My understanding of how Diabetes & Depression are Inter-related

Greetings, All Dwayne, here!

A cheerful greeting ... it roles so easily off my tongue/keyboard (lol) -- and, yes! I can chuckle at the irony of it ... given our topic; and given my own experiences with Depression.

Depression came first. From age 5-11, I had this horrible yearning, that twisted and turned deep down inside me - because I dared not tell anyone ... I wanted to fly, like the birds; I wanted to break-free and fly forever, until I was "free"!!! Free from what? I was an intellectually and creatively brilliant child. But I was emotionally and socially "retarded" (in the true sense of that word). And I could not express what type of freedom I wanted. ... Until I was 12. I'd had chronic nosebleeds for awhile (then); but, out-of-the-blue, I bumped into our open bathroom door ... the blood started gushing out ... and I wailed, "I just want to die!"

I attempted suicide three times, so far, during my lifetime -- a jump, and two pill overdoses. Plus, I had three near-drownings that were accidental - which is another story, for a different forum.

Okay, so lots of horrible stuff was happening in my life; some of it happening to me, and some I was involved in. I ended up with a couple of criminal records, that I've hazd to live through and move past. Then, I met someone! We were instantly, insanely in-love - and it was wonderful! [Hell! I was just freakin' stoked, that somebody could find something in me, worth loving and desiring!] Then we had a baby daughter.

But, in between, I was diagnosed with Diabetes. My first attitude ... well, Mum and Dad both had it, and they got by, just taking pills; and it runs in the family; and both of my older sisters had been diagnosed - one was put on insulin right away, and she was okay with it; the oldest sibling fought with her doctors, the way I did. My diabetes kept running high, with more and more risks ... I had my first bout of lazer surgery - already photophobic (light-hyper-sensitivity) due to my past; I came out of that with my nerves an absolute mess ....... But I'd learned, long ago, how to live through a big mess, and keep it all hidden nicely, out of the way, and putting on the fascade of perfect contentment. So I used that. And I decided, yeah, what the hell! I'll start using the insulin.

I went into hospital for 5-days, and practiced on the orange nerf-ball ... never a problem. The first time I self-injected, it was brand new; and I forced myself to expect the best ... but it still took me 20-minutes to actually puncture my skin and push the needle in. It didn't hurt, as much as I expected; so it was a pleasant surprise. The first week or two, at home, were no big deal!

Then a message began to play, in the back of my mind, over and over again: "You have to stab yourself, in order to save yourself." I felt like I was ignoring it; but it was becoming more and more annoying....I would take longer and longer,to take my needle - I'd fumble with the needle, I'd fumble with the vial of insulin, and then I'd stare (with an extreme narrow focus) at the needle of the syringe [I'd had to change from a 1/8" needle, to a 1/2" needle, because the insulin resistance had caused me to develop an extra layer of fat. I've developed a solid resistance to 4-5 different kinds of insulin. I'm back on Novolin, now (NPH & Toronto - the government medicare won't cover Lantus, for me).

My marriage failed completely in 1996 - the same year I began to show early signs of neuropathy - tingling in my hands and feet, inability to judge heat and cold with my feet or fingers. My marriage was over - I wasn't the best provider; but I wasn't a cruel husband; and I was an absolutely devoted father - though on a much more restricted income, now that I was on my own. I got to see my daughter every other weekend.

All I could think to do was to throw myself into my studies - peer counselling, at the local community college. I had to move away, if I wanted to further my studies and develop a specialty. Then my ex and daughter had to run away to Ontario, to escape the cruelties of her current boyfriend - she bounced around after our marriage, because my decision for us to separate for a year, then get back together with counselling for both of us; caused her to feel rejected and unwanted and unloved. none of which I ever said; but she remembers feeling that way. So, we both had our issues.

My pattern became constantly trying to make "things" work, whatever situation I was in; failing miserably, and sinking into deeper depression. I failed my studies - here in New Glasgow. More depression. For my diabetes management, my doctor tried me on the insulin pens; but I never got the proper dosage from it; plus, I kept getting those little lumps (like BB-shot) just under my skin at the injection sites ... and that freaked me out, badly. And i vowed I would only ever use the bigger vial and insulin syringes from that point onward! And that message began again, in the back of my mind: "You have to stab yourself, in order to save yourself." ... My depression deepened. I began cutting. I began to formulate one suicide plan after another. I failed in several relationships that I tried to succeed in. I am a gentle, tender lover, and a thoughtful man -- apparently, this was not the way to go with the three relationships I tried.

I've stopped cutting ... it was... ineffective. I still had too much fear of sharp objects. Now, I hate every dosage of insulin I have to take -- 4/day. Every time I fill the syringe, I feel like I should fill the syringe with a full 100-cc of fast insulin; then fill another one; then fill another one ... and take all three needles one right after the other ..... And then, wash down a bottle of sleeping pills with a pint of my favourite whiskey. Then strip down naked, lie down in the tub (easier clean-up, for whoever finds me); and go to sleep. Because of my insulin-resistance, I have to take massive doses of insulin, to have any affect at all, anyways. I am going blind in my right eye. I have been diagnosed with advanced kidney disease, and they keep threatening me with dialysis - I tell them, 'not bloody likely.' I'm waiting to find out if the liver disease they have seen is cirrhosis or cancer. And the diabetic neuropathy has firm hold of my bowels and esophagus - making it difficult, even, to swallow my own saliva; and is creeping into my brain, creating symptoms of early dementia, that i enjoy from time to time...

Depression & Diabetes? Yeah, I know all about it - except how to escape.

Peace, Hope, & Bright Blessings! [an ending as od as the greeting - lol]

Oh, Dwayne, I feel for you! I, too, have had Major Depressive Disorder since childhood, long before the diabetes. The only thing that I have truly found to help is ongoing psychotherapy and antidepressants. Yeah, everyone says that antidepressants are "happy pills" and every once in a while someone swears they'll get off them, because they're a crutch, but in fact, they're NOT happy pills! They're what keeps me alive. Just as much as the insulin keeps me alive in one way, the antidepressants keep me alive in another.

Of course, I don't know the particulars in your case, but you sound like a GOOD man who just has a stigmatized, chronic, invisible disease, and who needs help. I hope you can get it. There MUST be psychiatrists in Canada who would work with you, and a psychologist (or counselor) is a must, too. I send you my best wishes!

Hi Dwayne,
I hope you are in a better light since you posted this. I too suffered from horrible nose bleeds as a child and I was depressed from the time I could remember. Seriously, I too used to wish I could fly away. Please don't give up, we all have a fight here on earth, life is far from easy for any of us. Some have it harder than others I know.... If you read Dr Bernsteins teachings you might get a huge dose of hope as I did. Alot of cases of neuropathy
are reversable with consistant normal bs. I realize you have insulin resistance and I cannot imagine what that feels like, I freak out if I have to take a few extra units more than usual. I have always been senstive to insulin except during my pregnancies.Have you gotten your liver test back? Maybe jioning a walking group might help your mood and bs's? Take it easy

Greetings, Kim, Natalie, and All! Dwayne, here!

Natalie, currently, my doctors are reducing my anti-depressant (it wasn't working anyway); and trying to find a new one.

Kim, I wish I could join a walking group - the local heart Stroke chapter have several going here. But I can't walk more than a few feet - even with my walker - without getting dizzy, or mis-stepping, and falling. I've had too many hairline fractures to my skull and collar-bones, ribs, and other major bones ..... I cannot risk anymore.

Peace, & Blessings,

I truly hope you can find an antidepressant that works for you. It IS a trial and error process -- I've been through a lot of them. Some of them worked for a while, and one of them, Wellbutrin, caused inner ear damage resulting in balance problems. :-( But that wasn't the doctor's fault -- that side effect wasn't even listed, and she did turn in a side-effects report. So keep working on it -- it's just NOT an easy road!!

As far as exercise, have you ever considered chair exercise? I'm pretty sure you can get videos to follow. And sitting in a good chair will eliminate the falling risks, and exercising the muscles in your arms and legs will still be a good thing. Exercising in bed works too -- lay in bed and do things like lifting each leg slowly and bringing it down slowly, and repeat enough times that the muscles get tired, but NOT painful. You can do that with your arms, too, and try different patterns like lifting them up, or sideways, or reaching across your chest, etc. I think everyone can exercise, even if the exercise has to be modified to fit their own specific needs. And it doesn't need to be painful or exhausting. Moving, to whatever degree you can, is good enough.

Good luck, bro!

I too have been a depressive ever since I can remember. Have attempted suicide as a teen. I can really feel for what you are going through. Sometimes it is hard to find just the right person who will understand your problems and accept you as you are. Some depressed people self medicate with alcohol, drugs, self mutilation or food. For most of my life I have self medicated with food. Carbs especially. I found out that when I ate a lot of carbs I would get sleepy and could escape that way. Which works for the depresion, however the extra weight contributed to my diagnosis of type 2 diabetes. Now I find when I try to lower the carbs I turn to picking my skin until it bleeds. I have read this is a form of self soothing your emotions. It is like pulling a nose hair out to make a stubbed toe stop hurting. It gives your mind something else to think about. Do try to do those chair exercises and find some way to learn to meditate to calm your mind. I find a good lap session with my dog works best it soothes both you and your best friend getting your emotions out to something else helps a lot.

Don't give up try to find a good behavioral specialist there are lots of ways they can help get you to think more positively about your life.

Best wishes