If you've been on an antidepressant and you think your clothes are getting tighter, you're not imagining it. Research has shown that many people add pounds when they're on antidepressants. And certain antidepressants, such as a class of medications known as monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs), are more likely to cause weight gain than the newer, more popular selective serotinin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). Still, weight gain is a reported side effect of nearly all antidepressants on the market today.

The exact reasons behind this weight gain have eluded scientists, but they've put forth a couple of theories. One is that antidepressants, particularly MAOIs, block certain receptors in the brain and cause an increase in appetite. Another is that depression may initially cause weight loss because people stop eating normally. When their mood is restored thanks to medication, they may resume their normal appetite and regain the pounds. It's also possible that the pounds are creeping on simply due to overeating, which also can happen when someone is depressed.

While doctors can't predict who will gain weight on antidepressants, it's been shown that if you gain weight within about a week of starting a medication, you're more likely to experience a significant weight gain over time. Some people gain up to 7 percent of their body weight on antidepressants, which exposes them to a whole host of other conditions and diseases.

If you're concerned about your weight and think your antidepressant has something to do with it, talk to your doctor. You might need to adjust your dosage or switch medications entirely. But before you take such a drastic step, consider your diet. Are you eating healthfully, stopping when you're full, or are you indulging in junk food and extra snacks to make yourself feel better? Also, make sure you're fitting in regular exercise. Too often, depression leads to inertia. Make it a point to move around every day, incorporating restorative walks or yoga sessions into your routine if you're not up for anything more strenuous.