Diabetic Depresion and Mood swings

Hi my name is Graham, and I don’t know if you can relate to this issue but this is what I have discovered… My moods can change so quickly when my BG is high or low and I get quite depressed from time to time. But this is not the only issue, my friends and family don’t understand that this happens to me and that I am trying to be in control of my moods.Sometimes I just fail and let them down. It is not that they don’t support me, I think it is because they don’t go through the same issues as we do and therefor they think, that I am just rood sometimes.It happens so fast that it feels like I am not in control. Can anyone relate to this issue? And maybe give me some guidance?

I don’t deal with the depression you’re swinging back and forth from, but I am a witchy, aggressive beast of a woman when my blood sugar is above 180. I can hide my need to rip someone’s spine out through their nose among co-workers, but around my husband or my parents or my brother…it’s a different story. The fact of the matter is that a high bg can make you hyper-aggressive and a low one can bring on negative side effects as well. If I am high and I jump down my husband’s throat about something, he gets upset…but he has learned to respond differently. And so have I. Now instead of biting back, he says, “it’s okay. you’re alright. just calm down.” Strangely enough for me, that does the trick. If we can’t escalate it, we can’t continue the cycle. I just grumpily apologize and wait for the next chance to strike. laughs But you’re not alone. All my life, I’ve learned that, no, it’s not okay for me to attack others because of my blood sugar level (just as no, being depressed isn’t something you can just excuse and force others to deal with). But since I can’t seem to stop it, I have learned how to repair the damage, apologize, and educate. And the people I care about have learned when not to take it personally and how to help me manage those situations. Best of luck, friend.

Thank you Melissa for your response and with me the same I bite my girlfriends head off sometimes as well as my family’s. But I know that it will just take time for them to understand and for me to control myself better. Thanx alot for your support.

I’m like that… all the time!!! I can feel myself getting angry with friends or family members so i have to walk off and put my headphones in or go for a walk until i have calmed down. I get angry over the smallest things and sometimes i dont even know why i’m angry i just know i really wanna hit something… The depression side of things, i’ve been sent to a counsellor about that, it did get kinda better, but its not great. I got described as a fizzy bottle a pop an when i have had enough i will just fizz up and its either tears or anger thats fizzin out of me… I cant give you any kind of guidance as i’m in a dark place, but just so you know, you aint alone with it. StiKuLBriX

I hear you, Graham. I bit my fiance’s head off last night, only to discover I was really low. It’s bad enough we deal with diabetes, but when it’s compounded by mental health issues, it can be damn near impossible to handle. How long have you been T1? Your family will start picking up on patterns, as will a conscientious significant other, but it’ll all take some time to get it figured out. I suggest seeing a therapist. You can’t control the thoughts you have, especially when bloodsugar comes into play. But you can learn to pay attention to them, and realize what’s happening to you. Good luck, stay strong!

Thanx Coco, I have been T1 for the last 4 years, thank you for your reply. It means alot to me!

Thanx for you reply I can really relate to your behaveour. We just have to stay strong and confident and try to have positive thoughts but hell its tough!!!

Hi Graham,

I’m T2 when I’m either high or low I can bite my hubbys head right off…LOL and most times its over the most smallest, stupid things…!! I am still learning when to see the signs before I go and kill him hehehee and then I can just walk away. I have done that a few times and works well for me now I just need to teach my hubby to walk the other way and not follow me…lol

Hope this helps


Thank you Christina, I am so relieved that I am not the only person that reacts this way. But it excuses nothing. I have to work on myself regardless of my diabetes.

Hope you coping fine!!!


Hi Graham- I know the feeling. Not too long away I thought that this was pretty much my life,the depression really brought me down with just about everything I did. It basically consumed me and I felt so alone.I went to the doc and she gave me “happy tablets”. I keep blaming the diabetes that was recking my life,my self esteem was shattered. My relationship was falling apart and I kept thinking it wasn’t me-it was my “illness”. Since I’ve tried a new approach- I’ve read this motivational book and I stopped blaming the world for my situation (there is so much anger) -step by step I’m building my self esteem, I’m trying to be more objective and I appreciate the support of love ones.I know this is no miracle cure,but I’m trying- So hang in there and I hope that you find your peace somewhere!

Thanx Shevon I see your a South African as well, you are the first RSA person Ive met on TU Diabetes. Thank you for your reply!!! I will never give up!

I can relate to the depression and the mood swings. Between the diabetes and the trying to quit smoking I feel like a raving lunatic! Thanksfully I live alone so no one to take it out on but, I just flip over the littlest things most of the time. The other half of the time I shut off the phone, lock the doors and want everyone to leave me alone. I even shut off the answering machine so I don’t have to return calls. I wasn’t sure if the mood swings was the diabetes, because I am dealing with having it suddenly, or the trying to quit smoking, I think all three though. Somedays I just can’t seem to get a handle on it. i keep trying though, just like the smoking, I back slide but keep pushing to quit. Good Luck to you and remember being hard on yourself won’t help either, learn to be good to yourself.

I can definitely relate to this. I’ve noticed the same things you’ve described happening to me, especially in the past few years. The best advice I could give you is to try to work out if there’s possibly something else that’s bothering you, and maybe your blood sugar levels are just highlighting those feelings rather than being the actual cause of them. That’s what I try to do, and although it doesn’t always work (I can be the most depressing person when I take a notion lol!), I think it’s worth doing it anyway for the times when it maybe brings me back to earth a bit. Good luck!!

Relate to it… many of us LIVE IT.

The question IMO is not whether we are having a bad mood because we are diabetic but precisely what IN THE BRAIN is causing the emotions to become so radical, so strong. What is the direct connection between whatever part of the brain and emotions such that a change in sugar will radically effect that part so severely.

What brain chemical causes emotions to increase in strength…?


It is common for diabetics to suffer from depression. I don’t think anyone knows yet what the connection is, but it’s there. A short dose of antidepressants helped me see a different way of responding to life’s challanges…sort of break a lifetime habit of negativity.
Before I was diagnosed (T1, 4 years ago) I would have low episodes and bark at anyone who came between me and a carb. Conversely, driving after eating pizza I experienced a level of road rage that made me pull over and check my BS…400 +. This roller coaster of moods is just another part of diabetes we have to learn to recognize, anticipate and deal with, I guess.
As for your friends and family…I think back now on things I said to others and wish I could explain to them. Maybe we should try to take advantage of that opportunity when we can.
Good luck to you, Graham. we can all relate.

Hello Graham:

I asked the same basic question previously as have others before us.


Could it be your emotions are NOT connected to your diabetes, merely are happening and you happen to BE a diabetic person as well?


Hey there, Yep I can sure relate to this. Especially the depression part…I have had diabetes for about 24 years now and am only now starting to work out that it’s often my BSLs making me feel a bit grumpy. I have always been determined that diabetes was not going to run my life. Having said that, it does take it’s toll. You are not alone my friend and you will work it out. all the best!!!

Hi Stuart,
Actually the brain chemicals involved are called neurotransmitters. And it is an imbalance of those that cause the illness called depression. It is common in hormonal imbalances and diabetes as well as cancer and heart disease and Alzheimers. It isn’t something that a person can just snap out of or really help completely themselves. There are a number of drugs used to treat depression, but I really think the emotional issues with it (to me) have more to do with the insulin than anything else. This last is just my opinion.

i know how you feel. when i’m low, i’ll cry over any little thing. when it’s high, i hate the world and snap at everyone. my friends and family don’t understand that i don’t want to act like i do, and sometimes they get pretty angry with me. it’s a part of having diabetes i guess, just try to explain to the people you’re close to how you feel and what happens.

I can relate and more here! My family doesn’t understand at all when this happens to me and I’ve been a Type 1 for 35 years. The only advice I can give is to get your bs undercontrol and as I tell my family that rollercoaster you will never understand. This is even though my oldest is a Type 1 like me!