Depressed about type 1 diabetes

hy guys,

I haven’t logged in to tudiabetes for a while but thought i was feeling bit depressed of late so i would ask you of your experiences on this issue. I am type 1 diabetic since i was 25 yrs old and we are expecting our first kid soon . I guess i have been always worried about passing on type 1 diabetes to my kid and also, believe that i am not mentally strong enough to do genetic testing once kid is born.Last week my wife was diagnosed with gestational diabetes and that has made me worry even more. Every time i test my wife sugar readings now i am scared to bits. I have been told its temporary but it does increase risk of type 2 diabetes in future. However , i have got into a situation where i cant get my head around how to deal with it. I am also worried that my wife and kid would develop diabetes and my life would become living hell.I have been googling stuff and found that lot of other autoimmune diseases can be passed on if not type 1 diabetes eg: graves disease , coeliac disease etc which has made me worry even more. Is there something i can do to calm myself down from this anxiety?


@raj2 please breathe, 3 deep breaths

the percentage of those with type1 passing the tendency to get it is very low. I have had it for 49 years and no one else in my family has it. I don’t know the numbers for gestational diabetes being temporary but I DO know you should not be googling stuff and jumping to conclusions.

congratulations on your expecting bundle of joy! It’s obvious you love your family. Give your wife a big hug and make your home ready for the baby. let us know what happens, nice to see you again.


thanks marie

If you think it’s really depression, you can seek medical help. However it sounds like you may be just overwhelmed and worried, thinking about possible (negative) outcomes.

During my 50+ years of diabetes, I’ve had many occasions of negative self-talk about worst case scenarios. What has helped is reading books such as “What to say when you talk to yourself”, and many similar titles. Learning about ‘Mindfulness’ thinking has also helped me.

Why is it we never self-talk about the positive possibilities, even though percentage wise, it’s a much greater chance that the negative things won’t happen. (But yet…“they might” keeps creeping back in our thoughts).

Over the years, I have learned through my own personal difficulties, and those of others, that somehow, we do get through them. So why spend all that energy wondering if they will happen. I still ‘wish’ they don’t happen, and put my energy into learning and doing as much as I can to prevent/avoid them.

Mindfulness and Positive self talk takes practice.
One of my favorite sayings is the Serenity Prayer:
O God, give us the serenity to accept what cannot be changed, the courage to change what can be changed, and the wisdom to know the one from the other.

Thanks MM1.I think i do get these episodes from time to time …however , this been such an important time for me and i guess to be father instinct has jumped in. Also, i was fine till last week when i found my wife had gestnantional diabetes which made me and my wife worried even more.

I have a huge extended family of aunts, uncles, cousins, siblings and all their offspring. AFAIK there’s only one other T1 in the whole menagerie–my first cousin’s daughter. You might take some comfort from this long-running thread from the old TUD site:

If you have T1 diabetes, your chances of having a child with get T1 are increase about 10 times so your child has about a 1 in 10 chance of getting T1. But I have to be honest, the chances of someone with T2 having a child get T2 is higher, about 1 in 7. And if we focus on all the negatives that could happen in life, we will miss all the positives. One of the greatest joys in this world is having kids. And who are you to say that your future child who gets T1 won’t be a Nobel prize winner or the first person to land on Mars.


For what it’s worth, even if it’s not “depression”, you could still get help from a therapist to manage the stress if it might be useful. I’d recommend getting one familiar with diabetes if you go that route—maybe ask your endo if they have anyone they refer people to and like?

you have T1 diabetes, your chances of having a child with get T1 are increase about 10 times so your child has about a 1 in 10 chance of getting T1.

Also, this is a dramatically incorrect interpretation of statistics. My understanding was that the increase is lower than 10x, but even if it is that high, that means that if the normal rate is something like 1 in 10,000, your child’s risk is 10 times that, so 10 in 10,000 or 1 in 1,000, NOT 1 in 10. I just made those numbers up for an example; not sure what the real ones are, but usually things that raise the risk of a rare event (and Type 1 is relatively rare) still leave it quite unlikely, just a little less unlikely than before.

Having a kid is such a stressful and huge life change! It’s hard and scary at first, and it’s not at all uncommon for people with even uncomplicated health/pregnancy histories to go down the rabbit-hole of worry. When you add in health concerns, it’s almost surprising more people DON’T get crazy with worry.

But it sounds to me like your’e dealing with some pretty intense anxiety that may compromise your ability to be in the moment and really experience the joy of a new baby. It might help to talk to someone like a psychologist or psychiatrist to get a handle on your worries.

A few things. 1) Your child may be perfectly healthy, or maybe not. Your wife may go on to develop type 2, or not. Your child may struggle with health conditions, or maybe not. But that’s true for any child! Life is full of uncertainty – even the healthiest of children can die in accidents, go to prison, get addicted to drugs, or just hate your guts and never let you see your grandkids. In this situation you just have a little bit more knowledge than most of what may be on the horizon in the future.

  1. Take heart knowing that your child still has better odds of NOT having type 1 diabetes than of having it.

  2. If they do have it, imagine how helpful it will be to them to see someone else, who they love and look up to deeply, going through the same experience and dealing with it gracefully. They will be lucky to have a father who can truly empathize with their experience.

  3. Even if your child or wife winds up with diabetes, it’s not the end of the world. Treatment is so so much better now than 2 decades ago, and I am very optimistic that in the next two or three decades we’ll really decrease complication rates through better BG control that requires less user involvement. Beyond that, I’ve met so many young people with diabetes, and many say that even if a cure emerged, they would not take it. They say it forced them to be the disciplined, empathetic and kind people they are, and they would not trade that character formation for perfect health. Personally, as a parent, I want a cure more than anything – but I’m just saying that there are really positive, resilient ways of conceptualizing diabetes that mean your child wont’ be doomed to a life of suffering and angst.


Odds of developing diabetes with a sibling or parent with the disease can be as high as 1 in 10 or as low as 2 in 100, depending on which study you look at. The odds in the general public are about 1 in 300 I’ve read (again, depends on the population). So if it’s 10x, the odds are about 1 in 30.
Men also have higher odds of passing on the disease to their children.

I wouldn’t have thought it was that common in general! Ok. My bad! I was thinking they were saying 10x the risk = 1 in 10. I still would interpret any single study with caution—the ones that are at the extremes are likely that, extremes. Odds are still very high your child will not have not diabetes. I remember when I was looking into this for some reason (I don’t know why), it was also somewhat moderated by age, whereby younger parents had greater risk, and having a single parent with T1 if female had negligible impact and still relatively small impact if male.

One other thing that I wish those statistics documented better is whether the parent themselves has a family history or you are a somewhat anomalous case. Seems likely that there are multiple pathways to T1, some of which are more heritable than others.

The ADA site states:

In general, if you are a man with type 1 diabetes, the odds of your child developing diabetes are 1 in 17.

If you are a woman with type 1 diabetes and your child was born before you were 25, your child’s risk is 1 in 25; if your child was born after you turned 25, your child’s risk is 1 in 100.

Your child’s risk is doubled if you developed diabetes before age 11. If both you and your partner have type 1 diabetes, the risk is between 1 in 10 and 1 in 4.

More information on the genetics of diabetes can be found here:

Editing to add: I got caught up in the whole statistics discussion, but the most important thing is not letting the fear of what may or may not happen in the future dampen your joy about expecting a little one. We never know what’s around the corner, so I hope you can find a way to enjoy what’s here right now. If a child develops T1 in the future, then it’s something you can and will deal with day by day. Life is full of surprises, not all good, but some are quite amazing.

I think in a few years they’ll get a more numerical estimate of the risk of developing the disease based on genes, but I don’t think they’ve drilled down into the genetics quite enough to make those kind of predictions. They know which are the commonest genes that tend to show up in people with T1D, they know the relative odds of developing diabetes for any one of those genes, but they don’t know all the genes involved, so I’m not sure you can get a truly accurate risk score.

Yes I believe i need to get some help

Thanks everyone for your replies

First of all, like others have said…just stop & breathe. Stop Googling stuff!! I have had T1 for 41 years. I have 2 grown sons, both married & relatively healthy and happy. Neither has diabetes, however my eldest was just diagnosed with celiac a few months ago at 27 years of age. I would encourage you to find a way to stop fretting because you’ll drive yourself insane, your wife crazy and you’ll be absolutely no fun for your child to spend time with. As parents, we worry. It’s part of the job description if you ask me, but stop worrying about things completely outside your control that may never even happen. Worry about if they are happy, if they feel loved, if they feel safe. If you continue like this, your baby will arrive and you will miss all the extravagantly precious moments that come from being a parent. I find peace in my faith in God, and without that, I’m not sure how I would make it. It’s what calms my mind when all those possibilities slip in on me … knowing that no matter what, He is working things for my good, I just have to trust Him.
So anyway, don’t miss your baby’s birth & all the beautiful moments that will follow because you are too busy worrying! One day down the road, when your baby’s grown and gone, the regret will eat you alive!
Blessings & congrats!!


thanks geannie. I agree cant worry about things which i cant control and
need to trust in god.


Diabetes sucks, but in 2016 it isn’t hell. Individuals diagnosed with diabetes in 2016 WI expect to live as long as their non-diabetic piers.

Yes I agree

I’ve have Juvenile Onset (that’s what I was diagnosed with back in 1965, so I don’t call it Type 1) for now 51 years. I have two children and when I was pregnant with both of them, I didn’t worry if they’d become a diabetic because I knew if they did, they have the best person around to teach them about this disease ME. My son is 33 and is not a diabetic, nor has any health problems besides migraine headaches. My daughter is 31 is not a diabetic,she was diagnosed with being hypoglycemic in the middle 1990’s, she too has migraines. I am the only Type 1 on both sides of my family in 6 generations.

I have never been depressed because of my have diabetes. So I can’t say anything about that. I have been depressed, but that is because of other things. I don’t look at what bad things can happen, because bad things can happen no matter what.

But yeah, stop googling or binging what can happen to diabetics. You’ll go nuts. Not every diabetic gets complications. I don’t have any. Just relax. Your wife doesn’t need any more stress because being pregnant is stressful enough. Pamper her and get ready to enjoy your baby. I