By Scarlet03 Latest Reply 2013-07-26 23:43:22 -0500
Started 2013-04-26 22:29:26 -0500

You know we all do…diabetic or not…especially when we are stressed…have low blood sugar…or some other reason…causes us to get angry, sad, paranoid, panic, out of the blue

Some of us are not aware of it…some of us…dont know how to control it or how its caused…

I know there have been times I go completely off my rocker, and a path of emotional destruction has been left behind…

How can you explain to the people around you…that its not always on purpose…without trying to make yourself look foolish

31 replies

blacklab 2013-05-03 08:16:57 -0500 Report

I have been living with Diabetes, Type 1 for 33 years—moodswings come from highs, lows, insulin, hormones, thyroid, a lot of different things. My family knows that when I am not myself, I need to check my blood sugar and adjust my insulin accordingly. I have had a number of explosions over the years and have learned that any type of stress, whether it be large or small will attack my blood sugar levels. What do I do? 1) Close myself in a room, meditate for 10-15 minutes by myself, until I calm down. 2) Take a walk-if BS is high, do #1 because taking a walk will elevate your blood sugar. Also, if BS is too low, don't take a walk because your BS will drop and you could pass out. 3) Discuss what the stress is about with whomever is causing the stress and try not to get too upset as we are discussing it. 4) I've been the route of counseling-sometimes it works sometimes it doesn't. I choose to believe that it is usually my perception of things or situations around me and I am the one that needs to change. Having Diabetes is not easy, along with it comes other diseases that change our hormone levels-we need to deal with it, adjust our attitude to the disease and not let it bring us down!! It's good to have these blogs to discuss things-it helps!

dietcherry 2013-05-01 16:09:34 -0500 Report

Insulin is a hormone and any hormonal imbalance can and will cause unpleasant changes, physically, emotionally, and mentally.

When insulin levels go too high or too low, there will be a corresponding effect within our physical, emotional, and mental states. I occasionally go clean off my rails when my blood sugar is high (by high, I mean only 140)——Heaven help the first person who comes along then cuz I will be spoiling for a fight! I can also overreact in my expression of my feelings during these times, even when said feelings are valid. And other times my blood sugar is just fine and Im still hard to handle! lol

Low blood sugar generally makes me dopey and out of it and unresponsive to what is going on around me. Sometimes I also feel some low-grade anxiety, attributable to the bodies release of adrenalin (the fight-or-flight hormone), in its effort to raise our glucose level by stimulating the liver to release some.

My family and friends understand this about me and will tell me to check my BS when I am acting uncharacteristically. Be aware that D often goes hand-in-hand with other diseases of the endocrine system, most notably those involving the thyroid and pituitary glands.

I strongly encourage you to learn about hormones and the prominent role they play in our well-being. Its very eye-opening :-)

IronOre 2013-05-02 22:53:22 -0500 Report

I am pretty much the same as you as far as mood swings go, and my family knows this too and they tell me accordingly , , , but oh boy ! . . . do I hate when I am mad, upset or whatever, and have a valid reason for it, and they tell me to check my BS, and it is fine.
I have two teen kids that are just getting on my nerves by doing that.

dietcherry 2013-07-19 20:07:06 -0500 Report

Yeah our feelings can easily be invalidated and dismissed by someone who thinks we are just having a high or low Grrr!!!

Scarlet03 2013-05-01 16:27:10 -0500 Report

Yes I have PCOS and hashimoto's diease and some other stuff…Im catching my mood swings…I just can't do anything about other people..

dietcherry 2013-05-01 17:51:55 -0500 Report

Thanks for the reply back! I have hypothyroidism too and also am estrogen dominant and make too much testosterone for comfort! haha
Its like a domino effect in the body——one imbalance leads to another in an attempt to compensate for shortfalls elsewhere :-(

Sometimes people just cant/wont understand what we are dealing with. I refuse to be anyway other than how God made me——warts at all!

jojowm 2013-05-01 15:04:26 -0500 Report

Just tell it like it is. I have had the same thing happen to me. All of a sudden I will just explode for no apparent reason. Everyone just looks at me like I have two heads or something, so I just explain that my sugar is up and down like a roller coaster and that I am really stressed out trying to figure it out. The least little thing will set me off. Just know that you are not alone, it happens to all of us at some point in time. Like Stevem13 said Diabetes or not.

-->Type1Diabetic<-- 2013-07-26 23:43:22 -0500 Report

This is exactly what I go through everyday. I have mood swings every other few ours like I'm bipolar. I can never fully explain why I'm bing the way I'm being and when I say it's because of my diabetes, they always think I'm using my diabetes as an excuse for everything. Which I don't. My personality already is enough and then my diabetes… oh boy!

mom on a mission
mom on a mission 2013-04-30 18:44:47 -0500 Report

Hi Scarlet03, I understand what your saying I find the best way is to be honest and explain that because of your diabetes you have mood swings that tend to surface and there are times you can't control it. My son was diagnosed with diabetes about 3 weeks ago and prior to his diagnosis he would have outbursts of anger over things that usually didn't bother him. It all made sense when we found out mood swings were part of his illness. Trust me it helps knowing the truth and those who love and care about you will understand

Anna K
Anna K 2013-04-30 21:51:46 -0500 Report

YES! The mood swings, outbursts, etc. come with highs and lows. My 16 yr old is type 2 currently requires insulin and every hormone change, every sickness, every elevation or drop can trigger erratic behavior. I just wish her teachers could grasp that when she is suddenly cranky, there is an issue…instead she gets labeled as a problem. I've educated til I'm blue in the face. No one seems to care.

Scarlet03 2013-04-30 19:23:36 -0500 Report

Best of luck to you with your son…Im a single mom of a daughter with ADHD…she has her moments and we've had our battles, I have to know when to let it go and give her space…and vice versa…if she had signs of diabetes I hope she would tell me…but so far and I hope and pray she stays healthy

Dr Gary
Dr GaryCA 2013-04-29 08:15:56 -0500 Report

Hi Scarlet,

Nice to meet you! This is a great idea for a discussion.

I am not a physician, but I counsel individuals who are living a chronic condition, including diabetes.

As you said so well, there is more than one cause for stress. I can be related to blood sugar, life circumstances, or just seem to come out of the blue. I have a couple of ideas:

If you are having a lot of ups and downs in terms of your blood sugar levels, you might want to talk to your doctor about this. I suspect you have already had this conversation, but just in case, you might want to see if you can adjust your regimen in some way, including diet, to help avoid the ups and downs. Again, I am not a physician.

You might also consider talking to a therapist about your emotions. You might benefit from learning to recognize situations that are more likely to trigger emotional reactions, and also learn some new coping techniques. Relaxation techniques, for example, can help. Cognitive behavior therapy is a therapeutic approach that many have benefited from.

You may want to consider mentioning the emotional ups and downs to your doctor and see if he/she has any suggestions, or if they can recommend a therapist for you.

Now, when you in the moment, it can help a lot to just say something like:
Sorry, I am a little stressed out right now. It's not you." We all feel stress from time to time. It's just human. And if you are stressed, saying the words out loud, and maybe even getting some support from the person you are with, can clear the air and release some of the tension.

Glad you found your way to us! And I hope you will keep us posted!

Take good care of yourself,


sexy65 2013-04-29 21:56:33 -0500 Report

Hi Gary and stressed / Mood swings,
I feel where you are coming from. I have mood swings also sometime I just want to be alone in a dark room. No TV ,music or nothing. My friend and I stay into it rather he stays upset because I tunes him out just plain ignore him.There are times I don't want to hear him talk. I try and keep myself busy by working and going to school. As long as I am not at home around family I feel ok sometimes.The babies I work with give me a piece of mind. I don't have to be at work till 7:45 but I get there for 7;00 and when I get off I sit in the car for the longest until my son or someone come out and get me.There are times I've sat in the car and went to sleep.I took a stress test at my gynecologist office a few years back and she told me to seek some counseling. But I haven't because I thought she was playing with me.I feel so strange I have also lost interest in sex. If I get it or not it don't bother me. IS THAT NORMAL !!!!!!!!!!!!

dietcherry 2013-07-19 19:56:10 -0500 Report

Please have your thyroid checked! Your symptoms are indicative of Hypothyroidism, among other things.
Will you please keep in touch with us and let us know what you find out?!!

Dr Gary
Dr GaryCA 2013-05-04 21:47:43 -0500 Report


Sorry I didn't get to this reply sooner. Nice to hear back from you.

Some people are just introverts, and they need some alone time to kind of recharge. But if your gynecologist encouraged you to see a counselor, after your stress test, then I would also encourage to consider this.

There are a lot of possible reasons for loss of interest in sex, and this would be an important thing to talk over with a professional. Stress and depression can, for example, among other reasons.

So I hope you will take the next step.

Please keep us posted!


Scarlet03 2013-04-29 10:46:14 -0500 Report

Thank you!!!

Ive done that lately…and Im finding out that people that understand me have no problem with it…Ive been through 5 years of therapy for other reasons…

When I went on disability, they put me on as having anxiety disorder…now its for more of a phsyical reason…Ive been diagnosed with PTSD…and it flares up once in a while…I have to remember what triggers it and walk away…sometimes it pops up unexpectedly and I get caught off guard…

BUT Im finding, helping others with the same afflictions as me with the diabetes and other issues is helping me cope…I feel that, I can help others in one way or another…it helps me

For those who think its funny, that they have to make ignorant suggestions or comments…and continuously dont care the stature of what they say…idk how to tell them to stop without jepardizing myself here

Gwen214 2013-04-29 17:54:02 -0500 Report

Wow…we have some of the same issues..anxiety, PTSD. My issue is situational…Thinking positive, and faith help me cope. Also, helping others. I volunteer at a local hospital, and help my parents around their house. I also signed up to volunteer for American Diabetes Association.

Gwen214 2013-04-29 17:57:01 -0500 Report

I'm trying to move past from what I'm use to of doing.. I normally close in, but the isolation is not good, and I'm changing my behavior one day at a time.

Scarlet03 2013-04-27 22:31:03 -0500 Report

You can have THERAPY for many years, and sometimes it doesn't do any good at all…Ive had days on insulin still my emotions go out of wack…now I just go quiet and keep to myself…

AND most of the time IDC what people think of me…but if they constantly criticise me without thinking or dont really care how a person feels…its not my problem…but a problem with themselves that they need to fix…

Cause I dont usually attack people unless its valid these days that is part of growing up and being a decent HUMAN being

Just Joyce
Just Joyce 2013-04-30 09:36:45 -0500 Report

Scarlet, therapy is a two way street and saying it doesn't work can depend on the person as well as the therapist. If the person isn't willing to open up and face the problems they are having with their therapist, it won't work.

People make excuses for everything as a means of self vilification. It makes them feel good in saying something doesn't work for them or they are being criticized or they are being attacked. The reality is that the excuse is a cloak of comfort. It keeps the person from facing the problems at hand. An excuse is like a nose, everyone has one.

The other side of this is people assume that because they have a problem, everyone else has the same problem. This is far from the truth. What the person is doing is associating their problems with everyone to get help. Having worked in the field of Human Services, I have seen this far more frequently as more and more people use this as an excuse for either not doing what they should have done or using it as a means to justify why they have the problem in the first place. For example a woman told me that she never went to Energy Assistance to get help having her power turned on because they don't help anyone who goes there. This wasn't true however, she didn't know this because she never tried to get assistance. Therefore, her defense was they don't help anyone. A person can never associate their problems with everyone else because the fact of the matter is that this person is stating this without first finding out how many people actually have the problem.

You perceived that I attacked you, this isn't true. I simply said I don't have the problems you listed and you took it as a personal attack. I do agree that people do need to fix their problems, to do this they must first acknowledge they have a problem. You can't fix what you don't acknowledge. Being a decent human being isn't always attributed to being grown up. I have met kids who are far more decent human beings then the adults they live with.

I am sure you are going to again say I attacked you for the simple reason you have said this before. If this is what you choose to believe, I am not going to say anything to change your mind as only you can do this.

Just Joyce
Just Joyce 2013-04-27 19:47:32 -0500 Report

Actually, I don't have this problem. I use to have mood swings, and panic attacks. I learned to handle that. I have never been paranoid because I don't care what people think of me or say about me and I am not going to waste my time wondering if they are staring, whispering or talking about me behind my back.

I rarely get angry with people unless they are employed by the government and I have had an encounter with them. The fact of the matter is I don't care what people do as long as they aren't doing it to me.

The key is to get into therapy if these problems persist as they can cause you a lot of problems in the end. You don't owe anyone an explanation because sometimes the explanation is going to make you look foolish depending on what caused the panic, anger, and sadness and if you don't know the people, the odds are they don't care.

The last panic attack I had was 25 years ago in Atlantic City with a friend. After it was over she said don't you feel good and stupid about now. I had to laugh and said yes. Out of the blue, I thought the Casino would close and we would be locked in it over night. It was 10 in the morning. I had a talk with my therapist and told him that was totally stupid and I am going to work on not letting my own stupidity get the best of me. It worked.

Preacher79 2013-04-27 16:29:10 -0500 Report

I usually catch myself and try to take a deep breath. I remind myself how I would appreciate someone else talking to me and try to talk to others in such a manner. However there are times that after the dust settles I simply realize that I owe someone an apology. When it is from the heart it has always been accepted.

Scarlet03 2013-04-27 21:48:21 -0500 Report

Ive done that after when my bloodsugars go out of control and I do apologize…tyvm for the help I'll take that into consideration

Just Joyce
Just Joyce 2013-04-27 19:50:05 -0500 Report

Preacher that is what my therapist and I worked on, breathing techniques when I felt panic approaching. That is what stopped them and the fact that I realized I was panicking over stupid stuff.

Gwen214 2013-04-26 23:34:24 -0500 Report

When I'm stressed, and mood swings. I tend to close in. Im not around a lot of people or I keep to myself.

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