diabetes cause depression?

By Danni-the-diabetic Latest Reply 2010-01-24 18:30:09 -0600
Started 2010-01-09 13:34:38 -0600

When I was 14, two years after I got diagnosed with diabetes, I started struggling with depression and for the last 6 years I feel like I am constantely fighting depression on and off. So I was wondering if any of you all get depressed…can diabetes effect mental health? cause I have a lot of issues with that!

51 replies

GODSANGEL41309 2010-01-19 07:45:19 -0600 Report


My name is Diana and I definitely have my opinion about the word DEPRESSION! The word depression is depressing in itself. When I speak about depression I use the word SAD because that is usually how I FEEL! Depression is a powerful word to the mind as it should be but its implications are relentless. I never feel like I have given up on life just slowed down. Our minds are powerful and what we feed it, is what we feel and react to! Anyway, here is hoping you feel better. Positive reinforcement and GOD are the best medicine for a good life! It helps me when I do feel SAD.

Danni-the-diabetic 2010-01-19 14:11:32 -0600 Report

You are very right.I try to stay positive, but sometimes it seems to be too big of a struggle.Depression" is a very depressing word, I think "dispair", I like to use the word "blah".. Anyway, Im about to go rammbling again, so I'll stop while I am ahead, Thank you.

livlaughlve22 2010-01-19 06:55:45 -0600 Report

I'm sure this was said some where earlier but researchers have actually came to the conclusion that depression COULD actually cause diabetes, or diabetes COULD actually cause depression…it both goes hand in hand, I did a whole research project on this for my psychology class..hope that helped =)

Danni-the-diabetic 2010-01-19 13:58:36 -0600 Report

really, wow! I never wouldve thought depression can cause diabetes…Im gonna check this out - I believe you - but that's too interesting. Thanks.

Danni-the-diabetic 2010-01-14 17:57:15 -0600 Report

Thank you everyone for your advice and for sharing stories. It really helps to know, that with whatever you're dealing with, you are not alone…So, thanks everyone :)

AddassaMari 2010-01-14 13:26:13 -0600 Report

Diabetes is a chronic condition and like a presistant, dull, nagging pain, it affects mental attitude.

With the addition of foreign substances like the cocktail of drugs given to treat the condition, it changes our body chemistry, which also affects the brains's chemistry.

It is easy to slip into melancholy when we think that no matter what we do, or how good our numbers are, even when they stay "normal" we will always have diabetes.

The restrictions that we have to live with changes out lives irrevocably and as humans we are inherently resistant to change.

So, yes I think diabetes can trigger depression. Which can be worst if a person is predisposed toward case of the blues. IMHO, any good physician would recognize that some of us we need additional help in dealing with such a traumatic and life changing diagnosis.

Now the trick is to rise above and figure out how to own the disease and not let the disease own us. That's my story and I am stickin' to it.

MarineMomX2 2010-01-14 08:36:53 -0600 Report

We all make mistakes; none of us is perfect. Forgive your imperfections, accept your faults, and laugh.

Three weeks ago this became my new thought process. I learned the hard way that clinical depression can be caused by so many things, not just diabetes. Childhood trauma, vitamin deficiencies, hormonal imbalances, overly medicated (still want to place some blame on docs for this area) and stress all add to and increase your chances for having to deal with depression. Diabetes just adds another item to the daily list to contend with. You are young and a positive is that you have people to talk to and are willing to listen to you about your concerns. Something that I wish was around 30yrs ago myself. Hang in there, it's to all our advantage to know we're not alone in this battle.

Pat Roth
Pat Roth 2010-01-14 11:59:47 -0600 Report

Danni, read my above comments and see how our own emotions and backgrounds might warp our thinking and feeling! I am a perfect example of how NOT TO THINK! haha—Always wanted to be an example of —something—not especially THAT, BUT it is a complicated world and sometimes we are our own worst enemy. So hope that some of this comes thru in the manner that will HELP YOU!! HUgs, PR

kdroberts 2010-01-13 15:47:58 -0600 Report

I posted this in another thread but it applies here well. One of the common side effects of diabetes is low vitamin D. One of the side effects of low vitamin D is depression. Have you had your vitamin D levels checked? If not it might be a good idea. A number of studies have shown that people with diabetes, depression and low vitamin D levels have a noticeable improvement when their vitamin D levels are treated.

Pam from KCMO
Pam from KCMO 2010-01-13 18:30:49 -0600 Report

My recent round of tests showed a vitamin D deficiency. Since I've been taking it, I DO notice that I'm feeling better, even - dare I say it - happier?

My new endo (as I mentioned in another post) took one look at me and told me I was low on Vitamin D. The tests showed she was right. (She's from Poland, and rather blunt, told me "You Americans. You're so afraid of the sun!)

cc9 2010-01-13 18:39:42 -0600 Report

yes. i think its good to go out and enjoy the sun for like 10 mins in the morning. it helps lift the mood and also the absorption of calcium so u dont get brittle bones.

Pat Roth
Pat Roth 2010-01-13 21:53:25 -0600 Report

Crap!!! These foreign Drs need to watch what they say or they can cause any of us to be depressed! One of my Drs was from Cheks—-can't spell it, but he insulted me by not taking my spells of diverticulites seriously, and I about died in trying to comply with his snotty decision of"Oh, you Americans just don't eat enough fiber!"

Well, excuse me, but I am PROUD to be an American and I just have eaten the way, obviously, most Americans eat! So—Fire me! When one already has the problem it is of NO comfort to have a Dr sacrcastically belittle us, and lump us all into one stew pot, You Americans!! It still makes me angry!

By the time my surgeon removed 2 ft of my badly messed up colon, some pouches had already burst, so a LOT of my painful episodes Should have been dealt with, NOT ridiculed.. In fact, my surgeon, good old American!! said that my FAT was all that had saved my life, as it had sealed up against my colon, thus preventing the leaking into my abdominal cavity and thus, death!

So any time I hear of ANY Dr belittling us for ANY reason, it really makes me MAD! Pat R

Pam from KCMO
Pam from KCMO 2010-01-14 05:17:34 -0600 Report

Oh, Pat - I didn't take it that way at all. Though I can see how, with your experience, it would make you mad. Maybe, if she hadn't been right about the D deficiency, I'd have a different attitude!

I just chalked it up to interesting cultural differences between Europeans and Americans. I spent some time in Europe and have always been intrigued by our different ways of looking at/dealing with our worlds.

Pat Roth
Pat Roth 2010-01-14 11:56:40 -0600 Report

Isn't that FUNNY! It only proves that one's moods and thoughts are STRONGLY influenced by our own pasts, which have nothing to do with what the person talking to you has any idea of, so why should they be held responsible for our own zaps of emotion! No, I guess that I did come off too strong, it is just that most Drs I have dealt with have been so condescending, told me to my face that I am too anxious, worry too much, (even when it proved that I did have cancer- at one time—+ many others——) this—too much, that—too much, I have been caught up in my own web! But am breaking FREE! Thank you for understanding!! Hugs, Pat R

Sue Turner
Sue Turner 2010-01-14 13:09:43 -0600 Report

Pat, I have been waiting for you to read my latest post on "Thought Process" Can't wait to see what you have to say about that…LOL

Sue Turner
Sue Turner 2010-01-19 10:21:08 -0600 Report

Hey danni,

Laugh away! As we know, laughter is good for us…I laughed myself when that popped into my mind…I just had to share that little ditty with everyone!!! :) LOL

Pam from KCMO
Pam from KCMO 2010-01-14 19:05:00 -0600 Report

Oh, Pat, it IS funny how we see things based on our own set of experiences! I've had condescending doctors before - of all shapes, sizes, and stripes - and they always trigger the inner witch.

cc9 2010-01-12 07:47:30 -0600 Report

danni, dbt (dialectical behavioural therapy) may help you in terms of learning core skills such as mindfulness. and emotion regulation. it is not cbt (cognitive behavioural therapy). i use this in my daily life especially when i am dealing with a lot of stress.

Danni-the-diabetic 2010-01-13 15:38:01 -0600 Report

I do journal, but I just get angry when its coming out. I have heard of cbt but not dbt. I am willing to try it though…Just ran out of meds and cant afford meds :(

Pat Roth
Pat Roth 2010-01-13 16:59:23 -0600 Report

Writing does help, but for me, a physical RESPONSE from a 3rd, neutral party, does help and yes, you are supposed to feel angry during the process! It is OK< It is OK to feel natural emotions! When it gets out of hand is when you bury it so much that it BLOWS out of you, then all kinds of negative things are possible.

When our granddaughter was in high school, her parents divorced etc, I told her to keep a journal, then she talked with me, but also I encouraged her to SHOOT BASKETS! She loved volley ball and the energy used to BANG out those baskets on their garage door, helped to relieve some of her stress, better than racing her car and HOPING to WRECK it! Hugs, Pat R

cc9 2010-01-13 18:43:47 -0600 Report

ah danni…pls take care of yourself. are there like places such as the salvation army? i know here in sydney there are organisations that provide some financial assistance to ppl doing it tough.

Danni-the-diabetic 2010-01-14 17:46:57 -0600 Report

I play soccer whenver I get the chance, it has helped get out that unused negative energy, especially while kicking the ball around :)

The salvation Army doesnt do much around here,but i set up an appt. with the a place called Gateway, I wont be able to see a Dr. until a couple months but at least it's the first step.

Pat Roth
Pat Roth 2010-01-14 19:35:48 -0600 Report

Great for YOU, Danni!! I love your positive insight at such a young age!! Some of us take forever to be so wise!! Gardening and playing the piano (USED to POUND) also helps to rid the body of those naughty streaks—-

cc9 2010-01-14 20:46:43 -0600 Report

thats great danni. i am glad there is someplace you found to help you. take care of yourself. if you want to chat i am here. you have my addy.

Pam from KCMO
Pam from KCMO 2010-01-11 05:49:15 -0600 Report

I've battled depression, too, Danni, and it's a bitch. A good therapist and, if appropriate, medication can help.

A friend - who is suffering from a now-ten-year bout with Lyme Disease and also deals with depression - gave me a book by Ryan Lefebre titled "The Shame of Me." It's his story about his climb out of depression. Ryan is the play-by-play announcer for the KC Royals (no jokes please - I know they suck…). I've just started it, but if she recommended it, I know it's good. I think it helps to read about other people's experiences.

Good luck.

Danni-the-diabetic 2010-01-11 21:05:13 -0600 Report

I wrote the name of the book down, I'll def. check it out, I like those non-fiction books. Thanks!

Pam from KCMO
Pam from KCMO 2010-01-12 04:29:54 -0600 Report

My worst bout of depression was in my mid-twenties. I kept asking my friends, "Do you cry everyday?" They were worried and I thought I was going crazy. Maybe they thought so, too!

Therapy helped a lot (didn't take any meds - what they had for depression back then was kinda scary)…but also did a lot of journaling. Putting my feelings down on paper helped organize (give words to) the chaos of thoughts running thru my head. I'd be writing along and would look at a sentence I'd just finished and think, "THAT'S what's going on…" The words gave form to the inner chaos. Buy yourself a pretty journal and start writing!

And I think I spelled Ryan's last name wrong - it's Lefevbre, I think - it's got a 'v' in it somewhere!

Good luck.

Turtle 2010-01-09 21:02:58 -0600 Report

I had depression before the diabetes but I think diabetes can cause depression in some people especially children who have a long fight ahead of them. I take meds for depression. Be sure to talk w/ your dr. if needed. I go to therapy too. I have lots of issues that have nothing to do with diabetes.

Danni-the-diabetic 2010-01-09 22:34:24 -0600 Report

Yeah, I know some of my problems have nothing to do with diabetes, but when depression comes from nowhere it's like, What the heck!?

Roger1966 2010-01-11 02:19:29 -0600 Report

Dani I've been an insulin dependent diabetic since I went into a hyperglycemic coma watching Saturday morning cartoons at age 5. I empathize with what your asking. I've now managed my diabetes for 45 years and have very few complications. I am also in the last 5 years being treated for depression. As I understand it the number 1 cause of depression is repressed anger. There are many known causes for depression but I am not aware of a link between diabetes and depression. What a great question you've asked. I've found that sometimes all of the issues we diabetics have to manage feel like they're controlling me instead of me controlling them. Definitely see your doctor explain whats going on and seek help. Be encouraged in the fact that I can tell you to be encouraged there's a lot of future ahead for you. Take some time and focus on other things you enjoy in between managing your diabetes.
Roger 1966 .

Danni-the-diabetic 2010-01-11 21:04:01 -0600 Report

I have been taking meds again for it, but it doesnt seem to be working anymore. I didn't realize depression can be caused from repressed anger, but that makes alot of sense.

pjfortune 2010-01-09 20:54:08 -0600 Report

I have had diabetes for 24 years. I am currently on medication for depression. Depression goes along with diabetes. Dealing with diabetes on a daily basis can really drag you down. Talk to your doctor about your depression and get some medication. Good luck to you.

donna13 2010-01-09 15:09:42 -0600 Report

I was dx at about age 70. This was when i had surgery for colon cancer, and shortly afterwards had broken my wrist and had to have 2 surgeries to repair it. So, somehow diabetes was not a big deal. So, no, I didn't go into a depression. But I can't imagine being a child or teenager and be given a 'lifetime sentence' of having a disease that is going to, at best, influence most things you do. I would think a certain amount of depression would be normal, and also for the parents of that child. I'm from Chicago, and one of the Cubs, Ron Santo, played while he had diabetes. They didn't have meters when he was young, so he just guessed how much insulin he needed, depending on what he ate and how he felt. They had a tv show on how he livies with the disease, and it was very informing. He has now had both legs amputated, but is very forthcoming about his problems.

mntngirl 2010-01-10 15:50:28 -0600 Report

Just want to mention that cliinical depresion is not brought on by bad experiences in life. Even having diabetes. It is caused by hormonal inbalances. I've only just started learning about this disease myself. I'm not saying that diabetes and depression is not linked just that depression is much more than the normal reaction over getting this diagnosis (or any other event like a death in the family),

cc9 2010-01-12 07:55:46 -0600 Report

mmm not quite right. clinical depression can be brought on by a history of abuse/trauma particularly so if the abuse started before a child is 5 years old.
events like deaths ( under normal circs) do not cause clinical depression. i guess it is more complex than just causal factors, it does take into account adaptive functions and all the brain chemicals. :$

Danni-the-diabetic 2010-01-13 15:35:37 -0600 Report

Oh, well yeah, lol that about covers it. The depression was getting better, But I lost my neice, who was like my own, last year just before her 3rd birthday…I was strong, but maybe I am giving out a little ((shrugs)) could be causing stress and crazy blood sugars…u think!?!?

Pat Roth
Pat Roth 2010-01-13 16:53:59 -0600 Report

I think! The human's emotions are so deep and intensive, sometimes one puts off, crying, only to have it pop out later, and sometimes we have lost the reason , WHY? My dad taught me at an early age how NOT to cry, just grit your teeth, which I did at my grandmother's funeral!! Well, that was WRONG< but dad just was trying to help!

There are all kinds of depression, I am not a genius on the subject, just have been in a CLINICAL DEpression for over 40 years, the first 30 just led up to it—I was molested and by the time my poor mom got thru, IT WAS ALL MY FAULT and that incident acted like a small rock, gradually grew into a boulder that CAUGHT up all of the oncoming refuse, behind it—-EVERYTHING automatically becomes YOUR FAULT and you are never worth anything good that wants to happen to you, until you can ream that "cancer of the MInd", OUT!

Friends, venting help, but much more needs to be involved in ferreting out your own core of selk-hatred. Best of LUCK—Pat R

cc9 2010-01-13 18:52:59 -0600 Report

I am so sorry to hear about your loss. loss of one so young with their life ahead of them is very difficult to come to terms with and i can't even begin to imagine what you feel. (HUGS). and iin your own time when you are ready you will find there are people who will listen and be there for you. and its ok whatever way you need to cope with your loss, its what you need to do for now. i am glad to see you posting, i was worried about you :)

Amy Togtman
Amy Togtman 2010-01-24 02:29:54 -0600 Report

Hi I have had clinical depression with psychosis and severe anxiety all my life it runs in my moms side of the family. I also suffered a loss, my mom died in february 5th 2006. In a couple of weeks it will be 4yrs. I have not been the same since she died. I was 24 when she passed and my mom was only 44 yrs old when she passed. She dies of sudden coronary death.(which means her heart suddenly gave out unexpectedly) My depression has gotten worse since she passed and Im taking it very hard. Just wanted to share my story with u and to let u know that I know how it feels to lose somebody u love.

cc9 2010-01-24 05:29:18 -0600 Report

amy i sorry to hear about your loss. while its hard for you to lose your mum i am sure your mum would want you to live life fully and take care of yourself.

Pam from KCMO
Pam from KCMO 2010-01-24 06:49:33 -0600 Report

I lost my mom six years ago, Amy, and I know how hard that is. CC's right - your mother would want you to be happy and to have a full, rich life. Your mom may be gone physically, but she is still with you in your memory and your heart. That will never go away.

Danni-the-diabetic 2010-01-24 15:42:50 -0600 Report

Thank you Amy and Pam for sharing your stories. You are right Pam, the ones you loose are still with you in memory and spiritually and also in your heart.

Pat Roth
Pat Roth 2010-01-24 18:30:09 -0600 Report

Me too, been over 2 years since my 98 yr old mom died, I THINK that GUILT—MAYBE I COULD HAVE BEEN SWEETER< NOT SO RESENTFULL—-but have gradually FACED those negative feelings, and learned that it is OK to feel negative thought, we have that right to FEEL, even if we don't think so—it does NOT mean that we didn't love them, or they—us!! We are all human and get so tired, DRAINED, and no one will ever KNOW what each one of us really FEEL like, we have to get there in our own time—-and yet we now know that we are NOT ALONE!! It is OK to have real feelings, it is just another challenge to try and nOT give in to them, and contrary to what worked on me, that "thinking a thought is as bad as doing it!" IS NOT TRUE!! God Forgives, may we too, for being human and just keep on trying to do our best——Hugs, Pat R

Amy Togtman
Amy Togtman 2010-01-09 14:09:21 -0600 Report

I have been struggling with depression since i was a little girl but i was diagnosed with diabetes about 10 years ago when i was 18 yrs old. I do believe that diabetes does cause depression in some people and my depression worsened when i got diagnosed with diabetes

Sue Turner
Sue Turner 2010-01-09 14:05:07 -0600 Report

Well, danni, I can only speak for myself. But, I struggle with depression all the time. I have always, since I was a teenager, had problems with depression, but it seems to have gotten worse since I was diagnosed with diabetes. I do feel that diabetes has an affect on our mental health, but then that is just my opinion from my own personal experiences…I have a lot of issues in that department as well… There may be someone on here who has some information on Diabetes and Mental Health that they can share with you…

caragypsy 2010-01-09 13:50:02 -0600 Report

Stress can cause depression, diabetes can cause stress that can cause depression. Round and round it gos. Cara

Harlen 2010-01-09 19:15:04 -0600 Report

You got that right
You just got to grab your boot straps and sey no I am not going to go down that road but we all get there from time to time
Hugs and best wishes

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