Still Not Feeling It? Maybe It’s Time to Ask For Help.

Dr Gary
By Dr GaryCA Latest Reply 2011-01-31 08:03:55 -0600
Started 2011-01-28 20:13:21 -0600

Let’s face it, life is what it is. Diabetes is what IT is. And sometimes, at least temporarily, we don’t feel like we have the resources to face it. A client who I’ll call Sean admitted that he was feeling like his life was in a tailspin.

“I’ll say it straight out. I don’t know how I made it in here today. I’m barely getting out of bed. I can’t shake off this feeling that I don’t have any hope.”

How are you doing? Are you rolling with the punches? Or are you finding that those days when things feel almost unbearable are starting to outnumber the good ones?

When things fall apart. Feeling sad at times is part of being human. But when we think of depression, we normally think of someone who is unresponsive, maybe crying a lot, and feeling so ‘down’ that they can’t get through the day. Basically, people who are depressed have trouble maintaining their normal lives – getting up in the morning, getting ready for the day, doing work around the house, getting together with friends or family. Depression causes pain for the person who is depressed, and it also causes pain for the people around them who want to reach out but don’t know what to do.

Your life, your meds, your mood. The challenge of diabetes and diabetes treatment can affect your outlook and your mood. Coping with your diagnosis, adjusting to medications, and making lifestyle changes, and relationship issues, for example, can all have an emotional impact. On some days you may feel like the challenges are overwhelming. And the ups and downs of blood sugar levels can also have an effect on your emotions.

How do you know if you are depressed? There are different kinds of depression, which a mental health professional, working with your doctor, can help to diagnose. A diagnosis is based on symptoms that are common among people suffering from depression. Some of the key symptoms include overwhelming sadness, fatigue, loss of interest in things you enjoy, isolating yourself, getting irritable or angry easily, changes in eating habits, or having difficulty sleeping.

Don’t diagnose yourself. Keep in mind that the presence of symptoms does not necessarily mean that you are depressed. Only a professional can make this determination for you. But if you think there is a possibility that you may be depressed, you can take the first step to find out for sure. Why live this way if you can do something about it?

When the going gets Ttugh… maybe it’s time to go shopping. Shrink-shopping, that is. If you feel like the sadness or other symptoms that you are experiencing may be depression, you may want to first talk to your doctor. He or she can begin by evaluating your symptoms to see if there is anything physical or medication-related that needs to be addressed. Your doctor may be able to help you with depression through medication, or refer you to a mental health professional. You can also find a mental health professional on your own, by exploring local resources or going online. Try to find someone who not only understands depression but who also has experience in addressing the special needs of individuals living with diabetes.

Caution: If you are feeling that life isn’t worth living, or have thoughts about suicide, call a mental health professional, or even dial 911, right away.

Build some prevention into your routine. Don’t isolate yourself at home. Get out and do something you enjoy, even if it’s only to take a walk. Get together with friends and family. Get your diet and exercise routines on track. Who knows, you might even want to get a pet.

Depression is treatable. Dial… double click… reach out! Don’t go through this alone. And stay close to your friends on Diabetic Connect.


18 replies

Gabby
GabbyPA 2011-01-30 08:46:33 -0600 Report

I really like what you shared at the end of the post. Build in prevention. I think sometimes we just resign ourselves to being depressed and tend to want to feed it. After all, it is easier. Just like being negative...it is easier than working to be positive.

Not everyone can prevent it, but there are a lot of us who can and we need to look at our lifestyles and see how we are inviting depression to our dinner table. We need to make sure we don't make depression welcome in our lifestyle.

Dr Gary
Dr GaryCA 2011-01-30 22:37:09 -0600 Report

Hi Gabby! You're right. It is easy for any of us to sink into a negative mindset and then just stay there. Depression can be biochemical, and that means reaching out for support from a physician. But we can also be proactive to do what we can to avoid letting ourselves get caught up in that downward spiral, by staying as active as possible, being around supportive people, talking about emotions, and maintaining compliance.

realsis77
realsis77 2011-01-29 18:01:23 -0600 Report

Good post doctor. I try not to dwell to much on things. Yes I have diabetes and yes I take insulin at least twice to three times a day but I find if I dwell on it it makes it rougher.when I'm not feeling well I just try to get through it. If you dwell on any negative for too long it will bring you down. I just try and do what I need to to care for myself. Funny thing is I've been diagnosed with depression. I've learned through the years with having depression the more you focus on the negative the worse you'll feel! So focus on good things and do yourself a favor. I try to live by this rule.:)

Dr Gary
Dr GaryCA 2011-01-30 22:34:54 -0600 Report

Hi Lynette!

At some point we all have to face where we are in life, the good parts and the hard parts, and decide to move forward. That doesn't mean denying our emotions, but it does mean acknowledging feelings, accepting that life is as it is, and deciding how to make the best of things. A medical condition can have a major impact on life, but it doesn't have to completely define us.

I agree with you. Focus on what you have to do to stay healty, but also what you can do to have a life that is as full as possible. Onward and upward.

Thank you!

Gary

realsis77
realsis77 2011-01-31 06:09:17 -0600 Report

So true doctor Gary.I have diabetes but it dosent have me! We all do what we need to do to stay healthy, shots, ect. But we must move onward as you said. I always enjoy talking to you so much because your an inspiration to us all and I thank you for that! We must stay focused on the goal ahead of staying as healthy as we can and keeping our numbers in check! The healthier we are the better we feel.I want to thank you for your words of wisdom and friendship!

Dr Gary
Dr GaryCA 2011-01-29 19:26:36 -0600 Report

Hi!

Great to catch up with you. It's been awhile. Thanks for sharing how you get through those dark times hit all of us from time to time. What I have learned about depression is that it's unique to each person, and each person finds their own way to deal with it, whether it's self-talk, medication, therapy, staying active... it's all about findig the route that works for you. There's a lot to be said for maintaining an optimistic attitude!

Gary

realsis77
realsis77 2011-01-30 12:27:28 -0600 Report

Hi doctor Gary, its soo good to hear from you! I have got a house in escrow now and things have been soo crazy with packing and all the signing.I'm having my home inspection wendsday so please pray all goes well for me! I haven't been able to get online much with all that's been going on. Its very stressful . I've found the house of my dreams so I just pray inspection goes well.your so true with your writings and I agree. As for the positive attitude I work on it daily! Its like erasing all the old negative tapes that play in my head and put new positive ones in there place. This attitude didn't come easy iit took a lot of work and counceling to get me here but I'm in a good place now. If people focused more on the positive I also think they would feel better! I know I do :) its so good to speak with you again! Your an inspiration !

Pynetree
Pynetree 2011-01-29 09:34:37 -0600 Report

Dr. Gary, ^ Makes so much sense. But reaching out for help is not so easy. There is sort of a hopeless feeling, that you know nothing will help. It is getting over that first hurdle - then trying to ASK.

MewElla
MewElla 2011-01-31 08:03:55 -0600 Report

It is very hard to admit to ourselves, much less anyone else that we do need some help, even if it is a friendly conversation to move the depression down the road some. We tend to think we are not as good as the next guy if we can handle our own lives and everyone does so much better than us. It takes a lot of work to get a handle on asking for help. That is why I do like this diabetic site, it has been a blessing to me in sorting through some questions I just was so confused on…Thanks everyone!!

Dr Gary
Dr GaryCA 2011-01-29 19:04:08 -0600 Report

Hi Pynetree,

You're right, it is hard to reach out for help. That is an aspect of depression that makes it especially insidious. It pulls you down into the depths, and it also tells you that there is no hope of getting out. The double whammy. . As you say, getting over that first hurdle, asking for help, means giving yourself a big push forward when your emotions are telling you to stay put.

But you can tell yourself that there is help, because there is. Depression is treatable.

Thanks for checking in. Nice to run into you again!

bicker68
bicker68 2011-01-29 07:33:54 -0600 Report

I have had to deal with my Depression, Anxiety, then Diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder other than my Type 2 and about 14 other health problems problems for quite a few years, and I must say it's quite a rollercoaster at times.
With trying to keep myself healthy, so I can be hear to help others that I dearly Love. My Husband and I are Disabled on top of being type 2 so I take care of him first, my loved ones second and Me last.

Since October our beloved Daughter Nan had to have Brain surgery due to a Brain Tumor that was Stage 2 Cancer, so we have been taking turns taking her to Radiation and Therapy. Which I'm proud to say she is doing wonderful, she finished Radiation last week and has 6 more weeks of Therapy left, Nan is my inspiritation.

My Dad has been hospitalized with his Lung Cancer plus they did a CT Scan and MRI on his brain he was complaining that it felt like his head was in a vise the results came back and he has a Brain Anyursim and they can't do surgery because he's not stong enough to make it through, and Hospice has been called into the house at there home. So I do there shopping and do whatever else needs to be done.

3 weeks ago My Niece's home burned down, and 2 of my Great Niece's age's 4 and 8 passed in the fire, this was a real hard one for me to grasp. Plus I'm babysitting for our Son, our Grandaughter Mariah 2 years old she's such a joy, she cheers me up when I'm feeling low.

I am not complaining at the least, I enjoy doing for others I always have. Everyone knows if they need someone to do something for them they can rely on me, and I worry about everyone and everything. I believe the Dear Lord has put me on this Earth to help others.

The only problem is that I forget to do for myself alot of times, and I don't know if I'm coming or going. And I feel aweful I have let my laundry get backed up some, I know I have 5 loads down there. God forgive me I wasn't raised this way.
I have been getting alot of Migraines lately, I've had a CT Scan and Thank God there is nothing in there that's not suppose to be. I have suffered with them for years and run on my Mom's side of the Family. I'm hoping my Pain Management Dr. will be able to give me something for it when we go in Feb..

I don't want to slow down but I'm starting to get a little fatigued, and have to watch that go into that Manic Depression stage, it's bad to feel like your in a rut and you don't know how to get out. And the only way to do that is to pull yourself out, I know how hard it is I've had to pull myself out before.

It was all over my 3 Sisters' was mad that my Husband Adopted my Son, if anything they should be excited for him. So I had to tell myself if they didn't like it then that was their problem. I only talk to my oldest Sister now, my other 2 I love them dearly, but if they can't accept the adoption it and accept my Husband
then they don't not accept me. Sadly it's been 6 years since we have talked, I have tried to contact them to make things right many times, but they have told me thay don't have time so I have quite trying.

I must say that is a part of my Depression, just hurts to admit it. Sorry about rambling on, forgive me. I do take 3 different meds a day for my Depression, Anxiety, and Bipolar Disorder. Please get the help you need and with the help of the meds will help you feel so much better.

bicker68

Dr Gary
Dr GaryCA 2011-01-29 19:21:03 -0600 Report

Hi bicker68,

It's been awhile since we have crossed paths. Glad to know that you are hanging in there ins spiteof some major stuff going on with yourself and the people you care about. I don' know how you do it, but you do.

There is something random about life which, as you said, we aren't meant to understand, but to accept and keep going. I am sure that the people you care about appreciate what you do, and don't know what they would do without you. As for the others, we can't control how other people choose to think or behave, or even understand them.

As Pynetree said, it's good that you are sticking close with your doctors and making sure that you are on top of things, staying compliant, keeping an eye on any symptom that come up. Taking care of your depression is an important part of that.

This is all part of caring for the caregiver. In that way, you really have to put yourself first so that you can be ther for yourself, and for the people you care about. Be careful about pushing yourself too hard. Fatigue can reallly bring you down, physically and emotionally. Try to make sure you are getting enough rest.

I understand what you mean about the rut of depression, that is a very good term. In that way, it's sometimes necessary to "fake it 'til you make it," to give yourself a push, even when you don't feel like it or want to. When you get the energy moving in a new direction, the emotions can flow. That's how you escape the rut.

Thanks for checking in. Great to catch up with you!

Gary

Pynetree
Pynetree 2011-01-29 09:24:28 -0600 Report

Bicker…you are a strong woman. You've got a lot on your plate, and stress comes with all of that. But you're my hero…you are handling it, seeing Dr., taking the meds. I know it is hard, you have to find a little bit of hope, and focus on that. And your estrangement with your sisters…that's THEIR problem. Just love them from afar, send them little cards now and then, and you'll have no regrets when one of you are gone. It is so easy to feel frustrated with family, their choices, behavior, decisions , lifestyle…But you have to let frustration go- lose it, not the family. I'll pray for strength for you.And hope Nan continues to improve!

bicker68
bicker68 2011-01-30 22:14:51 -0600 Report

Oh Pynetree your so sweet, sometimes I don't feel very strong. I'm feeling kinda down this evening, but don't know why.
I go to Nan's at Noon tomorrow to take her to Therapy, so I'm excited about that I get to see my Girls Nan and Ella. I haven't been there in a few weeks with, her having help with the kids being home for awhile and the way her Fiance was working everything was covered.
I Love my Sister's with all my heart, just not what they think is right or wrong. I pray for them every night as I do all my Family, Friends, and all the People in the world.

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