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Ariel Winter just underlined one of the most frustrating side-effects of antidepressants

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Kayleigh Dray
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Modern Family’s Ariel Winters dyes hair from black to red

It may not something that many people talk about, but the Modern Family star has determined to be as open as possible about her journey to mental wellness.

From Jennifer Aniston, to Renee Zellweger, to Claudia Winkleman, it’s no secret that women in the public eye constantly find themselves under pressure to look a certain way. The same is true of Modern Family’s Ariel Winter, who has found her body the subject of many tabloid headlines and hateful comments on social media of late.

Despite there being so many who felt it was their duty to a) comment on Winter’s body in the first place, and b) criticise her for losing weight, one particularly nasty comment stood out in particular.

Shared on an Instagram photo, a social media troll insisted that Winter’s weight loss was due to “all the coke she uses”, saying she “literally lost 30 [pounds]” by doing so.

At the time, Winter kept her response as flippant as possible, writing: “Yes, my psychiatrist switched me from my previous antidepressant that didn’t work and made me gain weight, to coke/meth!

“Definitely not a new one that worked and then regulated my metabolism. Coke/meth was a controversial decision but she stands by it.”

Now, though, the actress has addressed the weight fluctuations caused by her antidepressants in a more serious manner, calling it one of the most “frustrating” aspects of her journey to mental wellness.

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Responding to a fan’s query in a Q&A session Instagram Stories, Winter wrote: “For years I had been on antidepressants that caused me to gain weight that I couldn’t lose no matter what I did,” she wrote.

“It was always frustrating for me because I wanted to be able to get fit and feel like the work I was doing was paying off, but it never felt that way. I had accepted it and moved on.”

Winter continued: “I stayed on those medications for so long because the process is really long and difficult. I wasn’t ready to go through it again so I just accepted feeling eh instead of trying to find something to actually feel better.

“Last year I decided I was sick of feeling [eh] (had nothing to do with weight), so I started the process again and was able to find a great combination of medication that works for me.”

Explaining that it was a change which worked for her, Winter added: “The change in medication instantly made me drop all of the weight I couldn’t lose before by just giving me back a metabolism. That was very unexpected.

“While I feel better mentally with the change, and it’s nice to work out and have your body actually respond, but I want to gain a few pounds of muscle and get healthier.

“Also, I want my butt back…”

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Loss of appetite, diarrhoea, constipation, indigestion, stomach aches and weight fluctuations are all common side effects of taking antidepressants, according to the NHS

Depression, according to Mind, is a low mood that causes us to feel sad, hopeless, or miserable about life; these feelings last for a long time, and usually affect our everyday life.

Psychological symptoms include:

  • Feeling upset or tearful
  • Finding no pleasure in life or the things you usually enjoy
  • Feeling isolated and unable to relate to others
  • Experiencing a sense of unreality
  • Finding yourself unable to concentrate
  • Feeling hopeless, empty, or numb

Physical symptoms include:

  • Losing interest in sex
  • Difficulty sleeping, or sleeping too much
  • Physical aches and pains with no cause
  • Feeling tired all the time
  • Moving very slowly
  • Having no appetite and losing weight, or eating too much and gaining weight

However, while there are many signs and symptoms, everyone’s experience of depression will vary. As a general rule of thumb, mental health experts advise that you visit your GP if you experience symptoms of depression for most of the day, every day, for more than two weeks.

You can find out more information – including a series of approved self-care tips – on the Mind website.

Image: Getty

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Kayleigh Dray

Kayleigh Dray is Stylist’s digital editor-at-large. Her specialist topics include comic books, films, TV and feminism. On a weekend, you can usually find her drinking copious amounts of tea and playing boardgames with her friends.

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