was that I found I had more power in the gym.

I’ve said this before, but the best way that I can describe my increased energy in the gym would be to say that I was possessed by some sort of spiritual creature that was moving my body for me during my workouts.

I’m not sure if this is what an out of body experience is like, but it felt like I was being moved by a puppeteer while doing my training.

I can still picture myself now, watching my arms rise and fall in a bicep curl, thinking to myself, “how am I doing this?”

Now that I think about it, that’s the same feeling I had when I would be in class studying something. I didn’t especially WANT to sit in the front of the class and take notes, but I did.

I can’t really explain why this happens, although I’m sure it has to do with the epinephrine/dopamine reuptake-ness of Wellbutrin. I don’t want to get too bogged down in the science because at the end of the day, who really knows how accurate it is?

But practically speaking, I crushed it in the gym.

And as I mentioned earlier in the article, using Wellbutrin for weight loss is a real thing. That’s not to say that it’s okay to not exercise.

Wellbutrin won’t build muscle for you if you don’t work out. You will lose weight on Wellbutrin, but that’s only because it’ll curb your appetite. I probably should have mentioned that earlier, but that’s really what’s happening.

Despite being underweight at the time, the way I managed to offset this was to do hypertrophic bodybuilding workouts designed to build muscle.

Is Wellbutrin ALSO a social anxiety killer?

Wellbutrin: weight loss wonder AND social anxiety killer?

Fast forward many years in the future.

I had stopped taking Wellbutrin about two years after starting, never picking it back up again.

I can only imagine what my life would have been like if I had continued to take it that entire time.

Anyway, during another especially dark period of my life, I decided to start taking it again.

I’ve mentioned this before in other articles, but I was totally broke, depressed, and driving for Uber. I had no money, no aspirations, and the only thing I had going for me were my 10:15 yoga classes at Equinox. Those were my anti-depressants.

I was already thin – so taking the Wellbutrin for weight loss wasn’t really my main motivation. But my health was the only thing I had going for me.

After I started taking the Wellbutrin again, I experienced all the same effects as before: increased motivation, better mood, slight suppression in appetite.

But one thing that I noticed was that when I would drive passengers around, my small talk skills would go through the roof.

I did face-to-face retail sales for 7+ years, selling hair products to women in shopping malls around the world. My chit chat skills were already on point, but I noticed that on Wellbutrin, they were even more powerful.

Oftentimes, I would find myself coming up with witty comebacks and clever insights completely unconsciously. Again, it was like some spiritual being was inserting the words into my mouth without me having to put any effort into it at all.

When I’m talking to people today, this still happens all the time.

As a digital nomad, I travel frequently and spend a lot of time in dormitory-style housing. As a result, I meet a ton of people from all over the world. Talking to them is not always easy, as there is a lot of awkwardness involved when you meet new people.

Add to that the fact that some of these people (not me of course) are also very awkward, and it can be difficult to come up with clever ways of keeping the conversation running smoothly.

But not on Wellbutrin.

Sure, using Wellbutrin for weight loss is a no-brainer. But even if it wasn’t, I would still use it for the verbal fluency.

Wellbutrin for weight loss = great. Wellbutrin for depression = miraculous

Wellbutrin for weight loss = great. Wellbutrin for depression = miraculous

I’m not a doctor so legally I’m not allowed to give medical advice.

But I can tell you from personal experience that this drug has been instrumental during periods of my life where I’ve been productive.

I could give countless examples of how it’s helped me to start businesses, publish multiple thousand word articles daily, and charm strangers in seconds by saying the right thing at the right time.

Were these all results of Wellbutrin helping me with my depression? Or did my improved life and healthier habits cure my depression?

I don’t know, and to be honest I don’t really care either. I’m a practical man. I focus on results.

And the bottom line is that at the end of the day, I feel amazing when I take Wellbutrin and I feel gross when I don’t.

If I miss a dose or run out before my refill comes around, I am irritable and quick to anger. I don’t have any motivation to do anything, let alone work on any of my long term goals.

Sure, I may experience more intense emotional highs, but the lows.. oh God the lows.

It reminds me of the Nietzsche quote:

“Ah women, they make the highs higher and the lows more frequent.”

If we were to restructure that for Wellbutrin, we’d say something like:

“Ah Wellbutrin, it makes the highs lower and the lows less frequent.”

Describing it like that may make it seem like it’s not worth taking.

After all, who would want to take Wellbutrin for weight loss if it made you feel emotionally blunted all the time?

I’ll tell you who: people who are predisposed to negative thoughts, that’s who.

People like me, who automatically find fault with everything, even ultimately productive pursuits that would improve my life.

Sure, I guess you could make the argument that this spiritual being – The Wellbutrin Fairy – that is responsible for moving my arms at the gym, my fingers while taking notes, and my mouth while talking to random strangers, maybe she’s just giving me fake energy that is ultimately preventing me from focusing on something that would TRULY make me happy.

Not the Wellbutrin me, but the “real” me. Whatever that means.

That’s a valid argument.

But that’s the problem with valid arguments: they sound great as an argument. But in reality, they don’t actually make your life any better.

You’ll hear me say all the time that I don’t care about science beyond giving it a cursory glance. This is why.

I want to know if something WORKS.

I want to know what the effects have been on real people.

Data-driven science is great and has given the world a lot, but I believe it fails the individual. I’d rather read trip reports than scientific studies when making decisions on what drugs or supplements to start taking.

But hey, that’s just me. I could be wrong.

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