Depression and Diabetes?

Hello All,

I know that diabetes is linked in the literature. But I am curious to know how people cope with the demands of living with Diabetes, 24/7/365.
Do you feel it is addressed enough from your diabetes team?
What things do you do to cope?
I am finding the mood a little harder to uphold each year I have to manage this D thing.
I think it is a huge barrier for most in achieving good control, what are your thoughts?

Hobbies…guitar and partying when I was younger, I kind of drifted for a while during my mid 30s and then got into exercise/ Tae Kwon Do and now running/ cycling. I didn’t want diabetes to get in the way of partying then and running now. It helps. I don’t tell doctors about being bummed out as I would then have to make an appointment with another doctor who would likely rx happy pills. Not that I’m opposed to pills but the only ones I would be interested in are the more party oriented happy pillls which they would probably interpret as counter-indicating their use?

I think that depression is much more common among people with diabetes. There is a group called “Diabetics with depression” that you might be interested in HERE. I feel that I often have diabetes burnout when I find it harder to continue with my diabetes care…

For the most part I have won the battle against depression – But remnants of it still pop up once in a while. At those times I have a tendency to care less about myself and that’s when diabetes control wanes. For me the solution is to get busy – dig in deeply to work or a project. Exercise can help too but in a down place I fi d it hard to motivate toward exercise.

Thanks for the feedback. Acidrock my friend you make me LMAO. I have never let diabetes get in the way of my choices in life, which can be both good and bad, especially in the 20s, and kids, career and life keep me very busy now. I also have found physical activity to very helpful. I meet with and train Muay Thai twice a week with the boys, and spar a few rounds, very good for keeping the rage meter in check. As for meds…well…If a chemical imbalance is totally there and the mood is unrelenting I say slap me a good Antidepressant. Cheers!

Diabetes is a full time job. Some days I feel overwhelmed and pissed about the whole thing, I take it easy, do something nice for myself and hop back into the saddle the next day. Doing things you enjoy for yourself helps too. I’m a gardener, love playing in the dirt, which makes winter even more intolerable. But I plan my garden during the winter, so I feel like I’m doing something I love.

If you’ve got a chemical imbalance, get some help. Nothing wrong with it. Life is too short to not be enjoying life

I’m with you on the antidepressent. Why not if it works.

Just for me, the antidepressants I’ve looked for come in 12 oz cans, parking lots of (mid 80s…) Grateful Dead concerts and other non-medical places.

I guess I’ve never tried more modern anti-depressants, other than downery sort of things like valium. Which go well with all of the above. I presume that psychiatrists would screen for “Live Dead” before they’d rx that stuff but I seem to be doing ok. Although I still swing into wildly depressed funks when my BG crashes out, like < 50? I don’t know if the pills would necessarily cure that any more effectively than jelly beans or whatever? Muay Thai is probably a lot of fun. That kicking w/ shins though, ouch!!

Probably the most down I was was the winter of 2005/6 and my friend thought the whole family would like TKD to change things up so we tried it and it was both a lot of fun and got my head out of the funk. A couple of years later I was like “you should get another band going or take this more seriously”. Bands can also be a lot of work so I got on board with taking it very seriously and was going to classes 5-6 times/ week, learning to teach techniques and organizing my thoughts to progress through the harder levels, in terms of techniques, fitness and attention to standards, it really helped me organize my thoughts about diabetes too. My A1C had actually gone up but I switched to a pump and fixed it. It made me feel like I could do it. Unfortunately we moved and time hasn’t worked out such that I could really pursue martial arts the same way but I stick with running and it’s been very nice too. I look at the ‘tactical’ depressions from hypos as a problem but not one that I will bother bothering the doctor about. If they rx’ed Valium PRN, I would likely go through it in a weekend watching LOTR anyway because I am still a bit of a ‘gobbler’, as Courtney Love described Kurt Cobain?

I find that nothing camouflages my distress from sugar swings. I haven’t tried antidepressants but starting to reconsider even though I have no insurance. I am the opposite of you Trev and let diabetes destroy my existence. I can barely get in my car and run an errand without having a major anxiety attack. My personal and professional life have been destroyed from diabetes. I have no education what so ever and haven’t even went out on a date in years. In fact I’ve basically lost all sexual desires. It seems the chemical imbalance from sugar swings can greatly vary from person to person. This is the most overlooked part of diabetes I believe. Its all about avoiding secondary complications and fatal low blood sugars but not much is discussed about how physically and mentally fatiguing diabetes can be for some on a daily basis. To me diabetes is like lifelong chemotherapy.

I guess with me, diabetes has helped me with depression. Before I was diagnosed, I would be depressed a lot of the time. I was never diagnosed with depression, and I wouldn’t admit that I had it to anyone else. But I know that I did suffer from it at least to some degree. But once I was diagnosed with diabetes, I got a new outlook on life. I think that a lot of that had to do with me being in ICU for 4 days when I was diagnosed and seeing how close I came to dying and even worse, how close I came to living with some permanent kidney and/or brain damage. That got me motivated to take control and better care of myself. So now, I am always looking for things to do to keep occupied and stay active. I haven’t felt depressed at all ever since my diagnosis. I feel like it is not addressed enough by my diabetes team, but at the same time, I am thankfull for that. Because it gives me a reason to take more control and always look for and research ways to better myself and my condition. If my diabetes team had more control, I would probably be slacking a bit more and let them do the work. But it is MY responsibility. I am the one who has to live with it 24/7/365 and the one who has to put in the effort to make things work. They work for me!

Once again I am LOL and I hear ya! My wife has a Rx for a particular med, quite appealing especially for LOTR watching, and she hides em from me if that tells you anything about my character. I think my mood stabilizer has been Muay Thai for 20 years. Nothing beats pounding the heavy bag and sparring. I also enjoy sprints on the treadmill, and circuits with weights. The pump from working out is totally a high. I also take a low dose celexa-SSRI, really great for keeping the mood even, thanks for your comment!

You are right. I agree that good control can only come from an inner belief that you can improve your health. The inner locus of control—Sounds like your experience really enabled you to reframe your perspective on life, that is absolutely the key to managing any chronic condition be it depression, diabetes, or both. Cheers!

They should be offered like flouride rinse, especially during the dark, cold, winter months. Diabetes aside! Cheers

I cherish the kids being around, but sure makes life busy. I hear you on the indulgence front, love my cookies and like when feeling blue. It been almost 30 years for me, but feel pretty positive about the future, got 2 type one kids I have to be an example for. No time for slacking but it is a good lesson for them to know it is okay to slack a bit as long as you get back at it the next day. Thanks for your comment.

A psychologist once showed me a sheet with “depression” symptoms on it. After I identified with about half of the symptoms, he unfolded the sheet and the title was something like symptoms of uncontrolled diabetes. Talk about a slap to the head.