Burned Out, Distressed, Depressed or Crazy?

Warning - Rambling post to follow

I am in the depths of a burnout right now. I was initially diagnosed T2 5 years ago but after about 6 months could never gain control. I lost 70 pounds and thought I should be able to reduce my meds or even reverse T2, but my numbers stayed high. In May I saw a different doctor who did more blood work and changed my diagnosis to T1 (really LADA T1.5). I got on a CGM and was initially successful, but now there are days where I just don't care. I have taken great lengths to educate myself on multiple daily injections to manage my disease, but it is really wearing on my right now.

I am so very tired of the grind - the daily grind of calibrating the meter, taking the base dose shot, calculating the meal bolus and adjustment, watching the CGM go up then back down, figuring out the snack, calculating the lunch bolus, watching the CGM go up then back down, do I need a shot for that snack? - dinner bolus, ah crap I am low now - chomp glucose tablets, evening basal shot, calibrate the meter again - etc. etc. etc. At the same time, I am trying to be a good husband, good father to two boys, project manage a global deployment, keep track of the home budget and be a cub scout leader - it's just too much sometimes.

Now the sometimes too much is more like all the time, I know I need to wrestle the control back, but I just don't care.

I have been reading about diabetes distress, depression and other emotional/behavioral side effects and know something is cooking but I am not sure what exactly. I know I need to get out of this rut and take action to correct my current direction, but I just don't care.

Or am I crazy here?

Hi BradyBug,
I'm a T2 on insulin. I understand burnout and depression because until recently my diabetes was out of control, and I had spit out the bit. I'm doing much better now, and one thing I noticed is how much my mood has lifted. My doctor told me that the large swings in BG contribute to depression.

You're not crazy. It is a grind, especially when you are not seeing any apparent benefits. My mother, a T2, calls it the B word.

Take care. I hope you get your illness under control and that your depression lifts soon. Visit your doctor--he or she may be able to help.

No you’re not crazy Stephen, the book Diabetes Burnout: What to do when you can’t take it anymore, by William Polonsky might be worth taking a look at…

Lilli - that has been on my Kindle for awhile, I started reading it last night after posting the above pity party

There are also some videos in the Tudiabetes video section that discuss this issue. Joe Solowiejczyk, Ginger Viera and Dr. Polonsky have been interviewed in the past and talked about burnout. I don’t think anyone escapes it.

Boy oh Boy do I feel for you. This is an unrelenting disease that takes up quite a lot of brain space. I think we all go through burn out at different times. I was diagnosed 20 years ago and never new any other T1D's until one year ago. I found a T1D women's support group ~ this has been so helpful in not feeling so alone. It helps to talk with others who share some of our same frustrations. Have you looked to see if there are any support groups in your area? Good luck and remember none of us are perfect but we are all perfectly wonderful in how we persevere.

I'm sorry you're feeling bad. I don't know how much you know about your diabetes but I know when I learned HOW I could better control my diabetes with the book THINK LIKE A PANCREAS and started working on that control, I felt so much better emotionally and physically. It's amazing how a good blood sugar can bring up your spirits.
This is a never ending disease that takes so much time. I understand how you can have burnout with all your other responsibilities in your life. Remember though that if you feel better, your going to take your other responsibilities better too. Good Luck, I truly hope that you will be feeling better soon.

Firstly, I love rambling posts, I wish more people had the strength to express their true feelings. Second, your not crazy, your a diabetic(or PWD)! And all the diabetic paraphernalia does become a handful, Mr.CGM caused me a great deal of anxiety when I first met him, all the ups and downs had me getting all caught up in treating and correcting. Since then we made up and have a functional relationship (my diabetes educator can take credit for that). Taking on diabetes yourself can be daunting, building a support system is imperative, My advice is find an educator and if possible find some other diabetics to meet up with to bounce things off. Thanks for posting!!!

You are not crazy. In fact, I think you are NORMAL!! I have had Type 1 for 31 years and have had many episodes like this. Depression comes with it. This is such a demanding disease and there is no break, vacation, or timeout. Nobody else can operate as a pancreas for you! My hubby is a CDE and won't even do it a day for me. Make small changes and set small goals. Be kind to yourself. Take some time to smell the roses and maybe take a "vacation" from diabetes by decreasing your testing. Perhaps consider wearing a pump, as there I a lot less poking when compared to MDI. All in all, be honest with yourself. Ask yourself what you need, as you are going to be the only one who knows. Remember, you did not sign up for this and honestly I don't think anyone would. Two weeks ago I totally lost it while getting ready for a wedding. No rhyme or reason. I had an "F" fit, as I call it. F this. F that. Totally NOT my norm. After I locked myself in the bathroom for ten minutes and yelled and screamed at my reflection, I sat and cried for a long time. There is a part of grieving that I go through every once and a while when I just want to be "normal". The breakdown was triggered by not being able to hide my pump under the dress I wanted to wear. I was so angry. I just want to be anonymous sometimes. No tubing sticking out. No beeping and no vibrating. I am still trying to come out of this little stint of burnout. Always remember that it is only a number and you are doing the very best that you can. Sit around with others who "get it" and make jokes about it. I recently started a support group for those type 1's that I know where there is really nothing available to us. We call ourselves Needles Anonymous and "we have fingertips of steel and fight diabetes one prick at a time." No, we are not all women either. Our ages range from 67 to 28. Just having someone to talk to is so helpful. I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers. I believe that this can also make a big difference. I dealt with a lot of anger at God at one point. I looked up and flipped him off basically. God is a big God and he can handle our anger. He knows anyway....so why hide from it. Accepting diabetes is an awful thing to have to do, but once you accept it, you will not be fighting it anymore. I know that five years ago I started to become unaware of my hypoglycemic episodes. I have a DAD. Best thing I ever did. He helps to calm me when I am down because of a high and he keeps me from dangerous lows. He woke me in the middle of the night at 45 mg/dl. Saves my life everyday and he just keeps me smiling, laughing, and testing without judgment and nagging. I am so sorry that you are experiencing this, but I do want you to know that this is a boat that many of us ride every now and again. I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers. Best wishes.