Depression and type 1

By Anonymous Latest Reply 2011-04-01 10:46:04 -0500
Started 2011-03-30 07:37:25 -0500

I am new to hi!
I am a type 1 diabetic and so is my dad. About 5 years ago my dad retired and slipped into major depression. He does not believe he needs insulin (his A1c last year was 16!!!!) or any other medication. His health is slowly go down hill. He doesn't want to leave the house at all. His social skills are gone. He lost a bunch of weight. He obsessively scatches these sores on his legs. Which are all black & blue now. He lives with my step mother. I suggested inpatient treatment, but of course my dad doesn't think so. My step mother says he has to be willing to go and wont submit him just because he is skinny now.
Is there anything I can do?

5 replies

wrmjw1 2011-04-01 10:46:04 -0500 Report

I'm kinda going through the same thing that your dad is going through. I am currently unemployed and just last year I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. I have been suffering from depression since I was a kid. The whole not wanting to leave the house is difficult, I often find it hard, I have to have a reason for leaving the house. Since I now live alone its harder for me to come up with reasons to leave, like going to buy food and going to the library to look for jobs online. Since your father is retired( like my dad) its harder for him. My dad retired from his job but he went and got another job at a temp agency as a dispatcher. The job is easy and he doesnt have as much pressure as he had on his last job. You have to be supportive of your dad try to give him things to do and help him do them. The whole scratching his legs and the weight loss is something I can relate to. I tried to kill myself by not taking any of my insulin shots and I didnt eat anything for 3 days before my kidneys felt like they were gonna explode. I keep feeling like since I have diabetes I have an easier way to destroy myself. But, enough about me your dad just needs to feel useful again, then he should be alright.

Slna 2011-03-31 06:09:28 -0500 Report

Thank you all for your replies and thoughts. I will try to look for social services to try to come to his house. We have a small family, just me, my brother (who has his own problems..drugs), my step mother and her daughter. I did contact my brother and all he said was "what do u want me to do about it". I like the idea of the intervention. My brother and I did try that about 2 years ago. But my dad wouldn't go to the psychologist we were trying to set him up with.
My step mother is very frustrated..which is understandable. My dad lies to her saying he took his medicine..even though he didn't or he tested his blood sugar and it was 170 (he says that number all the time..then I test his sugar and it was 389!). He likes her taking care of him, but I think she needs to physically watch him take the medicine. She plays the guilt trip on me saying I should be more involved…and I have tried..but He doesn't seem to love anything enough to keep him going. He used to love his Harley motorcycle and cars, now it collect dusts. I have offered to make my hour drive to take him for coffee or lunch and invited him over to see my son, his grandson, baseball games and I get the same answer "we'll see what happens".
I think everyone is right he is trying to kill himself… medically.
I will keep you posted and thank you again for your thoughts and concerns and prayers!

Dr Gary
Dr GaryCA 2011-03-30 21:52:10 -0500 Report


This is such a sad story. It is always heartbreaking when people can, and should, get help but refuse to. I suspect you have tried to persuade him to get help but he refuses to listen.

I don't now your father, of course, but I can suggest a couple of possibilities to consider.

When people are experiencing extreme depression, they find it difficult if not impossible to motivate themselves to get help. Depression is a double whammy in that way. Without intervention, it is a downward spiral.

Also, if an older person is experiencing cognitive deterioration, due to a medical condition or the effects of advanced age, or some combination, they may refuse to accept help, or even understand that their health is at risk. In other words, he/she may no longer be competent to make decisions.

You may want to reach out for additional assistance and advice. You may have community social services in your area wth assistance for elderly people, maybe even a resources hotline. Your physician, or your father's physician may be aware of resources to help elderly people in your community. Many states offer a hotline with resources related to information or services for the elderly.

At some point, your father's condtion may deteriorate into a need for hospitilization, at which point other resources, including the hospital social work department, will become involved.

A caseworker might be helpful to your father, and step-mother, in suggesting resources, either through a hospital or through a local state or county social servies department. But as his health declines, so will the options for his care.

How is your step-mother doing? I would suspect that this situation is also affecting her physically and emotionally.

And how are YOU doing?

I would encourage you to reach out for informaiton about resources in your area. Sounds like outside intervention is needed.

I will hold you in my thoghts. Please keep us posted!


realsis77 2011-03-30 12:03:58 -0500 Report

Wow I'm soo sorry what a terriable situation! Does he even go to the doctor? Sounds like its time for an intervention with his loved ones. He is killing himself and something needs to be done! Get his loved ones together as many as possiable and together urge him to get the help he needs. Tell him you love him and refuse to sit back and let him kill himself! Talk to his doctor tell his doctor what is happening! Get as many people to back you up as possiable! This is terriable! Hopefully he can be urged into doing what he has to do to help himself. This in a way reminds me of my own father,he would not stop drinking even as the doctor urged him too. He ended up dieing due to liver failure and it was awful! I miss him a lot! Because he was too stubborn to listen or too proud to get help he lost his life. I don't want that to happen to your father! You can do your best to help but ultimatly it is up to him. He must be willing to do what it takes! My heart goes out to you! I will pray for him! I'm so sorry you have to watch him decline like this! Maybe if he gets help with his depression it would also help. But if he's not willing to help himself and take his meds I don't know what you can do?? Maybe someone else has some other ideas? I truely wish you the best and please keep us posted on how he's doing ok? We are here to support you no matter what and if you ever want to talk I'm here to listen. I've been in your shoes with my own father and I'm so sorry you have to go through this kind of pain! If I can help in anyway please let me know! God bless you!

jayabee52 2011-03-30 08:10:13 -0500 Report

Howdy, Annon!

I read this discussion with tears welling up in my eyes. Wow, that's really heavy.

It seems that your dad has just given up on life. He is essentially committing suicide in slow motion. I know of nothing, short of trying something to get him interested in living life again, but you would be in a better position to be able to know what might interest him in taking more interest in life.

Also we can pray! I will pray for him, and you.