Depression and Diabetes

By Mimiewal Latest Reply 2012-10-06 13:44:22 -0500
Started 2012-06-18 23:05:08 -0500

I am diabetic, and I noticed lately I've been unusually depressed about nothing important what I am wondering is? Is this a normal thing or something I should be concerned with?

25 replies

breeanna11 2012-10-06 13:44:22 -0500 Report

Do you have a free cliinic where you live? With no insurance I am sure they can help you. Good luck.I was diagnosed with diabetes a year and a half ago. The Dr itook me off my pills. I am so happy. My aic was 5.7.

dixiebj1 2012-08-15 16:09:14 -0500 Report

I was diagnosed with Diabetes a year and a half ago and told I have probably had it for several years before this. I have been suffering with severe depression for several months now but I have no insurance so I can't afford to go to the doctor. I am too young for medicare and state aid is closed so I can't get help there either. I can't afford to pay for the drugs for Diabetes or depression either
one. I'm trying to keep my diabetes under control by careful eating but I really don't have the appetite for food anyway. Anyway, if anyone has any suggestions I would sure appreciate it. Thanks!

dixiebj1 2012-08-15 23:37:37 -0500 Report

Thank You so much for giving me those links! It gives me some relief to know that there may actually be some assistance out there. I know that PTSD is a big part of the problem for me and I will be spending the morning applying for help. Thanks again!

Type1Lou 2012-08-04 12:45:00 -0500 Report

In December, I was diagnosed with clinical depression. My psychiatrist requested a blood test to check my B12 level and found it incredibly low (140)…so I started getting monthly B12 shots and taking a daily sub-lingual B12 supplement. After 6 months, I no longer need to see the psychiatrist and my depression is gone. I'm convinced that the low B12 levels were a major cause of my depression. Has your B12 level been checked? It is not unusual for diabetics to have low B12. It is a deficiency which can be easily remedied. (Although, I acknowledge that not all depression is caused by low B12 and may not be so easily treated.)

msdodiew 2012-08-04 12:04:22 -0500 Report

I am both a chronic depressive and a professional counselor. So I see it from both sides. I have seasonal affective disorder…fine in the summer but the amount of light available in a 24-hour period affects my body chemistry and causes depression. For anyone interested, a good book to read is "Seasons of the Mind" sort of an old book but a good one. In addition, I have had tremendous losses in my life, some which piled on top of each other about 20 years ago and it would be rare for anyone to be able to buck up under that amount of loss. Nobody is immune to depression if they find themselves totally alone with no support system, too much stress, and/or a great amount of loss. We are all human. I have had to learn to read my body to know when to act. The first thing any person suffering from depression needs to realize is that it is a medical disorder and every sympton of depression is also a cause for depression. Depression causes inability to sleep or wanting to sleep all the time or sleeping at inappropriate times of the day. It causes anorexic (inabilty to eat) symptoms or an increase in appetite (either serious weight gain or weight loss). It causes isolation, lethargy, an ache in the center of your chest, and all kinds of cognitive issues (inability to remember, motivate yourself to do ANYTHING, concentrate, focus, … similar to alzheimers). It can also have a serious anxiety and panic attack component to it. All of this is physically based. When it gets to a certain point, there is no amount of taking care of yourself which will pull you out of it. You need to seek help and get over being ashamed of it. After all, are you ashamed of having diabetes? They are both physical conditions. You can't will power diabetes away and you can't will power depression away. But there are some things you CAN DO. The most important is to get exercise. If you can't walk, do a reclining bike, arm bike, swim, do bed exercises. Anything to get your heart rate up for a significant length of time on a regular basis. This is one of the best things that you can do to counteract the physical problem of depression. It literally kicks in your natural anti-depressant chemistry. Get plenty of sleep. Even sleep apnea can cause depression as all sleep loss causes depression. Eat right. But depression can eat up lots of your B Vitamin or Stress Vitamins from your diet so supplement with Stress Vitamins or take a low carb nutritional shake. Listen to positive sermons or motivational speeches and upbeat music, force yourself to get up and move around (giving in to lethargy will cause more depressive chemistry to develop…it feels like poisons in your muscles after a while). But one of the most important things is to learn your point of no return and develop a plan. There is a point beyond which you cannot pull yourself up by your bootstraps and make it go away, no matter what you do. Depression spirals downward with every symptom folding back on itself and causing more depression. At that point, the only thing you can do is seek medical help. You need to see a specialist, a psychiatrist. Although primary care physicians can prescribe anti-depressant meds, they don't have the deep knowledge of this disease or the latest educational information. It is an evolving field and the newest meds cause the least side effects. You need that expertise. I hope alll of this helps someone. It is solid advice. You may contact me with questions at small.

Brighè 2012-08-04 12:22:03 -0500 Report

Thank you for your comment. It is appreciated! I have suffered 56 yrs of severe abuse and so many losses including now I'm losing my life at 56. Your comments should I hope be well received as they are honest and compassionate.

msdodiew 2012-08-04 13:10:36 -0500 Report

Losing my life? Literally? Cancer or some other terminal disease? I hope you are not alone. I hope you have a support system. I hope you have somone to surround you with love and compassion. I hope you have a hope beyond death. I will keep you in my prayers

hagar2935 2012-08-04 11:16:46 -0500 Report

I am always depressed. Have been for years, off & on. My psychiatrist thought I was faking it and when I got on SS disability because of my heart attacks and depression, he made the comment"Well, now you got what you wanted…"

People don't understand the depth of depression Diabetes triggers and the fact that it comes and goes depending on outside influences.

I am now depressed every day because of a divorce, loss of my home, huge IRS debt, aging and loss of many close friends due to death, and living day-to-day in a struggle to keep from being broke and hungry. It is a REAL struggle just to be strong enough to want to stay alive at all…

I sometimes just don't care anymore…

Brighè 2012-08-04 12:17:40 -0500 Report

I want to say that I have been in the medical field for my entire adult life. I was an aspiring Olympic athlete and a huge health nut. About 20 yrs ago, I suffered a serve depression and couldn't understand why. I was told by so many people "just get on with it and get over it already". I just could not understand. I know understand that I have suffered from an incurable disease which produced Diabetes and so many other organ problems including brain issues "DEPRESSION". I was told last year at the Cleveland Clinic I have been Diabetic for at least 36 yrs. My answer was, no way, I would have known since I was a Paramedic and Athletic Trainer.

It is so unfortunate but our society doesn't want to deal with and never has, the disease of depression. It is an automatic stigma for any person who suffers from this. It is more acceptable to have Cancer or Mitochondrial Disorder, "something real". The medical community is as much at fault for allowing this to happen as anyone. They simply don't want to deal with what they can't fully understand. NO MEDICAL CONDITION CAN BE FULLY UNDERSTOOD however, physiological disease is much more acceptable than psychological disorders.

Diabetes is one of the prime contributors to the development of "DEPRESSION". There is adequate research but no one wants to deal with the mind and heart and soul of a person. Give a pill and let me be done with you and I'll collect my money for treatment is the main problem. Most Dr.s don't want to deal with anything too challenging to their learning. Do you know that a medical Doctor has only a few hours of Nutrition Education unless that is their specialty. WHY IS THAT? Do we think that what we put in our body for food is that unimportant.

I will get off my soap box but you are right. You were mistreated by the medical community as are most people who pose a challenge. I have had 4 Dr.s in the last 8 months tell me they do not want to have to deal with what I have wrong with me so go find a new doctor. My disease is a genetic pediatric disorder diagnosed 6 yrs ago. THE RULE OF THUMB IS THIS: IF YOU HAVE 3 OR MORE ORGAN SYSTEMS NOT WORKING CORRECTLY IN YOUR BODY, YOU MOST LIKELY HAVE A FORM OF A MITOCHONDRIAL DISORDER!!!! Most adults who are now being diagnosed as just having acquired the disease are actually MISDIAGNOSED FOR MANY YEARS. One of the hallmark problems with Mito is it causes mental disorders because the brain requires so much energy to function and Mitochondrial Disorder is a disorder of Metabolism or simply the energy producing part of each cell the mitochondria don't work. Therefore, you fail to produce enough energy your cells need to function and then as cells replicate, you lose more cells to bad mitochondria and so forth until your organs no longer function properly.

LONG STORY SHORT———- These are problems our doctors are not willing to deal with because they are too complex for most to understand. It takes a certain doctor of metabolism and genetics to have a clue here. Way out of most Dr.s realm of understanding. I am not bashing Dr.s, it is just the facts. DON'T GIVE ME COMPLICATED ANY LONGER BECAUSE OUR HEALTH SYSTEM IS FAILING AND THERE IS NO HELP FOR THE DOCTORS EITHER.

Ok, enough said but understand that anyone who deals with what you are going through, ME, I feel as bad for you as I do for any depressed person because we just don't matter enough.

Buttercupoil 2012-08-04 12:05:56 -0500 Report

I know exactly what you mean and nobody really understands how we feel or cares deeply, especially doctors! Outside influences make the depression worse and my family right now, is at the bottom of the 'totem pole' as they've drained me to the very last penny. I too have lost my home; paid a huge IRS debt (that wasn't my fault…it was because of my daughter losing her husband to death right after their son was born), but it still ruined MY credit score and bro't me to shame. I struggle like you do, to just keep from being totally broke' and hungry and thgs that were fun at one time, simply are NOT ANYMORE! I don't much care anymore either. I will pray for you and would appreciate your sympathy and prayers for me as God is our Refuge, and HE doesn't make mistakes so He has a reason for putting us thru all this turmoil, and we'll meet HIM face to face some day; join all our loved ones who went before us and we'll worry noooo more, or be lonely and desperate. Our world is in such a mess, politically.. and everything looks dim so I wish God would just end this life and take us to His Kingdom, VERY SOON.

Set apart
Set apart 2012-07-31 06:07:46 -0500 Report

Hi there, when I was first diagnosed the first thing the Dr. Asked was if I needed any meds for depression. I actually thought he was crazy. Me not me! I've had D almost a year now and there are times when I feel like just crying and I don't even know why. As I go into my one year anniversary I know that my D isn't going away, I am T-1. What has worked for me to stay off of meds for depression, is to take care of myself. When my numbers are within normal range I feel great, I exercise so my body is strong, I work full time serving others, since I work with babies with disabilities. The important part is to find what helps you to relax, I love to read, hike, go fishing, sit in my back porch and watch the humming birds squabble for a drink. I am now thinking of finally writing down my reflections of my last year! Find time for you and take care of yourself! Hugs! Good luck!

Controlled 2012-07-09 20:01:31 -0500 Report

Actually, you are depressed about something very "important." There are metabolic fluctuations and other physical and emotional responses to this condition and the rest of life. I hope that you're taking care of yourself. That means even addressing depression. A very good start is admitting it. Another good thing is talking about it. So, you see, you are already on your way. Speaking with your physician would be a good idea including reviewing your medications, if any.

Let us know how you're doing. Do understand, however, depression will probably visit your throughout your life. You learn to embrace it and it lets go of you sooner.

tabby9146 2012-07-03 09:49:00 -0500 Report

sorry to hear this. I wish I could offer some great advice. I will pray for you and I hope things get better soon, but yes, be very concerned and seek some help.
I am mildly depressed at times, but if it is more than that, deifnitely need to take some action.

Just Joyce
Just Joyce 2012-06-19 14:52:18 -0500 Report

Hi Mimi, in answer to your questions based on me and only me, yes to both questions. Even though you don't know what is depressing you, you should take it seriously. Depression can get progressively worse if you don't take care of it.

I was on anti depression medication for 10 years before I was weaned off of it. Now if I get depressed of feel myself becoming depressed, I know what to do to get me out of it. Usually it is some problem that I have not worked out entirely. Once I solve the problem I am back to myself.

I have found that when I am depressed, my blood sugar will rise a little. Once I am out of it, I am back to my normal levels. My biggest help for me was biofeedback, relaxation training and writing in my journal.

My neighbor is about to start teaching Tai Chi and I am thinking about joining his free classes. He is opening them up to anyone on the block. This should be fun as it is something I have never tried before.

Caroltoo 2012-06-18 23:52:04 -0500 Report

I think it would be fair to say "yes" as a response to both of those questions. You are aware that you have been diagnosed with what is usually considered a progressive disease that can lead to some very severe complications like heart attack, stroke, and neuropathy (nerve pain). No matter how you look at that, it is naturally a bit depressing.

I would take all depression seriously, even though it may not be severe. You don't want it to become severe, or longstanding, or reach the level of clinical depression because, when it does, it really interferes with you life.

The ways in which we make our diabetes manageable are also the ways in which a person manages depression. The major contributors to our regaining our health are: healthy food choices, regular exercise, and learning effective ways to manage our stress levels.

Eating in a really healthy manner involves giving up some things we love (so we feel sad) and adding foods that help us feel better and healthier (encouraging).

Exercising regularly helps us tone muscle, lose weight, get more control over our own bodies, and increase our insulin sensitivity so that our bodies can better use the insulin we produce or inject.

Stress management encourages us to better organize our lives, reduce the negatives in our lives, and look for the relaxation to be found in nature, music, relationships, or whatever makes your life joyful and abundant.

When you are caring for yourself in these ways, you will find your diabetes is easier to live with and you depression will lighten as joy fills your life. Self care is a prescription for good physical and mental health.

jayabee52 2012-06-18 23:39:13 -0500 Report

Howdy Minnuewall Good to see you posting again. Sorry it was for this reason.

Is it a normal thing? YES it is.

Is it something with which you should be concerned? Yes it is!

Just because depression is a usual part of Diabetes does not make it any less serious.

Please tell us what it seems to be troubling you?


Mimiewal 2012-06-19 03:02:41 -0500 Report

Hey James thanks for the response. I have missed talking with every one here, but I'm back now so I'm looking forward to talking to everyone again. Also thanks for letting me know that it is something that can be normal for me to experience.