Diabetes and Depression

I have had Type 1 for 34 of my 44 years ans reacently lost my support system and have felt that depression is really hard on us. I think its because of all the other problems that can rise out of the diabetes, like nerve damage or kidney failier. I know one girl is already gone and the other graduates this year and has plans on leaving yes I still have my husband but it just doesn’t seem like enough. Empty nest syndrome maybe! But that’s my own opionion. I just have to keep myself thinking about my granddaughter and how she will need me to help her grow! Always keep a positive attitude it will help alot with depression.

WOW … I am really struggling with depression right now! I have on and off in my life but after my diagnosis (Type 2) in '05 I have had TWO bouts of it. I am trying Zoloft now. I am a Dr. Bernstein supporter and doing the WOE but it’s hard. I have no appetite and am losing too much weight. I KNOW that I will feel more “in control” when I have tighter control over my blood sugars (A1c 6.2 right now) but I am just whipped from dealing with this. I have mild neuropathy and wild anxiety attacks about not being able to care for myself. Anyone else go through this? How did you “recover” and go on to live your life?

One of my doctors ( cardiologist ) said something that I keep in mind. “Half the population are walking time bombs, the difference is that you know you’re carrying one”. I am working on changing my life, eating right, exercising, managing stress. Look around this group! Its composed of some of the healthiest people I’ve ever met. There are mountain climbers, bikers, and all types of people who are embracing life.

We are all dying from the moment we come out of the womb. Can you find none-diabetics who care about their health as much as diabetics? I think we’re ahead of the game.

Same here. I had some pretty severe depression issues, and they all but vanished when I was diagnosed. Kind of scarily backwards, but whatever works.

Some really good points here, Rainbow.
Depressions runs on my father’s side of the family. Back when I was growing up they called it “nervous breakdown” and seems like somebody was always having one.
I believe that if I were not diabetic, I would still have a problem with depression.
Yet what you said about poor control contributing to depression and then the snowballing starts.
I have tried nearly every SSRI drug available - prozac, celexa, lexapro, zoloft
and only got minimal results. They do, however, take the edge off.
My shrink says that new ones are coming out all the time and that there will always be something, or some combination to try. For this, I am thankful.

People on the outside just don’t get it and I could work myself into a pre-bedtime frenzy right now thinking about it.
It’s just that simple. I don’t even try to explain it anymore.

Not being able to get individual insurance…that makes my blood boil. I had to form a company for my consulting business just to get small biz insurance.

I never thought of myself as depressed for most of my life as a D, and I suppose I wasn’t until the last 2 years. I ran into ‘complications’ (god how I hate that word!) with my eyes, nearly lost my license, have gone through numerous laser treatments, injections and 2 cataract surgeries and now…I think that I’m depressed. I just went for my check-up last week after having the second cataract removed and got bad news. My eyes still haven’t settled down (diabetic retinopathy and macular degeneration), I’m starting laser surgery AGAIN, then more injections then surgery. I don’t know what to do or what to think. My mom and sister think that I don’t care - mostly because I show a strong front - but inside, I’m just ready to lose it.

I always used to get really worked up about my diabetes. I felt like my blood sugar levels were a test and it was almost embarassing if I were high. I never wanted people to look at them or my weight, blood pressure etc. Sadly they were all in normal range but I felt like everyone was judging me saying things like well if you just ate really healthy all the time… You cant listen to people that don’t have diabetes, they dont fully understand. My doctor said that many people go on anti depressants and people who have diabetes have much more of a reason to feel upset. You could always try talking to your doctor and seeing what they think about meds. I try to take the negatives in my like and turn them around, I am a big sister and I volunteer at clinics to talk with younger diabetics who are heading to highschool and university.

Yes, great topic! I’ve been depressed most of my life and tried every one of the meds for it. I can’t take any of them. I have a weird system. I’ve been diagnosed type 2 for almost 3 yrs and thought I’d really go downhill, but I lost 65 pounds and said, ‘whoa . . . . this is great!’ I do still have times when I’m depressed about having diabetes, but I’m much better than I was before.

Thought this post linking to my most recent column on dLife, on the topic of diabetes and depression (focused on Latinos) could be of interest:

I am type one, and I am often overly harsh on myself. This makes me prone to get upset when I don’t meet my expected numbers.

Do you live in Galveston? I live in Houston and experience bouts of depression. Who is your endo??? I have a good endo in downtown Houston. Dr. Steiner and his son is a type 1 diabetic and works with his dad and he wears a pump.

Another study was just published reconfirming the link between diabetes and depression.

I’ve had a lot of experience with depression and anxiety over the years, along with meds, therapy, nutrition, exercise, you name it. A few years ago I thought I’d finally figured out how to take care of myself so it never happens again, and went about five years with no symptoms. Then this spring some job and family stresses came up and suddenly I was plunging back down into it again. This was the first time I’d been depressed since my diabetes diagnosis though, and I found out something interesting – I can use my glucometer to help me gauge how bad my depression is getting. Before, I had a tendency to want to hope or believe my depression symptoms were all in my head, and that I should somehow be able to just suck it up and snap myself out of it. And while I can’t say I’ve been happy to see my FBG 30 points higher than usual, it was strangely validating to have some sort of “proof” that there really is something physical going on with me – I’m not just a bummer of a person, it’s “real.” I think anyone who’s struggled with depression knows how real it is, so to me this is mostly just a useful thing to be able to show people who DON’T understand. Funny how a number on a meter can carry so much weight with people who can’t bring themselves to believe in other, more subjective forms of evidence.

Manny, I get down, too. Running and working out at the health club lift me mentally. Extra rest helps. I like 10 hours in bed and hope I get seven hours sleep. Testing can be depressing and discouraging when I see an especially high number.

And all those TV ads about diabetes are always a reminder. Bumber!. Those companies selling testing materials are seeing dollar signs. And there’s Wilford Brimley, a washed-up actor, talking about “exercise and a simple diet.” Yeah, sure, he really looks like he’s been on a simble diet and exercises. He’s there for one reason, to sell. I just change channels. One thing that encourages me is that when I’m out pounding the pavement (jogging) I rarely see anyone my age out there doing what I’m doing. Some times I think about the children at Saint Jude’s, then I think how fortunate I’ve been. I turn my thinking to others who are worse off than I, fighting a bigger problem. Elvis had a bigger problem. Ali was the greatest boxer, and we are one month difference in age. But look at his problem. Finally, we have “It’s a Wonderful Life” on tape and watch it every year around Christmas. It has a great message.

I wrote an article, for our local diabetes news letter about this exact topic! I think that the link between diabetes and depression is undeniably real.

Diabetes and Depression: The connection goes both ways.

According to National Institutes of Health statistics, diabetes affects more than 20 million Americans, or approximately 7 percent of the US population. Diabetes may impact all aspects of your life and leave you feeling overwhelmed. With the long winter upon us and the stress of the holidays in full swing, having to deal with the pressures of diabetes can make you feel like you have too much to bear. Depression has been found to be very common in diabetes and may make controlling this disease more difficult.

Many people have “bad days” or feel sad occasionally. However, feeling this way most of the day for two weeks or more can be a sign of serious depression. Depression is a medical illness, which often does not get better without treatment. People with depression are more likely to develop disabilities, miss work, be less productive, and spend more money and time on health care. The symptoms of depression are different for different people, but may include:

• Persistent sad, anxious or “empty” feelings
• Feelings of hopelessness or pessimism
• Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, or helplessness
• Irritability, restlessness
• Loss of interest in the activities or hobbies that you used to enjoy
• Fatigue and decreased energy
• Difficulty concentrating, remembering details, and making decisions
• A change in sleep pattern. Either insomnia, early–morning waking, or excessive sleeping.
• A change in appetite, including appetite loss or overeating
• Thoughts of suicide.
• Aches, pains, headaches, cramps, nausea, or other digestive problems.

The relationship between diabetes and depression is a “two-way street.” Researchers have found that patients with diabetes are twice as likely to have depression as people without diabetes. Conversely, in one study, people who had a history of depression were much more likely to get type 2 diabetes than people who didn’t have depression. In another research study, when someone had both diabetes and depression, they were far more likely to develop heart disease than those with either diabetes or depression alone. Untreated depression can make it much more difficult to manage diabetes. Neglecting their diabetes is a very common occurrence in people with depression. This leads to uncontrolled blood sugars and only makes people feel worse, leading to a vicious cycle of poor control.

If you have any of the above listed symptoms or think that you may have depression, talk to your doctor. Don’t wait to get help; depression only tends to get worse over time without treatment. Your doctor may refer you to a mental health professional, such as a psychologist or psychiatrist. Remember, depression is an illness that needs to be treated just as diabetes needs to be treated. The sooner depression is treated, the sooner you will feel better, and your diabetes control will thank you for it.

I’m not sure if this says anything that wasn’t already posted, but hopefully it helps expand the discussion.

I’m both, but I think the depression spawned independently from my diabetes. I do know when I have issues with depression, I compensate with food, causing a major problem.

When I was diagnosed as a child with D I would have mood swings and was called moody. Now as an older adult with more information available regarding depression and D I now know why I’ve had and at times have the journeys I take to the hills and valley I’ve travelled all my life. As a younger person I was treated with tranqualizers, until I decided not to take them and try to work out my problems. I believe that D and any chronic disease can cause depression but especially D because of the swings our body go through with highs and lows we experience.

I’m not depressed because i have diabetes, if anything the condition angers me. The depression is from an accompanying condition - manic depression. I take psych meds to manage it, but when life throws it’s crap at me that’s what usually causes me to experience mania and depression