Diabetes is completely mental, both on a physical and emotional level. Physically, rapidly changing blood sugar has a HUGE impact on my emotions. I get cranky when I'm too high or too low, and downright weepy when I get low (especially if I'm having a bad low). In addition, the stress of managing this 24/7 disease can be downright overwhelming and mentally draining. There are some days where I swear I don't have a single bit of mental energy to give up to anything else because all of it has been consumed by diabetes - carb counting, bolusing, changing basal rates, changing infusion sets, testing, etc....it all just takes up so much time and energy. Then there's the stress of thinking not just about the immediate issues that need to be addressed, but the bigger, looming issues. Will I develop complications? Will I be blind before I'm 40? What else will I have to deal with in the future? Will I be able to handle it?
Sadly, I don't think endos have done a good job of acknowledging all of this. My endo is great, but she has never asked me how I'm doing emotionally. I understand that to a point, because she is more concerned about things like my vision and my A1C, but still, the ability to ward off future complications depends on my ability to manage the disease now.
Finally, there's also the emotional stress that comes from society's perception of diabetes, particularly all the confusion between T1 and T2. I rarely tell people I'm a T1 diabetic because it's so stressful....they don't understand how I could be "diabetic" because I'm not overweight, or they say something like, "Oh, you have the bad kind of diabetes." Every time I hear that, I get a pit in my stomach.
So, yeah, diabetes IS mental for me in that it takes a huge toll mentally. BUT, I am trying really hard to deal with all of that and not let it get to me.