Its been almost 30 yrs I have had Type 1 Diabetes and for 15 of them I have had a condition of mental disturbance. So what does that mean? For the last 15 years I have suffered, no, survived depression. I don't believe that I suffer from it. I live with it and I manage. But for these 15 years why hasn't my diabetes management included this "disturbance". It wasn't until the last 3-4 years when my specialist introduced the idea that until "I FIX ME", my diabetes will suffer and so will I. I have 2 children and a wonderful wife. I want a wonderfully long marriage and I want to see my children grow up.
My point is, like it says above, no manage out there for diabetes is successful if the patient themselves is not in the right frame of mind.
Is diabetes mental for you?
I was diagnosed with type 1 in january 1996. At the time I was badly bullied in school so getting diabetes just made my depression worse. My mother was in charge of my illness then and could keep it/me under control then. I was 11 at that time. When I was 12 I got so depressed with everything that I took an overdose of my nighttime insulin and I almost died. I had to go through a lot in my teens which kept the depression there pretty much all the time. And it was showing in my HbA1c. Still does I´m afraid. So I absolutely agree on the mental effect on the illness and vice versa. Diabetes made me very moody when the sugars got high or low. It becomes like an evil circle really. You don´t have the energy to look after the diabetes when you are depressed and your sugars get high which make your moods swing which leads to a more unstable life which again leads to more depression. It takes great motivation to break that cycle.
I feel for you. I was diagnosed when I was six in 1956. My mother don't tell anyone about the diabetes but somehow some found out. I had mean kids tease me and say I know you have diabetes and used to tease me in the girls bathroom. Now I am grown I have realized that I am a brave compassionate person. The number of injections blood sugars and high and low blood sugars make me a brave person. Life is like a fight and we must keep fighting for everything. I know it is depressing but if you can find true friends and be compassionate to others think of yourself as a brave and wonderful person.
Okey...i am also a type 1 diabetic and i usually experience a mental disturbance when i have a hypoglecemia attack...
maybe u should manage ur bloodsugar very well...if u manage then ur mental disturbance well vanish and u will live a wonderful life free from mental disturbance,,,and please avoid some stress okey...God Bless...
"mental disturbance when I have a hypoglycemic attack"
Wow.. I hadn't even thought about this part of the scenario. I sometimes have VERY disturbing ... uh, I dunno what you'd call it... it's like I lose touch with reality. Total seriousness here.
I can remember getting low one time & being totally convinced there were men trying to break into my house to kill me & my kids. I wasn't like running around, freaking out, but I was SCARED outta my mind & couldn't get across to my husband what was bothering me. :(
Another time, just a few years ago... I must have just dropped really fast (I have hypoglycemic unawareness) & I was watching some movie.. the room kept changing size.. like the walls were moving in & out (I know, I sound like a loon, which is why I've never told this to ANYone) I had this sense that people were trying to interrogate me (maybe I was watching a spy flick?) & they were accusing me of things I'd NEVER do. People, it was SO vivid! It was like I kept going through rooms & each one led to another room, over & over. I could never get to where I was going. I'd look at the door & it kept moving back & forth and I kept thinking occasionally that "Wait, I think I might be low. Um.. I need to focus. Where am I again?" Y'know, like I couldn't figure out what was real & what wasn't.
When my husband came in the house & saw me just sitting there on the couch, he started fussing at me for not doing something & it took him awhile to figure out I was hypo. *sigh*
Does that kinda thing happen to anyone else? I've never heard of anyone else having like, I dunno, almost like hallucinations or something. :(
Those ARE hallucinations. When your brain is not getting the nutrients it needs, it starts to malfunction, but what you see and hear (and taste and smell) seem TOTALLY real, and the places in your brain that distinguish between the possible and impossible may not be functioning. And hallucinations can be totally scary, aided by the adrenaline that may be coursing through your veins because of the hypoglycemia.
I had a hypERglycemic coma last year, and I had HORRIBLE hallucinations, and I was totally convinced they were real. My sweet 21-year-old nephew came to the hospital almost every day, and I would tell him stuff, and he would patiently sit there and tell me "That doesn't make sense. Think about it. It doesn't make sense." That proves that the brain doesn't work well on maple syrup instead of blood.
Make sure your husband knows that you hallucinate when you're low -- it may explain some strange behavior, and make him more aware that you might be low and need help! Good luck!
I was in town with my parents last summer and had an argument with my dad and suddenly I wasn´t able to say the words that I wanted to say so I started sqeeking and screaming odd noices at him. He thought I had a mental break down and took me to hospital (thank God!). The hospital staff was told that I am diabetic but they ignored that and treated me like I was in psychosis. Until I passed out. Then they checked my bloodsugars and understood what was wrong with me. I had a hypo. Crazy stuff..
its very mental for me... Thats what I am struggling with right now. I can't focus and manage my diabetes 100% until I can manage and focus on me.
I had not thought too much about the mental side to be honest - though certainly, a disease that has to be on your mind every day can do things to you. Knowing that you will have it for the rest of your life - unless we find a cure of course, would definitely play a large role as well. It certainly affects us in different aspects of life, and is not easy to deal with.
Hmm... is it mental as in "it makes me crazy"? YES. Is it mental in that it takes huge amounts of mental acuity just to live in a sort-of-pretend "normal" state of health? YES. Is it mental as in "If you'd just think positive, your sugar wouldn't do that." (meaning go up & down and being totally unpredictable). NO! NO! NO!
I am a pretty positive person. I'm not a bubbly Pollyanna, but I prefer to see the glass as half full. I am very dedicated to my faith and believe there is a purpose for all things, even diabetes. Do I know what that purpose is exactly? Nope. Does that bother me? Nope.
Do I feel cheated in some way that *I* have diabetes? No, not really although I can admit to having a few pity parties in the past 36 years of living with this disease. But when I start feeling all pitiful and victimized, I think to myself that maybe *I* was given this disease because I'm strong enough to handle it. Because perhaps someone needs/ed to see that ability to cope in me to help them deal with some problem in their life. I dunno. I just know that with this disease, EVERY. SINGLE. THING in your life is affected by it and you can't take a vacation from it, you can't just say, No, I'm not doing this anymore. & quit taking your meds, checking those sugars, etc... not if you care for those that care about you.
Probably if not for my two sons, I would possibly have been to the point of not caring enough to try anymore. But they keep me going. No amount of badgering from my mother or pleas from my husband do what knowing my kids are worried about me or having been scared by me having some health crisis because I wasn't being careful & doing what I'm supposed to... that gets me back on track quicker than anything. I am because they are, ya know?
So yeah, a doctor once told me that depression is just a given for anyone with a chronic disease. It was a revelation to me at that time, but it makes sense. Carrying the kind of 'baggage' we do can wear even the strongest person down over time. The key is realizing that, yeah, it's gonna happen. You're gonna get down & depressed & wonder why it even matters. But that's not a new state of being, it's just a passing storm and the sun will come out again. And yeah, I think that if you don't have the right attitude about diabetes, you can mentally defeat yourself & derail your health & maybe even your life!
I realize I've just been babbling here, but it's been kinda cathartic so thanks for bringing this up!
I think I am more anxiety ridden than depressed. Or perhaps they feed off one another. When I discuss my state of mind...like the one I am going through now, where I suddenly convinced myself I would be going blind in the next ten years because I have background retinopathy... and as a result am thinking about it every day... it causes me anxiety for the future, but motivates me to get in the best shape and care of my condition to avoid that potential. I grew up never really feeling like a diabetic. I was a person who took shots because a part of my body did not work correctly. It was not until I got diagnosed with retinoapthy that my life altered and I became afraid and depressed. I stopped living my life because of that, and I still struggle with a lot of fear, even though I have done a lot with my life and lived in many countries and travelled so much for my job. I think my anxiety will subside if I can see concrete results in my tighter control in the near future. I am a 37 year old man, who has had this almost his entire life, and I am hoping it is not too late for me to reverse the damage done, and restart a new. My endo seems to think so, but I have to get past this state of mind to do so.