Depressed beyond belief today!

Met with my endo last week and told me all the obvious…I’m depressed, I’m not checking my BG enough and I need to take control.

I know what I need to do! Sometimes it’s sooooo hard. I’m T1. I’m on a pump and have a CGM. I was not testing as much, because I was counting on my CGM to help me; WRONG, according to my Dr. 4 times isn’t enough…maybe 10 is perfect.

I have nerve problems in my back in now my shoulder, going down my arm.

Today, I just feel like curling up in my bed and never leaving it! Anyone ever feel this way? I sick of dealing with this disease!!! A constant worry about if I will wake up, are people hearing my dexcom vibrating at work all the time?, will my husband stand by my side or get sick of dealing with bells and whistle going off every night?

Depression sucks the will to take care of ourselves right out of us. We need to fight back against that urge to just wallow and give up. Easier said than done sometimes? Oh, yeah. You'll be reminding me of this in the not too distant future. That's diabetes.

A few ideas: Are you getting enough good-quality rest? Are you monitoring and correcting your vitamin D levels? Do you consciously inject humor into your everyday life? I mean consciously make an effort to surround yourself with humorous cartoons, funny movies, people who are amusing, funny songs, silly cat videos, whatever makes you smile? When you have a choice between renting a melodrama or a comedy, do you consciously pick the comedy? This is a kind of mental hygiene that I have found makes a big difference in how I feel day to day, week to week. Wallowing in sad movies, books about famous suicides, dark and melodramatic symphonies, etc. feels "comfortable" when we're depressed, but that kind of mental "diet" is NOT helping us pull out of our temporary darkness, our hopeless phase.

Instead of bashing yourself when you're already down, make a list of the GOOD things you are doing:

1) You are pumping. That takes a lot of effort. YAY for you!

2) You are using the CGM. More effort. Take a bow.

3) You are testing four times per day. That's more work. GOOD.

So you're not perfect. Who is ?!?!!!??

I applaud your efforts and know that you are doing a lot of work in the face of this nasty disease. Give yourself a certificate, a dozen roses and a hug. We can all do better. Every one of us COULD do better. But if your endo only had negative things to say (? or was that just the depression talking ?) then he should take a walk in your shoes one week and see how hard it is -- and how hard you're working.

If you're seriously worried about being a burden to your husband, try thinking of one especially nice thing you could do for him each day. If the nurturing and caring is flowing both ways, then there should be no question of things being unbalanced. As a side benefit, thinking about nice things to do for other people is a good way to distract ourselves from our negative thoughts; it helps love flow through us and lift our spirits on the way through.

Hi -

I'm sorry that you're having such a hard time. Depression is a real disease that needs treatment. I'd suggest seeing a psychiatrist/psychologist/licensed clinical social worker and get some help dealing directly with the depression. Getting out of the black hole will make it easier (or even possible) to put more effort into getting your diabetes under control and getting control is the best way to minimize the chance of further problems.

Good luck,


I think we all have dark days. Have you read "Diabetes Burnout" by William Polonsky?

You aren't crazy and your feelings are perfectly understandable. But you don't have to feel this way. You can do something about your condition. You can take better care of yourself. And you can feel happy. You just need to work on it.

Think about reading the book.

That's a great book, bsc. I think I should re-read it every year -- just like changing the batteries in the smoke alarm, once is not enough. This disease is a MARATHON that never ends; we need tools and tricks to keep pushing through it. He has some great ideas and perspectives to share. Thanks for reminding us.

Well said..I agree with JeanV 100%.

There's a definite difference between "feeling down" and being clinically Depressed. If you are just having a hard time (feeling down) there are many things you can do to feel better and be more motivated. But if you are clinically depressed those things are unlikely to make much of an inroad. Only a mental health professional can do an assessment to determine if you are Depressed and then prescribe things such as medication and therapy. If you have tried several things to motivate yourself in terms of your Diabetes and otherwise, and they don't seem to be working, than a visit to a Mental Health professional for assessment couldn't hurt.

Awesome post, JeanV. You nailed it.

Be thankful your only depressed today. I can't stand getting up any day.The fact is the disease blows big time. It sucks the living life right out of your life. You have to have a great disposition to have a chance to cope with it as it's just not an acceptable way to live IMO. If an endo told me I have to check my sugar ten times a day I'd tell him to go F**** himself. To think it really just boils down to a treatment keeping the levels as stable as a non diabetic at all times and the battle is virtually over. I admit defeat and have acknowledged for a long time my existence is virtually doomed unless they can get just one of these potential therapies commercialized. Honestly I find it far more bizarre to hear people not depressed living like this then are depressed. Sorry if I didn't say anything to help you but don't even remotely think your alone. Support the Faustman Lab!

Get angry. It beats being depressed and it will get you out of bed! Seriously, T1 is an unfair burden and yet what choice do we have? The complications of not managing it are so terrifying that it keeps me on the straight and narrow despite how much I despise it. I have same the problem with alarms going off at night. My wife is otherwise very supportive but when Dex alerts wake her but not me, it becomes a real problem.

JeanV - I like your response about choosing humor instead of melodrama. I used to choose the latter - always. I wallowed in it. Now I look for comedies and things that make me laugh. It does help. Thanks.

What a great response! Thanks, JeanV. This is very helpful.

Ok first off we all get frustrated - but at the end of the day we will still be diabetic - whether we stay in bed or not. How long have you been T1? Things for me have been a bit sketchy lately and I need to get better control too. But I know what it takes and what I need to do and a lot of starts with food and testing. That's the start. We are in the same boat and perhaps there are a couple of things you need to consider first.
If you are actually depressed then get help for that - if you are just down and blue becuase of your A1C and endo visit then you have control over that.
This is your life and only you can change it. So what do you want for your life? Decide on that and do it. Set mini goals for yourself - like keeping my sugars in good control for 1 week/day I'll go out for a movie. A1C is below 7 next time I'll buy myself that necklace/thing/event/etc.
What I did to keep myself going and exercising is I signed up for a triathlon in the summer - fear of not finishing is a great motivator to get me out the door to the gym. Working out lowered my sugars, which allowed me to get healthy. Now I can't even imagine living like I did before.
As for the hubby - would he leave you for not being taller? No because you can't change that - well you can't change being diabetic. I would hope that he would be supportive and understanding. I was diabetic before I met my husband and that's soemthing that won't change. Have you talked to him about this?
Big Hugs - we all have those days.

everyone feels exactly the way you do. heres the thing. U CAN NOT LET DIABETES CONTROL YOU. YOU HAVE TO BE STRONGER THEN IT. you have to show it whos boss... and if ur husband truley loves you he WILL NOT leave you because of something that could save your life. you dont have to check 10 times a day you just need to make sure u check in the morning when u wake up,everytime you eat ( make sure to bolus the right amount to ) and before bed. also check when u feel low or high.

Well, all of the above advice is wonderful. I know how you feel....I really do. I have had many, many dark periods with this Diabetes, Dealing with life and all it contains is hard enough and then we have this disease that is 24/7 and such a devil. I had to go on antidepressants off and on for the last 19yrs. I also found this website and I had a place to go with others that understand. You are stronger than you think....really. I know it is hard to grasp when someone tells you that you need to keep fighting, but you just have to and I will tell you it is VERY worth the fight. Good things will come your way and you can be happy. Try to really see and feel how important you are in this world and to loved ones. You matter and we are always here for you and each other. Wishing you the best. Robyn xo

I agree and disagree, Zoe. It depends where you are on the journey.

I have tried eight or nine different anti-depressents over the past twenty-five years and none of them really work for me -- I either have untenable side-effects, they make me MORE depressed or they just make me loopy (drunk like I had a six-pack) even on a quarter-pill of the smallest dose. I've also spent years in therapy and it did help bring up my baseline, but in the end, it's up to us to keep slogging through day after day, month after month, year after year applying everything we've learned and everything new we can try.

In addition to been assessed, trying different medications, etc. there ARE self-care things that we can do to fight off or ameliorate the chronic, recurring clinical depression associated with diabetes. Exercise. Nutrition. Monitoring our mental "diet" (as I mentioned above.) Correcting our sleep behaviors (going to bed at a regular time, getting enough quiet rest in a fully-dark bedroom even if we can't sleep as long as we used to.) Learning to actively contradict and stop negative self-talk and harsh, self-abusive judgements, e.g. visualizing a STOP sign in our heads when the negative loops start playing in our heads, saying to ourselves, "No. Stop. That is not true." and then listing the good things you do, your good qualities, the reasons why you deserve to be loved and deserve to take good care of yourself, etc.

I'm not sure we really disagree all that much, Jean! I just feel the need to point out the difference between people who have clinical depression and "feeling down" in part because it's my field of knowledge, but also because I have met people who suffered unnecessarily for years and felt guilty about it too because they couldn't just "cheer up" or "snap themselves out of it" the way people who'd never experienced Depression thought they should be able to do.

I absolutely agree that medication is not for everyone (even everyone who is clinically depressed, though I think in that case it's worth a try - works wonders for some - others, as you describe, not so much. But I also feel pretty strongly that therapy should be used in conjunction with "taking a pill".

But bottom line I also agree that as you so nicely put it: "it's up to us to keep slogging through...applying everything we've learned and everything new we can try." I think the biggest thing therapists can do for their clients is give them "tools" of self-care, including all the things you named above. The therapists I consider effective are the ones who work to get their clients to a point that they don't need a therapist! But these are skills that some can get from books or other sources, and some need to be supported through. And when there is a biological basis to Depression (for someone with or without D) than often a biological answer (meds) is part of the solution.

I also agree that people with D are more subject to depression (whether clinical or not). If I were younger I'd love to do a cognitive therapy group for Diabetics.

My own personal "tricks" for dealing with the (non-clinical) feelings of depression due to having diabetes are two seemingly contradictory things: Spending time with other diabetics (I miss the women's group I started in the Bay Area!) and countering the overwhelming prevalence of diabetes in my life by being sure to do the things that give me pleasure.

I'm sorry you had a frustrating journey with anti-depressants, but it sounds like you've done a great job on dealing with your depression on your own - something that always impresses me!

OH, i'm sorry to hear you're feeling so awful. I think we all can relate...I too hate this disease. But, as we all know, we have no choice. I usually don't like when people compare our type 1 with other diseases, but, I'm not sure if you watched the superbowl, we were all watching when they did the segment on the ex-football player who now has was then that I thought, "Well, it really could be worse." So, that's what I think really could be, who's to say what's down the line but at least we can function, ya know. If we don't manage this, well..then the outcome could indeed be much worse. For me, control isn't even about 'complications''s about how I feel every day. I don't want to feel sick, tired, dehydrated, exhausted. My entire body feels the effects when my blood sugars are off, I do feel sick. This is it, it's our one chance here on this, sometimes we have to put everything into perspective, one foot in front of the other and live!

Oh my I will say your honesty is refreshing. Sometimes it's great to peel away all the cheerleader rah rahs in response to "I hate being diabetic." That said, we are stuck with it. And though some days it's necessary to pull covers over our heads, I still like life and will do whatever ever is necessary to live it...even with this sucky disease.

Thank you for your kind reply. I don't know that I've done such a great job of dealing with it -- in many ways I am living a life that is only a fraction of what I had hoped and dreamed it would be as a young girl: I have been alone for years and never married, no children, never finished college, never able to own my own home, financially on the ropes for much of my adult life...

Living with chronic, unrelenting health problems including chronic depression has been a lot like being one of those human resistance fighters in the Terminator movies. I'm metaphorically existing here in the underground warrens and caves of depression -- alone or in occasional contact with other battered and war-weary survivors.

I wish I could report that the decades of trying different anti-depressants, or the years I spent in therapy, or all the support groups, books, workshops, etc. I tried seeking help and answers, had helped me to truly thrive.

What I have done is survive -- and I've learned a few things along the way. Like so many survivors my age, I wish I could know everything I know now and get my 18-year-old self back. I think I'd do a much better job the second time through -- but life doesn't work that way, does it? We must buy our wisdom with time served.