Define this "burnout"?

Its a blanket term, but what does it mean, "burnout"?

How do we define that term with regard to our diabetes so that we know it describes us or does not? Anybody care to take a shot at this one... define how it (Burnout) presents itself either to ourselves our families, or our larger community in general?


i can only speak for myself stuart as far as what I see the terminology as… i’ve been a T2 for about 8 years and have gone through many changes psychologically and emotionally. I have my Dr. visits every three months and am motivated and feel good after I see him, but every couple months i just start feeling down, fatigued and general “burn-out” in what it takes on a daily basis to keep this disease under control. I personally just get sick and tired of being sick and tired. But we find a way to dig deep and do the best we can to try and do the smart things to keep ourselves under control. Thats my take on it anyway. Hope your doing ok Stuart !!

Hello Scoe20000:

Thanks for taking part!

I hope I’m doing ok too , (I think I am at least)? If/when they come with the ~big nets~ and take me away, I’ll know differently!!!

Hummmmmngh, so this Burnout for you is a perception of continual emotional exhaustion and excessive self-observation then? Did I get that right?


For me, burn-out is when I start doing self-destructive behaviors, like not testing, omitting insulin, eating large quantities of carbs and not exercising. All because I just don’t want to. For example, an infusion set falls out, and I decide not to put in a new one till morning, which may be 12 noon. I want to be free of this beast, and I do things that make me SEEM free, but you and I both know that it’s NOT freedom; it’s self-destruction.
After my coma in September, which was partially fueled by such self-destructive behaviors, I made a promise to myself that no matter what else I procrastinate doing, I will not procrastinate or omit diabetes care. I don’t wish to go through THAT horrible experience again, although I admit I didn’t know how horrible it would be. Now I just have to keep up the motivation.

Hello Natalie:

Thank you for taking part as well.

Is burn out only an absolute? We are or are not…?

Consider if we do two tests perfectly, but get TEMPERATURE errors… in disgust we refuse to try a third until much, much later… is that “burnout”? Is that self destruction IYO -wg- ???

[Hope your doing ok Stuart…]

Choking laughter… nothing a quiet padded room won’t cure (sic. and a bunch of my peers with mental health degrees) !

I’ve been diabetic for 26 years now - progressed from pills, to shots, to pump, to pump and CGS… I think of burnout as sitting and crying at all my Endo appointments because the weight does not go down, the A1C still is flakey, because no matter how hard I concentrate on making this stupid disease “better” it doesn’t work. So I wonder if I should just do what I want… I don’t - I guess that’s the good part. But getting advice over the 26 years that represents the current theories, and the current Dr, yet differs from the last visit/Dr is crazy. I do my best, but sometimes I just want to crawl into bed and hide under the covers.

Easy. For me burn-out means I’m so sick of this disease that I can’t get up the energy to care of it. I’ll do the smallest bit necessary, but that’s it. Like being burnt out on hamburgers - after eating them twice a day for six months, you just never want to look at one again.Today, 50 years of pricking and testing and testing and reactions, etc. has me down. Got to get over the burn out, but it’s not easy.

To me, burnout means I’m tired of stabbing my fingers, and worrying about if I changed the infusion set on my pump in the last 3 days. Also, it means when I’m tired of eating “the right way”, and having people tell me I can’t eat this or that, or go ‘naked’ without a tube attached to me.

I just want to be normal again. :frowning:

Close, but no cigar.

Still no cigar. That's frustration.

Interesting metaphor... something that would eventually kill you...?! Whats the difference between frustration and something MORE dangerous, more malevolent somehow? How do we tell when frustration evolves into that thing?

Hello Joyce...

ROFL... if you're going around NAKED and consider that "normal" (tubes or not) I want to live in your universe (Stuart playfully teasing)

Frustration is a reaction to something. Frustration is active. Usually brief or fluctuating. Agitation. Burn-out is being worn down by something. Harder to turn around than frustration. You've not heard "Close, but no cigar"? A boardwalk/ carnival expression.

Hi Stuart.. How goes it?. For me a "diabetic burnout" comes when I just have(1):
No desire to test as much as necessary, (2)now with a broken CGM transmitter and new post-retirement insurance company that may not pay for it,I really am not so upset not not having it',because the darn Medronic CGMS is so very time intrusive and can be only randomly accurate.
. I just sometimes do not want to TEST SO MUCH anymore!! So I will go for a few days, never more than a week with MINIMal tesing, no postprandials, and occassional blind bolussing...l do come back to the 8-10 times a day testing regime because without testing, I will go on a roller coaster blood glucose ride,, and that is no fun. I am dreading having to re-do my basals because I am getting too many hyos at certain times of day, and the overnight has changed, AGAIN .GRRR....
Yet, I have a lot in my life to accomplish :The tingling and "rocks under my skin feeling" in feet and calves is diminished with better control and less blood sugar swings.. I really feel blessed to have lived this long with diabetes and have relatively minor long-term effects.<
The only time I go "pump naked" is when I particiapte in water -related activities(take a shower/bathe , do aqua- aerobics/swimming/boating). I am, otherwise, generally always "tethered".(lol)
God Bless,

Hello Daricel:

First let me apologize upfront for not responding far more timely. I shall try and do better this time around.

I've got fifteen years on you in terms of the diabetes. From my perspective, except for the hiding under the covers piece whichever way you meant it (literally/figuratively). Your perspective to me sounds like normal, pretty every day stuff -Unhappy shrug-

Mistaken theories, demands but no results... Not a fan of white coats. Yet to meet one worthy of our faith, our unfiltered trust.

Hello Alice:


And to me, what you describe sounds absolutely, 100% perfectly normal in my view. The smallest bit required, and not even one grain more... a perspective and view I understand and agree with entirely.

I will not do one single test more than is absolutely mandatory. I've shot blind, and covered solely for the food eaten, many times over the decades. Played catch up later on when/if necessary.

I refuse to correct any number needing only a single unit to get back to "target". Will not do it. Two or more units sure, but a single unit, not a freaking prayer.

You are my diabetic elder... do these things in your view make me burnt-out, a DIABETIC CRISPY CRITTER -puzzed smile-??? Or can I or anyone else be skeptical, disagree with the "commonly held beliefs" (sic. gotta be tighter, gotta be tighter controlled) and still be... un-burnt do you think?!?!?

Can that be?

Been a while since tackling this one, thought I'd try again. How do we tell, if any of us are DIABETIC CRISPY KRITTERS (ie Burned OUT) versus something much lessor?

For example having a chronic illness my entire life, how am I going to tell something so fundamental so much a part of who we are as people, is the problem, versus... ? How does one tell is the dragon, our diabetes is "the source", of a problem versus something else?


For me, burnout is NOT a permanent thing. It occurs at times, and those are the times when I have to have tremendous willpower to make myself do what I don't want to do. The knowledge that I could kill myself if I didn't at least keep in my head SOME idea of what's happening is my main motivator. I'm SO glad I'm on a pump and not shots, because all it takes is pushing buttons, rather than preparing a syringe and shooting myself. Even so, when I'm in burnout, I omit boluses, and can let my BG go up to around 400 before I can motivate myself to take a bolus. And my Dexcom helps too, because I can take it out and look at it when I think of it, rather than having to get out my kit and go through the obnoxious routine of testing. So what I'm trying to say is that burnout is real, but not continuous, and I'm lucky enough to have paraphernalia to make handling it easier.

Hello Natalie:

As always, thank you for your most eloquent thoughts. My efforts failed again.
today it seems, I have been handed my own head, yet again. You provide much to think about, to ponder.

"Close but no cigar" it seems is tattooed upon my diabetic soul. It would be nice to win once in a while. Just once. Quiet sigh...