Diabetes & Depression

I’ve been diagnosed since the age of 3 1/2 years old and I’m hitting my 22nd birthday in a couple of months. My upbringings were unconventional and to top it all off, I’m heavily introverted due to the fact, that I feel like any time I try to associate with anyone in general, I must keep them at a distance. I can’t fully trust anyone because I always end up being hurt in the end. So tell me, how do most people deal with this existence? I can be happy for maybe 30 min until I realize who I am again and what I must do in order to live. It sucks, I feel like an unending burden for everyone around me. My last relationship was 4 years ago. I haven’t been able to create anything concrete since. Is it worth the trouble? How long is a typical life span for a type 1 diabetic anyways? I’m the only one in my family with this condition and they all give me the same response, " Get used to it, life isn’t fair". Is this really a correct response to tell someone who deals with it 24/7? I don’t think so. For those of you who made it this far into the thread, thank you for giving this a read. I’m at the end of my rope here, I’ve exhausted all my resources and have nowhere else to turn.


Sometimes it may not feel that it is worth the trouble; having been in some dark places myself, I can promise you that it is. Living with diabetes is a challenge, and it can be made even more complicated when life throws other problems at us. It’s often hard I think for people who do not have diabetes to truly understand the burden it can have on oneself, so I’m glad you reached out here as there is a wealth of wisdom and experience on this forum.

Have you ever considered seeing a diabetes psychologist? It sounds as though you may benefit from talking these thoughts through with someone who has experience with these issues. I’m hesitant to make any particular suggestions as we’re all different, but I do believe everyone can develop strategies to help them cope with the type of emotions you’ve been experiencing.

The good news is that these days type 1 Diabetics have a life expectancy that is close to on par with people without this condition. In fact, there are a number of people on this forum who have had Diabetes for decades. In fact, one of the members here @Richard157 has had Type 1 Diabetes for 71 years. I would even argue, that in some ways diabetes forces you to take care of yourself in a way that is often overlooked by people who do not have this condition.


Joslin has given out more than 60 75-year medals and at least one 80-year medal by now, so lifespan needn’t be an issue unless someone chooses it to be. And I second what @Donman90 said; the psychological toll of diabetes is becoming more and more recognized as a major complication that deserves its own study and attention. There are people out there who concentrate on it. And any qualified counselor has strategies and tactics for defeating depression.


Yes, it sucks. No, your non-diabetic family doesn’t get it. They aren’t capable of getting it. Some things you are only capable of getting if you’ve been there and done it first hand. From that standpoint, I would encourage you to forgive them for not doing something they can’t.

Depression goes hand in hand with many chronic illnesses. You are not alone, even though it feels that way. It is normal that you are having these feelings.

With that said, by the time they have gone on for an extended period of time, we need help working through them. Ask your endo about support groups in your area, and/or a referral to a counselor. And stick around here. These people are incredible.


You have come to the right place if it helps you to know that you are not alone. But I want to tell you that it is totally possible to live a long, healthy and perhaps most importantly happy life with a condition that makes demands upon us 24/7. But it helps if you have support and so that is why I’m glad you have come here. It would be great if the non diabetics in our life really got how demanding this beast is but they dont and they never will, so this is a good place for support from those that do get it. It sounds like you are really struggling at the moment and we’ve all experienced crappy times and can relate to how you are feeling. You have gotten great advice in the previous posts and all I can add is to try to hold on to hope. Diabetes doesn’t have to define your whole life so please be kind to yourself and get help on finding ways to cope with it that will allow you to live a long and fulfilling life.


Hey Gonzo - we can all relate as to how overwhelming and frustrating this disease can be. You’ve come to the right place to vent, share your fears and ask for advice. Even those non-PWD’s who are the most empathetic and understanding do not truly understand what we need to do to maintain our health. Anytime someone asks me, they often end up with a deer in the headlights look when I explain all the steps involved in bolusing for food, setting basal doses, impacts of various types of activity, stress, etc… But I’ve become a firm believer that people with diabetes can do whatever everyone else can do, it just takes a little extra planning. And as others have said, it can also have the silver lining of making you so much more aware of your physiology than non-diabetics and improve your lifespan. I know it has in my case.

We’re always here for you, but I would also recommend seeking out a therapist to help process your feelings. They are very valid, and can feel all-consuming without a sympathetic ear.


Any chronic disease is going to drain you both physically and emotionally. I some-what understand what you’re going through because I use insulin after meals to help keep tight control of my recently diagnosed Type 2 diabetes. But where I really relate with the life and death aspect of Type 1 is having two blood clotting disorders and always living on edge knowing that at any moment in time I can either clot up and die, or bleed and die. To make matters worse I have been having bouts of hypertensive crisis level blood pressure (but only when standing). Even with the BP meds I’ve been taking again, my BP is now going low when sitting and still shooting up to 150/112 when standing for just five minutes. I can’t take anymore meds, because I will dip too low when sitting and resting. My only recourse is to remain seated and take it easy. I was at the pain doctor a few days ago and tested my BP on their machine thinking that maybe my machine was not accurate. I found out that my home machine has been severely underestimating the increase in BP. I went from 140/90 to 170 over 112 within 1 minute of standing up. The doc finally took notice and said that is bad. So, I have at least one condition that is almost impossible to control/treat and it is going to cause a brain bleed one day and it’s lights out for me being on high intensity Warfarin therapy. All I see is me collapsing one day from a combination of high standing BP and leaking veins/arteries. Any how, it’s a huge challenge when you’re living with a life-long chronic illness. There will be times when you’re hyper-intensive about treating your condition, and at other times you will be depressed and more lax about taking care of yourself. The key is to strike a balance between being hyper aware of your illness and just blocking it completely from your mind. I haven’t found that balance after five years of this, so maybe it’s time to see a therapist and get some support. Depression can really make you see things in a warped view. Sometimes a third party can help put things in perspective. Hang in there. You’re only human. You will find your bearings and get back on the right path.


Well I have been living with diabetes 18 years since a pregnancy with twins and on bed rest. I look around and see my neighbor who is 30, a quadriplegic from a snowboarding accident and am grateful that I can use my arms and legs, walk and go to yoga. I think of veterans that were injured in the wars and lost their limbs. We have to be grateful that we can walk, see, hear, and have other good health. Diabetes is hard, but there are millions of people that have it worse than diabetics. I believe that our thoughts determine our path, and I try to think positive, thought not always, and sometimes feel sad, I try to enjoy the things I like such as yoga and walking and my family.

You are so young and have your whole life ahead of you! Enjoy your life, try to have the best control over your blood sugar. I read of people here that have dealt with diabetes for 70 years plus! They are an inspiration. Our thoughts determine our path, think positive and good things will happen!

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there are physiological reasons for being depressed in addition to having to deal with difficult life circumstances. i have never been on SSRI’s because i have not had severe depression, but i do have trouble sleeping which i believe is due to a genetic predisposition to low serotonin, which with my drop in estrogen due to perimenopause, is getting worse.

to raise serotonin levels, sufficient levels of vitamin d are important. i also had anemia at one time when my depression was more severe. i stay away from the computer and cell phones 4 hours before bed. i get morning sunlight and do light exercise at the same time. i walk in nature as often as i can. i don’t eat heavy meals before bed. sometimes 5 htp works to improve my mood and sleep, but i develop a tolerance to it and must skip at least 2 days in between when i take it. i take it at a low dose of 50-100 mg, but some people take more. trying to think good thoughts and talking to people who understand is important and in itself is thought to change body chemistry.

I was 14 when I got DX’d, just starting to come of high school age and getting real interested in girls and boom I’m in the hospital for a week, T1, 2 shots a day. Boy did I think I hit the bad luck lottery! I was in Childrens Hospital in Boston and don’t know for sure that they did this purposely but it seemed I was in a critical care ward, with cancer patients, and one image that haunted me at the time were of anorexic’s walking around towing a hanging liquid bag with a feeding tube (this was explained to me by a nurse) going up their nose and down their throats. I could tell these kids were in a bad way and more than one nurse pointed out that at least I had something that I could learn to control and each day in there I was feeling better and better as my BG came under control. My perspective changed a bit after seeing and meeting some of these other unfortunate kids, my age and younger who might not get out of the hospital. I have had some mild depression 35 years later as there is a cumulative beat down over time of just having to be constantly on guard of our condition but I am glad I’ve been out of that hospital for so long ( that was 1978 ) and know as others have said that there are others who have much less options to live at all or as well. That usually brings me out of dark places and sometimes volunteering for some one less fortunate also lifts spirits. You can do this, hell I did :wink:

I watched a programme on tv last night which put forward the idea that diet can help depression. They said they had just discovered the link between diet and the brain and that the Meditteranean diet really helped depression. Its easy enough to give it a go, I was really convinced.

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Yea, eating healthier can definitely help depression, but I believe it can also be the source of depression, depending on the circumstance.
Since I was diagnosed 2 years ago, I’ve found that the vast majority of times that I went through periods of depression were triggered by the stress of mealtimes. While I do often feel better and can be resilient to depression when I’ve been eating well, sometimes balancing cravings vs guilt is just too much.
Maybe this isn’t an issue for the people that seem fortunate enough to lose cravings when they diet, but I’ve never been so lucky.

Occasionally I give in to cravings and have a little of whatever it is that I crave. It sort of eases that feeling of deprivation that you can get with keeping to a diet. You have to be careful not to let your mind take over and tell you that this treat is an everyday thing, though. :cake::icecream::ice_cream:

Balancing the treats is what drives me nuts sometimes though. Even when I decide that it’s ok to have a treat, I tend to stress out on what I choose. I mean, because treat times are rare, it just feels like the stakes are higher to pick out something that’s truly fulfilling because it really sucks to cheat on carb count only to have something that’s not as good as you hoped or in a portion too small.
Sometimes it just feels like even when I compromise with the occasional treat, it’s still just not good enough and when that happens, I just lose any desire to eat at all.
But in the best of times, having the occasional treat does definitely help. It’s just not always the solution I wish it was.

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Hello, Diabetes can we be so stressful although I am not the diabetic my partner is we are both 23 and find living with it extremely differcult.
Daniel is the only diabetic in the family which makes it harder to find people that he can talk to and who understand how he is feeling. He has ups and downs and when he is down it can be very hard to see the point in carrying on or how to even deal with it.
We are new to this group we have simply joined it to speak to people who have a closer understanding of what day to day life is like!

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