Anxiety and Depression

Has anyone conquered anxiety and depression without medication. I’ve tried 4 antidepressants now and the side effects were horrendous. My gp and psychiatrist are pushing me to try another. My weight and physical health are suffering from stress but I just don’t won’t to go through it again - More side effects etc. I’ve been a worrier all my life and diabetes and it’s complications make it worse. I see a psychologist also and she’s lovely but doesn’t really get what it’s like to live with a chronic disease like type 1. Any advice ??

I am so sorry you are going through diabetes and mental issues. I have always felt and now more than ever feel diabetes is more mental than anything else.
I was finally diagnosed with depression after probably suffering with for over 20years. Depression finally came up during a GP visit. So we tried medications. Over the years, I tried just about all of them. I never had any real side effects, just nothing worked.
I was so very, very fortunate to live in San Diego and at the time the Behavioral Diabetes Institute was doing one day workshops. I went and was told I wasn’t suffering from burnout but depression. I attended their weekly depression class and it was in a class setting and we used cognitive behavior therapy. It took awhile but working with a group of people with diabetes helped a lot. Everyone got what I was going through and everyone understood that diabetes kinda sets us up for failure. Which is one of my core beliefs. That I was a failure and I was not good enough.
I know trying to find a mental professional who understands diabetes is so very hard but I am hoping your medical team can help you find someone. And if you have a good relationship with your current doctor, maybe you can ask about CBT. Good luck and I am hoping you find the joy again.

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Thank you for your reply. My psychiatrist is trying to find me a psychologist who specialises in chronic diseases like type 1. It’s hard battling depression and diabetes as you know but I really don’t want to try medication for it again. It has its place and works great for some but I think it’s more stressful for me.

Yeah, I hear you, that like most things with diabetes what works for one might not work for the next. Drugs help many, many people but not everyone.
And the sad thing with depression, is it makes a person not care about anything. So when dealing with diabetes and depression, it is so hard for people to just do the basics, like testing or taking insulin or going for a walk or making dinner. Just things we have to do day in and day out become something we don’t care about. That big deep black hole is so very hard to climb out of. I am hoping you can find someone you can talk with. Maybe therapy and medication can help. I hope things start to look and feel a little better. For me I would sleep my whole day away if I could. So my little baby steps at first was to walk around the block after I dropped the kids off at school before I would climb back into bed. Just little baby steps. Good luck!

Clinically significant depression is distinguished from reactive depression, which is any perfectly normal response to a saddening situation. The former condition is deemed to require treatment while the latter is not. The problem comes when reactive depression is defined as ‘temporary’ without the people writing the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of the American Psychiatric Association having enough sense to realize that many normally saddening situations not only persist and never go away, but they also keep changing or getting worse so the person can never psychologically adjust to them. One of the latter situations arises when someone with diabetes has a perfectly normal response of sadness to a sad disease which continues for ever and so is sad forever. This should not be regarded as clinical depression!

The defenders of the diagnostic clinical entity of depression always say that there are chemical changes in the brain with the overt symptoms of depression that prove that the diagnosis identifies a real clinical entity, but since those chemical changes are literally never made to diagnose a patient with depression, the theoretical posit of a chemical change underlying the disease doesn’t help to certify the diagnosis in any given case. Finally, given that all mental states correspond to physical changes in the brain, the chemical changes in the brain said to confirm that there really is a disease called depression could just be the perfectly normal correlates of finding yourself in an objectively sad situation.

But of course, pretending there is a real and widespread clinical entity called depression is a handy way to make tons of money for Big Pharma.

Thanks for your support.

Yes I would certainly believe there is a ton of money being made from antidepressants. I’m surprised how doctors really push for medication without offering alternatives or combination of therapies.

Yes but thinking big pharma is why so many have depression is a very sad statement.
And yes, there are different degrees to depression. The horrific sadness I felt with the death of each of my parents was a very sad point in my life but I would not say I was depressed.
My depression was controlling my life. I, at the time of my diagnosis (finally) had a wonderful family with a wonderful husband and two beautiful children. A great job, friends and family. But I had pulled away from everyone and everything. I did what I needed to. I got up, I went to work, I got the kids from school, I did my volunteer time at school. I did what I needed to do to be the Mom, wife, manager I needed to be. But I had lost the joy. I had lost a purpose for my life. There were days I struggled with why I should bother. Sleep was my escape. I could sleep all day and sleep all night. My days off, I would drop the kids off at school and than just climb right back into bed. It was brutal. I had lost all passions and fun in my life.
And while I took “care”of my diabetes, it wasn’t a huge part of my day. I took my insulin, I would test and i’d guess on carb totals and missed most times. A1c’s running in the 8’s. I just did the basics. When you are that fall down the black bottomless hole, you just don’t care! The only thing that kept me from just ending it was my family.
And when I finally got the help I needed, I realized a lot of the press of daily diabetes just feed my insecurities. So during my treatment diabetes was a big part of it.
The rate of diabetes and depression is very high. It, like any chronic condition can be mentally exhausting. I probably was depressed most of my teen years and didn’t realize it. I just thought that was the way everyone felt.
I just wish the mental side of this disease would get the attention it needs. Some endos now have each patient fill out a form in the waiting room. Things are starting to change but not as fast as they should!

So much of what is diagnosed as clinical depression, that is, a supposed ‘chemical imbalance’ in the brain that needs correction by super-expensive pills sold for high profits by the pharmaceutical industry, is really just perfectly normal unhappiness because of persisting problems. Many people diagnosed as clinically depressed would immediately improve if their objective problems were removed, so if poor people had more money, if chronically ill people were cured, or if people in a bad marriage were divorced, the ‘chemical imbalance’ in the brain would just disappear. So these are not really chemical imbalance problems, but difficult life problems.

Interestingly, one symptom of the worst psychiatric disorder, schizophrenia, is what has been called ‘la belle indifference,’ or an emotionally flat reaction to events which would provoke great sadness in normal people. So if you respond to bad things in your life with indifference, you are treated for schizophrenia, and if you respond to bad things in your life with sadness, you are treated for depression. One way or the other you’re going to be inducted into the medicalized population to enlarge medicine’s customer plantation to keep the profits flowing.