Diabetes and depression

diabetic diva 1975
By diabetic diva 1975 Latest Reply 2014-07-18 10:52:10 -0500
Started 2014-07-09 11:30:59 -0500

It's been awhile since I have posted but need some advise from people who can understand what I'm facing everyday.

I have been a diabetic for probably 16 years. I hate it everyday and have probably never come to terms with it. I'm now dealing with depression and am taking meds which have just been increased and I have been referred to a psychiatrist. (I am not crazy) I just hate having to give up everything I love. I can't have a drink with my friends. I can't enjoy birthday cake with my family. Can't go out for ice cream. I live in a small town and it seems all activities revolve around food. Does anyone else feel this way?

24 replies

diabetic diva 1975
diabetic diva 1975 2014-07-18 10:52:10 -0500 Report

I have come to terms with having diabetes. I don't like it. My mom and my younger sister also have diabetes and I guess I get more cranky about living with diabetes when my mother is always watching what I eat. And telling me what I can and can't have. When I am offered something at a family function she answers for me. When her sugars are not that wonderful either. I know she means well but it's annoying I am capable of making a choice for myself wether it's right of wrong for me that particular day is my business. Diabetes sucks and I'm pissed I have it.

Stuart1966 2014-07-17 20:40:50 -0500 Report

If you can find ANYONE who says this dis-ease is ONLY rainbows and kittens, I offer THEY have a "channel" none of us can find… (Love to drink their kool-aid I truly would.)

Been a diabetic, a day or two longer than you… Ive never encountered anyone who claims diabetes causes them uncontrolled BLISS… not once, not ever! We all struggle, and often.

We do not have to make friends with the @)#*@#*@#)@*# disease, but we DO, have to respect it, or it will try and kill us, if it can. Disrespect it, she gets… real "fiery" (to be polite about it).

However, as a diabetic peer, we do not have to give up SQUAT. We do need to attend to some details our non diabetic friends often ignore. It can chafe, but shouldn't wind you up too badly.

We pay attention to the portions, the quantities we take in. We often get it wrong sometimes anyway. But at the end of they day, we can eat cake. We can have a drink with friends, if we choose. It is a barter game, with a wicked side-order of persistence.

But you want cake, have some. Just not the whole bloody thing. If that means cover that food with more insulin, you know the price for the yummy. If you want to eat some cake, dont eat the potato or the roll at dinner. Figure out whatever you will be eating and trade in for it.

If you want to avoid various foods, because they are garbage whether we are diabetic or not, that is a different perspective. Food which is fattening, not healthy… many can and do avoid em, and they are not diabetic.

Dlaine 2014-07-12 20:39:53 -0500 Report

i am new to this but yes i do understand about felling depressed.
and loving food and not beable to eat theme. I wish you well.I have the same problem can't seem to find food i like

Pegsy 2014-07-12 14:57:26 -0500 Report

I strongly encourage you to take the time and make the effort to come to terms with being diabetic. Find some support, perhaps through a hospital group. Spending time with people who are in the same situation can really be helpful. And I do enjoy a little ice cream and birthday cake every now and then. My glucose doesn't have to be perfect all of the time, just most of the time.

diabetic diva 1975
diabetic diva 1975 2014-07-11 10:37:27 -0500 Report

Thank you all for your kind words and encouragement. I am trying to make healthier food choices and have been. My meds were not working so we switched them to see if something else would help. I struggle everyday with food choices. I'm just trying to make the best of living with diabetes. Maybe I need to look at thing on a smaller scale and take one day at a time.

ReaderReader12 2014-07-11 08:06:31 -0500 Report

I am newly living with diabetes…for a about a year I did not tell anyone. Not even my partner. Not a good way to live. I was also worried about how I could even eat better. Veggies are not what I love. However I tell my self every day I can do this. I can eat better. I am trying the recipes in the Best of Diabetic Connect. my partner knows some of her family are cooking low-carb. I am making friends with veggies. That is huge. So may activities with friends and family involve food for sure. I have found that if I tell myself I can't have this or that I get very resentful. So when I try and change the words in my head and focus on what I can have it helps. Good luck. No you are not crazy at all.

rolly123 2014-07-10 22:38:44 -0500 Report

Yes I do I take lots meds and does bring numbers up I go Psch Docter also it helps with way u feel I feel that way also about not being part of enjoying thing been diabetic long time still feel depress

Dr Gary
Dr GaryCA 2014-07-09 22:47:18 -0500 Report

Hi diabetic diva,

I am glad to hear you have reached out for help with the way you are feeling. Have you considered talking with a therapist? It might help to provide you with some additional perspective and help you to learn some new coping skills.

I am wondering if you are focusing on what you can't do instead of what is possible in your life. You are still the same person you have always been. You can still spend time with friend, you still get to eat. Your life is still your life. Sure, with some restrictions, some challenges, and also lots of possibilities! Take the best possible care of yourself.

Get lots of support. Stay in touch with us. Keep us posted on how you're doing and how we can help.


GabbyPA 2014-07-09 15:23:55 -0500 Report

Food activities are normal in a big or small town. Doesn't mean you can participate, you just have to adjust how you participate. I share an occasional drink with friends, I definitely eat out with my friends and I kind of skip the birthday stuff cause I'm up there in years, and that's not a big deal to me anymore.

What ties all those things together is just being with friends. They are not going to stop being my friend because I don't have two drinks, or eat the all you can eat fried fish...they are my friends and we just have a good time together whether it's coffee or coffee flavored ice cream.

Dealing with chronic illness takes it's toll. It's not the same as when you get over something...this doesn't go away. It can really suck, but in the whole scheme of things, it's really kind of small. My mom deals with depression and her diabetes. I know many people do. Maybe getting help with the depression will give you the "courage" to deal with the diabetes too. There can be great moments of encouragement in dealing with diabetes. You just need to find those. For me, it was weight loss, new energy, eating healthier, and getting a grip on where I was taking my body. It will be different for you, but find that thing about "conquering" diabetes that you enjoy and do it. Maybe it's your A1c getting to goal or finding a great recipe that you can love as much as the recipe it is replacing.

Just Joyce
Just Joyce 2014-07-10 10:09:54 -0500 Report

Good reply Gabby,

Anything can take a toll on a person depending on the person. Every minor and major event we have in our city revolves around food. From a baseball game to Sailabration, to Restaurant week to crab feast and bull and oyster roast, there is going to be food.

I too go out with friends and have a drink now and then. The days of ordering a plate of Chicken Alfredo are gone but that doesn't mean I can't have a little every now and then.

I spent years in therapy and on drugs to treat my depression. A psychiatrist is not going to give you courage, strength or the ability to take charge of your life an illness. He/she is going to get you to face your problems. Courage and strength comes from within the person.

Rose67 2014-07-09 14:40:14 -0500 Report

Those who post have said it the best. Life is to be enjoyed, and only you can make that decision. Diabetes is not the end of the world. Hatred can destroy a whole lot faster.

Pegsy 2014-07-12 14:42:53 -0500 Report

You are so right Rose! Hatred and unforgiveness. Life is just too short to dwell on the negative, diabetic or not.

Just Joyce
Just Joyce 2014-07-10 10:18:14 -0500 Report

Rose this is an excellent response. Hatred will destroy a person a whole lot faster than diabetes ever will. I can't see how anyone can go to bed and get up every morning with hatred in their hearts. I don't think the person would ever have piece of mind.

I totally agree with you, life is to be enjoyed. Diabetic Diva created this problem and now wants us to bail her out of it. We can't do that. She is the only one who can help herself. She has to let go of the hatred. Until she does she is going to be depressed and with depression comes misery, anger, resentment and over time the loss of friends. I enjoy life and embrace every day I am above ground and not growing grass on my chest. None of us can predict how long we will live but we can make the best of the time we do have.

Type1Lou 2014-07-09 13:08:41 -0500 Report

I found it was self-defeating to waste energy and emotion on the fact that I have diabetes. I can't change that it is part of my life…what I can change is how I deal with it. It's my choice! I've learned as much as I can about diabetes and am still learning at age 65. I've retrained my palate and enjoy the food I can eat. I occasionally will have one glass of dry wine to celebrate (no more Brandy Alexanders for me.) By making the right decisions about food and exercise, I'm in better shape than my pre-diabetes days 38 years ago! I'm passionate about my hobbies and lose myself in them. I volunteer each week to give back to the community. My life is full and rich with wonderful friends and supportive family. I don't feel deprived at all. I did suffer depression in late 2011 and had to be on meds for 6 months. The psychiatrist I saw ordered blood work and determined that my vitamin B12 levels were low. Once I started taking B12 supplements, I was able to stop seeing the psychiatrist and the depression went away. In my case, it was an easy fix and I realize that not all depressions are the same. There are worse things to have than diabetes. One of my friends is dealing with a husband whose Parkinson's is getting worse and worse and another friend's husband has just been diagnosed with dementia. Both prognoses are not optimistic. Both are dealing with much more serious chronic conditions and I would not swap my chronic disease for theirs. With the right decisions, we can control and manage our diabetes. I hope you can reach that frame of mind that enables you to accept your diabetes and move on.

Just Joyce
Just Joyce 2014-07-10 10:43:31 -0500 Report

Lou, I couldn't agree with you more. It takes a lot of energy to hate something for 16 years. It is as you said very eloquently, that is a waste of energy. She can hate diabetes for the rest of her life but it is not going to go anywhere.

I also lose myself in my hobbies and give back to my community. You can't just let life pass you by. You have to get up, get out and do something worthwhile. It gives your mind a break.

My cousins husband has Parkinsons. About 4 years ago they had their 30th Wedding Aniversary. Her sister planned a surprise renewing of their vows party. She even had the original bridesmaids. They were both shocked and surprised. He was able to dance a little with his wife and he did it with a smile. She was so happy because she was hoping they could do that for their 50th Anniversary but didn't know what his condition would be. She is also diabetic. They travel even though it is very difficult for him and they have fun together.

When you use your energy to hate something or someone, you are surrounding yourself with nothing but negative energy and it is not going to benefit you in the end. You have to get up in the morning and say okay world I am awake what am I going to do today. Then do it.

Pegsy 2014-07-12 14:50:22 -0500 Report

I certainly don't love the fact that I am diabetic but i must credit the diagnosis for likely saving my life. I was 52 years old, weighed 215 at just 5 ft 1 /3/4 in tall. My first glucose reading was 381. That day changed my life. I now weight 125 lbs, sleep like a baby and exercise every day. I eat very carefully and allow myself a treat now and then. I wish I could say that my diabetes is under control without meds but it isn't. I will likely take meds for the rest of my life. But…I think my life will be longer and I will live healthier and happier BECAUSE of my diabetes. It was the catalyst I needed to take better care of myself.

Nick1962 2014-07-09 12:52:29 -0500 Report

I did, but for a very short time. You say you hate having to give up everything you love, but I’ll bet its more fear of change, the challenge of it, and leaving your comfort zone.
As Joyce says, you don’t have to give things up. You do however have to decide whether the things you “love” are actually making you happy, or just adding to the guilt you probably feel about being non-compliant.
For me, my comfort zone was making me very sick and unhealthy, physically and mentally – not sure why I even considered it a “comfort” zone. It took a leap of faith, but guess what, the comfort zone I’ve now found is a whole lot more “comfortable” than the one I left.

Just Joyce
Just Joyce 2014-07-10 10:30:59 -0500 Report

Nick prior to being diabetic my comfort zone was every kind of food bad for me. I had to change my lifestyle overnight in order to be successful with being diabetic. I gave up everything I enjoyed eating and now I wonder why I enjoyed it.

In order for me to gain control of my diabetes, I gave up foods but learned that I could gradually add them to my meal plan. I can have a piece of fried chicken, a hotdog, burger, some fries, a sliver of cake and a scoop of ice cream when I want it. I don't have to have it every day.

I learned that I could go out to events to dinner and there is always something I can find to eat that isn't going to create problems for me. I can still have a drink with friends and I can still enjoy life.

I think people forget that you can still enjoy all foods. Moderation, checking your blood glucose and portion control helps. If I want cake, pie, or cookies, I test first. If my blood sugar is at 120 I won't eat it. Lower and I go for it.

I just spent a month living on Boost, Ensure, Muscle Milk, Root Beer (real root beer) strawberries, yogurt and orange juice in vanilla Boost and blended spinach and my blood sugar never got to 120. I also ate pureed spinach, peas and lots of soup. I did what I had to do just to eat something.

I still managed to control my diabetes even though I could not eat solid foods. You have to do what you have to do to stay healthy and hating diabetes combined with depression is not going to help you.

Pegsy 2014-07-12 14:53:12 -0500 Report

"hating diabetes combined with depression is not going to help you." This is SO true!!!!

Nick1962 2014-07-10 11:36:26 -0500 Report

We share pretty much the same story Joyce. I keep saying diabetes was the slap I needed to learn to live a better life (and a better life it is). I doubt I’d still be around if I wasn’t diagnosed.

Just Joyce
Just Joyce 2014-07-09 12:35:07 -0500 Report

I am going to be straight with you. All of this was created by you and now you are paying for it. Choosing to hate diabetes is the choice you and only you made. Being depressed about it is the effect of the hatred. Hate is a very large load to bear and it will weigh you down.

You are going to pay for your hatred for the rest of your life and you are going to be miserable for the rest of you life because you choose to hate diabetes. Where is it written that you can't have a drink now and then with your friends and where is it written you can't have a very small slice of birthday cake with your family.

Every choice you make in life both good and bad comes with consequences. You have been diabetic for 16 years and have hated it for that long amazes me. Why not accept it and move forward.

No I don't feel the way you do and I NEVER did and NEVER will because I choose to accept being diabetic. I have better things to do with my life than to be miserable. Every event I attend has food. Just because the food is there doesn't mean I have to eat everything that is served. I don't want a lot of food other people prepare because I can't control the carbs in the foods. Why can't you test before eating to find out what your numbers are? If they are okay you can have a cookie or small piece of cake. I went to my cousins birthday party found food I could eat and even had a small slice of cake. I scraped off the frosting and still enjoyed the cake.

You can see a psychiatrist for years and be on psychiatric medications for years but none of that is going to help you until YOU decide to change. You are letting diabetes control you instead of taking charge and controlling your diabetes. Not one person on this site can help you. YOU have to help yourself by digging down deep and accepting the fact that you are a diabetic and can't eat everything you use to eat on a daily basis.

In my opinion I think you feel the way you do because it is easier to hate your diabetes than to accept it and you have gotten comfortable with it. You have a choice to make. You can accept the fact that you are diabetic and begin to enjoy your life or you can choose to continue to hate it and be miserable and depressed for the rest of your life. You and only you can make that decision. Good luck to you.

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