I had never really talked to anyone about my depression associated with Type 1 Diabetes. 18 years, and I wasn't good for a good 5 of them when I was a teenager. I now am paying the price, I'm 22 years old and have retinopathy, and am blind in my left eye as a result. I often think that my husband has a crap job of being with me because my control even when I test 10 times a day is far from perfect even though I'm really trying. Everytime there is an unexplained high, or low I feel like I'm failing myself. I think about how I'm going to die early, all the damage I've done to myself, I wonder most days if at the rate I've been going if I'll make it to 60. I worry if I'll ever be able to have children, about buying a house, about living my life the way I'd like to because diabetes always seems to be the elephant in the room that keeps me from doing what everyone else does. Has anyone else ever had depression like this regarding their own diabetes and their complications?
How do you cope?
Sorry CaityJ, I'm in Langley BC, otherwise that would have been a neat coincidence.
I have tried CGM but unfortunately they are far too expensive to keep up for me. It would cost $200 a month for the "thingy that goes in you" (very scientific). So i was only usuing it once in awhile, but last time I pulled it out to use it, the transmitter wasn't working. So that would be another $500 to replace if it's still the same price. I don't know if medicare covers them now, but haven't really tried to look into it again. It is a wonderful thing to have!
Ladybell, I think lots of us have been where you are. I was diagnosed at 16, which is about the worst time for anyone to be telling you what not to do. :) In college, I drank far more than I should and for a good couple of years barely did any testing of my blood sugars at all. I had several kidney infections during that time, but I really didn't get my act together until I was about 20.
Now, I've had Type 1 for 30 years and just this week found out I have the very beginnings of kidney damage. I am hopeful I may be able to reverse that, but I'm not sure if I can. Each of our bodies react differently and our diabetes is very individual. I feel I've been inordinately lucky to have done as little damage as I have so far. I have three healthy children, a loving husband and profound gratitude for the "easy" time I've had.
Really, nothing about Type 1 is easy. It's all a matter of persistence and effort. Each day is different and anything - a cold, an injury, a bout of depression - can derail your day. But we get a new day every morning and we can only try our best to make the most of that day. You have a tough life and no one can promise it will get better or easier. But you are in control and that is the thing to remember. You are in the driver's seat, making the decisions and no one else. So keep fighting every day to eat right, exercise and monitor your numbers. Celebrate every "normal" blood sugar and feel good about it. They are not accidental, but the result of hard work on your part.
Regrets only weigh you down. What is past is past. The decisions you made cannot be unmade and there are no do-overs. But there is today and what we choose to make of it. Keep making good decisions and know that we will be here to celebrate each good day and good number and good test result with you OR to strategize how you could make things even better.
Ladybell, I was referred to this site for another download, but found this one about diabetes and depression. You may want to check it out!
This is a great place. William Polonsky is the founder and he has spoken and written widely. I really liked his book "Diabetes Burnout."
I cannot thank you enough for that link. Just so overcome by the content...I can't begin to gather my thoughts to express how it touched me.
you shared something that will help me very much. Thank you. Debe
Debe, I'm so glad the link helped you. Looked like lots of great stuff over there. Both diabetes and depression are daily struggles, but at least we have each other to lean on. Hugs to you!
the biggest thing to do is keep in mind you aren't alone! i've been dealing with some anxiety with the disease, i was diagnosed at 13 and have had it for 13 years. it's tough. every day is different. but you just have to keep in mind that every day is different, so many things go into blood sugar readings and how you feel. just having someone to talk to that won't judge you for not caring has helped me. i know the consequences of not caring, but some times you just need a break. and that's ok. just hang in there, it does get better. take each day one at a time!
Ladybell, I think everyone goes through periods of depression. I know I have. I've experienced the guilt, too. I've been a Type 1 for 15 years now. I found myself feeling the same about my husband as you do yours - how could I do this to him?? But then, I just have to snap myself out of it. I have to realize that I didn't ask for this disease. I have to make myself believe that I've always done the best that I could for myself, but sometimes I had different priorities in my life (not diabetes). I know I'll suffer consequences one day, but we just have to live life one day at a time. I'm here to talk if you ever need anything. It helps to know that you aren't alone.
There is a Friends For Life being held in Vancouver, BC. It is sponsored by Children With Diabetes but you will also meet and make friends with a lot of adults with type 1 as well. Here is the link. Friends for Life Canada
Just remember, a number is simply a number. Correct and continue with the day. If you are testing that frequently, you are correcting quickly and able to get a better grasp on your overall average. Not sure if you are pumping, but maybe you need to do a delay, or change your coverage at different times of the day. So many factors go into blood sugar, emotions, fat content of food, activity....Your blood sugar reading in simply a number that allows you to correct or change where you currently are! Testing that many times a day, allows you to stay on top of it. Don't think of it as a bad number. It is simply a number that allows your educated self to do what you have to do!
You are more than your diabetes. It is a part of who you are,what makes you unique, but not all of who you are! Yes, it is alot of work to manage but you are more than diabetes!
Oh, I think ALL Diabetics have emotional issues with our CHRONIC illness. I have actually considered getting a masters in counseling specializing in diabetics. I think there is such a huge need to find support for us. It is hard! Bottom line...we make dozens of life and death decisions daily and as a child we made dozens of decisions that would impact us for decades. I wouldn't trust my diabetes to a 12 year old today, but looking back a 12 year old was in charge of MY future (me that was). Right there with you.