Type 1 Diabetic, Non-Compliant and Frustrated

Hello All,

I havent checked this site in a while, but I have been going through some stressful things and I thought that if I put it out there then I wouldnt feel as bad......But I am currently having so many negative thoughts and feelings about diabetes. I have had a few counselors over the years, I have been to support groups, but nothing is working and I just dont know what to do anymore. I currently live in Florida where I have lived for three years while I am completing my masters. I have no family or friends here. What should I do? Im feeling very hopless.....

Hi Annette,

I think everyone, diabetic or not, has had some type of hopeless situation in their life. I think in all situations in life, you have to really look inward and find what drives you to wake up everyday. It could be something very small or large. Everyone in life needs intrinsic motivation to get up and move. I am not sure if you are religious, and if you aren’t I hope this doesn’t offend you, but I found in this time of my great change, the support and comfort I received from Him and from my church really helped me along. If that is not your style, then maybe pick up a hobby or something that you can do outside of school/work and outside of diabetes where you can connect and do “normal” things that will help you stay active and involved in daily life.

To me, diabetes needs to be an important part to all of our lives that have been diagnosed, because it is essential in our survival, but it should not be the absolute focal point. If we are living for this disease, it will ultimately defeat us. Learn to live your life and enjoy it to the fullest!

I'm sorry you are having a rough time, Annette. I agree with Benjamin that it sounds as if you are unhappy about other things in your life, and that just makes being motivated to do the work we have to do to manage our D even harder to come by.

In the just short of 5 years since my diagnosis, I've found that I need to add more enrichment to my life than I did before D! Because if there aren't things in my life that I care about and that nurture me, then my whole life becomes Diabetes and that isn't much of a life!

You say you are completing your Masters and hopefully you are doing it in something you are passionate about and look forward to working in. But graduate school is hard - it is work, so you still need something positive to cause you to feel fulfilled. Not having any family or friends where you live is hard. Do you communicate with them often, by phone or on Skype? Obviously you can't move your family but have you made an attempt to make new friends in Florida? It's not an easy thing to do for some of us and you really have to put yourself out there, but otherwise you will be lonely and resentful of your Diabetes! As Benjamin says, whatever activities you enjoy or have enjoyed in the past you have to do now, or, as you're young, try new ones! The best way to connect to others is through shared activities.

Have you contacted the JDRF in your area? You can look them up online and find your local chapter. I started a support group where I used to live under the sponsorship of JDRF and I can't tell you how important it was to me to connect to other Type 1's!

Finally, do you think you might be clinically Depressed? If so, it isn't going to go away. People can tell you to "cheer up" but for someone with clinical Depression that just makes you feel worse because you can't just pull yourself out of it, if you could you would! So if that might be the case I strongly encourage you to go to therapy. Just because you've done it in the past doesn't mean it won't work now. You have to find the right therapist for you (think about what you did or didn't like about the counselors you've seen). And at different stages in our life we both have different issues to work on, and are more ready to do the work we need to do.

Feeling hopeless is a part of Depression. If you are assessed and diagnosed with Major Depressive Disorder, you might need medication. Some people are very anti-medication and think you "should be able to deal with it yourself". But Depression is chemical and sometimes needs a chemical treatment.

You deserve a good life, and you are worth the care it takes to get you there.

I totally agree with what's been said already, so won't say it again, but wanted to add a big HUG.

Find a d friend in the area and travel this road together. Hopefully, they would be a good role model, but if they are struggling as well, then make progress together.

There may be a t1 group on campus....or do a little volunteer work for the ADA or JDRF. Let others know what you are looking for and I would bet someone is looking for the exact same thing and would jump at the chance to partner up and get healthy together.

Remember, it is about progress....not perfection.

I have been a type 1 diabetic for 11 years and I have been non compliant for seven of those years...Yes being in graduate school is alot of hard work, but thats not what bothers me....I guess my real problem is that I dont know what makes me feel happy or fulfilled....As far as family I talk to my mother every other day or sometimes I wont speak to her for 3-4 days at a time (its usually when Im feeling depressed that I dont want to speak with my mother)But I really dont speak to my family members. What would I talk about?.....I have made many efforts to make new friends but people here are so defensive and closed off, they dont seem open or interested in being friends. I used to volunteer with the ADA last year for about five months, but it wasnt motivational it was more irritating.I have attended support groups for diabetics and the support groups made me feel even more alone!!!..Everyone that came to the groups brought someone for moral support (I felt like I was on noahs ark!) I had no one to go to the groups with me.

I dont know if I am clinically depressed....I have sought therapy from 4-5 different therapists, and a few of them told me that they were not equipt to handle my kind of situation, and others told me that they are not taking on anymore clients. Honestly at this point I dont know what I deserve, I just feel terrible.

There are no support groups on campus for diabetics and I volunteered with the ADA last year for five months and it was more irritating than motivational.

What helped me has always been finding things that weren't diabetes related, whether it was rock and partying (maybe too much partying but well, it made me keep an eye on my BG for uh, 10-15 years?) and, more recently, exercise. Tae Kwon Do was a wierd thing for me, to just "drink the [sugar-free...although eventually, as I was working out pretty hard, I was hitting gatorade before class...] kool-aid" and try something. It started out at a very basic level and moved incrementally through various challenges. It was a fun group of people (more like Mr. Miyagi than the bad guys in the karate kid....finding a good school can be challenging too?) and I learned a lot about myself and how to approach making changes. My bg actually got worse for a while, as I decided to eat less, without bothering to talk to a doctor, dietitian or anyone else, and just guessed about adjusting my insulin, as this was before I learned about carb counting (c.2007!). One thing led to another but I kept and it and, eventually, have been doing ok.

Diabetes control can get bound up with your feelings about it but I think that it's really important to set goals for yourself to get a handle on your blood sugar as hyperglycemia and/ or rollercoastering (hyper followed by hypo if that's your approach...that's sort of what I did, although not really so many hypers...mostly hypo-hypo-hypo...) can be physically debilitating and lead to the down symptoms you're describing? If your BG is out of line, I think that support groups and doctors and CDE and psychologists may play a role but that you are going to have to be the one to figure out where the changes need to be made as far as your BG goes. The whole data thing can be very tedious but may be necessary to get a handle on it.

Sorry to blather about myself so much in your thread but I felt like a big (literally...) mess before I made changes. I dunno how many years I lopped off my life when my A1C went up for a while but I hope it wasn't too many and that you can figure out a motivational strategy for yourself?

I am sorry you're going through this. I think that everyone goes through this kind of thing at one point or another in their life, but when you throw T1D into the mix, it just makes it infinitely harder (for a few reasons). First, I definitely think it can be harder to have close friends/relationships when you have T1D. T1D is like a demanding child that can really interfere with doing "normal people" things. I have, however, found that this means the friends I do have are that much more special. That said, when I was in grad school, I had very few friends. Between school, managing D, working, etc, I just didn't have time!

Second, the depression you are feeling very well might be stemming from high blood sugars. If you're having trouble managing your D and your BGs are running high, that alone can make you feel really depressed and irritable.

If you can, start by getting control of your BGs. Don't worry about anything else other than getting your numbers relatively in range. Once you've done that, you can at least rule out fluctuating BGs as the cause for any depression.

As for friends....I would say don't worry about it until you're done with grad school!! I don't know what kind of program you're in, but I know my grad school experience was so intense that friends and a social life were just out of the question!

I hate the word non-compliant. To me it means that I refuse to do what the doctor said. I am not some child. I have to make my own choices. And if you choose to not test or otherwise take care of yourself that is "my choice." Not necessarily a good choice, but it is my choice.

I know that you are struggling to make the right choices, but I encourage you to make this about adherence to your choices. Decide what you want. You can beat yourself up when you don't follow through with your own choices, but you really won't own your own path if you don't commit yourself to a choice. If they don't agree with the doctors choices, then tough noogies, you will be declared non-compliant. I am sometimes outrageously non-compliant (like my diet), but I always try to be adherant and be true to my choices.

I agree 100% BSC about the non-compliant label. My doctor is not my wife or my boss or my mother so I don't see him as someone I have to comply with.

My doctor is someone I seek advice from and someone whose advice I try to follow. I hate that term so much that I told my doctor's nurse practioner so when she told me I should comply with her recommendation for a colonoscopy.

Gary S

I agree I hate that term. Almost as I hate the term "brittle" diabetic. Both should be struck from the diabetes dictionary.

I also can't stand the "non-compliant" label. To me it conjures up the connotation that if only we would "follow the rules" we would have perfect control. How dare they label a PWD as "non-compliant" when they don't walk in our shoes every day 24/7. They have no way of knowing what we are and aren't doing in our diabetes regimen. The numbers don't tell the entire story.

Hi Annette,
I can’t even express how much I can relate to what you’re saying…I’ve always been a positive person, but lately after 32 years of dealing with this disease, I’m really depressed. I had a prominent career that was ended by this disease when I started getting wounds on my feet that wouldn’t heal from standing all day and I’ve gone too blind to drive, so I’m stuck home all day long. I know I shouldn’t complain…I get help from my brother getting food and medicine from my brother, and I’m sure compared to many people, I’m on the high road, but, damn, 32 years of this is just f’ing depressing. Didn’t write this to bring you down, just remember that you are truly not alone. There are thousands of us out there who know exactly where you’re coming from. So, keep your chin up, dear. The universe took 14 billion years to bring us here, and life is a beautiful thing. Make the most of it.
Take care,

Hello annette!
youve gotten much good advice here! i agree with the getting the bg down to rule out the high bg as a contributing factor in feeling down, the physical activity that acid rock mentioned and the getting therapy/trying it again.
whenever i am feeling rubbish, i try to get out 0f the house and to the beach, down a mountain path, on a bike, on foot, but away from the hustle and bustle to clear my head.

ive moved around a lot in the past couple of years(4 cities in 12 years) and youre so right, its hard to make friends. is there anything you like doing 0r would like to learn that lends itself to meet up groups or clubs? hiking, knitting, gardening, reading, tae kwon d0, salsa dancing, creative writing? do you think you might enjoy mentoring, teaching someone a skill youve got or being a big sister to a kid who needs a positive role model? it might be more satisfying than volunteering at ada?

please let us know how you are doing in the near future! wishing you the very best!

And remember to keep the music playing, you do not feel so alone when you have music going, whether in the background or full on. Even if someone just knocks on your door to tell you to keep the music down, it is a contact with the real world. I know how you feel finding it difficult to make friends, I do too. Maybe at your University chapel you would find some friendly faces, it may not be your thing, but it would help you past this truly difficult time. Hugs, Maureen

Hi, Eric

It is comforting to know that I am not the only one feeling depressed, negative, ans angry about having to deal with diabetes on a day to day basis. However this site has been somewhat helpful...the people here have such a positive outlook on diabetes and how to take control of it without letting it consume their lives. I hope to get to that place someday where I can know that I am not just a person with diabetes, but that I am so much more....I will take your advice and make the most of the life that I have....Hope all is well



Thanks for the advice....actually I do go the beach from time to time just to clear my mind of everything stressful, but it usually doesnt help for long. I would like to find a weekly support group to go to here in miami because I relate better to those who know what Im going through and cvan give me some real advice on how to handle certain situations. I have tried other outlets to meet new people: I tried a all womens boot camp, reading, and painting pottery.....well its not that many but Im trying to put myself out there. I was thinking of trying salsa dancing....I dont think I really have any skills to teach anyone....

Hey Annette,
I can completly relate to what ur saying. I have had diabetes for 13 yrs and im 25 yrs old. And i'm were your at right now....I think you came to the right place though. This site has really helped me. I ncan say how i realy feel no matter how negative it is and there are always ppl here to comfort and keep me going. I think it normal to feel like you do at times. Its not easy to have to be so different. Advice i can give you is just be honest with yourself. dont hide or ignore the way you feel. its ok to express the frustration and even saddness. Things always get better and everyday is a new day, where you can make a new start!! It will be ok Annette. We are all here for you and if you ever need a friend to talk to just message me. Good luck!!!God bless.