Saturday, August 8, 2015

Day 5 - Diabetic Depression

Depression, for most diabetics, is certainly a possibility. With the constant injections, with the constant management and with the point that diabetes is going to influence our lives in a manner in which we do not necessarily enjoy or want for ourselves. With managing stress, managing money, managing our diets, managing our injections diabetes can be a really big responsibility and can also leading to negative thoughts where we start to feel as though we no longer want to deal with diabetes any longer, we start to feel that it is a burden into our lives and feel as though we cannot express ourselves the way we would like to express ourselves because of diabetes. These thoughts and this process of thought is common occurrence for people attempting to deal with what they believe is more than they can handle.

If we are prone to seeing diabetes as a burden or prone to having negative thoughts then this process of starting to become depressed will become quite an issue within our lives.

Not only does depression affect the mind but it also affects the body. When you feel depressed, as many people who are depressed can vouch for, the body feels a lot more weighted down than when we feel happy or `uplifted` so to speak. This weight within the body, as I have experienced, causes the body to not process the insulin. I noticed that I need about 50% more of an injection for the carb:insulin ratio than when I did not feel depressed. I have also experienced an instantaneous change in the function of insulin when I stopped feeling depressed; meaning that I was going through depression one day and was noticing that I was needing more insulin than I was previously needing. The pattern was showing throughout the day meaning I was depressed, feeling that weight on my body and having to inject more insulin, then in one moment I let go of the depression and started to do a few things…many people with depression, as we know, do not participate in much other than doing `nothing`. So when I started to do something, it was not heavy physical activity, the sugar levels started to drop significantly because the weight and `sluggishness` of depression was not existing any longer. I tested 15min before the drop and I was 6.8, 15min later I dropped to 2.9 which is quite a significant drop for anyone within 15 minutes. So, it could have been other factors but the one thing that I changed within myself at the start of that 15 minutes was the point of depression where I stopped moping around and decided within myself to get myself out of the depression and in that decision the weight lifted and the sluggishness stopped. Therefore, if we go through depression we must be aware that not only is it going to have an affect on the mind but it is going to have an affect on the bod as well and we, as diabetics, must recognise this and change our insulin dosages appropriately.

That is the consequences of depression, but the causes of depression are varying. If they are related to diabetes and to what we as diabetics must face and go through within life then those are what I would like to give perspective on. Living with diabetes is not easy. No one ever said it was or would be, but that need not be a reason to continue in depression. With all the things that we struggle with we simply need to take things one step at a time. When I would experience depression in relation to diabetes there would be thoughts running around of not wanting to deal with the future of diabetes, the future of myself, going through all the highs, all the lows, all the management and fear of diseases and complications that can arise, you know it was basically all future projections and what ifs that would come up within the mind. So when/as those thoughts and projections would come up I would not want to deal with them, not want to think about them so I would do nothing because I didn't want to be `here` and face those fears and future projections, which then lead to this lull within myself, a place within myself where I could allow time to pass by and not take a clear look at the things that I was fearing and not wanting to take responsibility for or deal with.

Taking diabetes one step at a time is quite pertinent to keeping ourselves sane while having the disease. If we go into the future projections of fears and worries of whether or not we will lose a leg or lose our eyesight or anything like that and we have not given ourselves the proper tools to deal with those fears and projections than depression has its opportunity to manifest. Taking it one step at a time means to take it one day at a time, one reading at a time, and one injection at a time, looking for patterns in which you can support yourself, not taking the information and going down a train of thought regarding something like: "If I keep going high in the mornings then I am likely to cause issues down the road"; keep yourself away from those thoughts and rather look at solutions. Look at what and how to best support yourself with those highs in the morning - I had the same thing and had to look at my night time long lasting injection…this brings me to another point in which depression can manifest and that is helplessness.

In the world of diabetes there are few people who can assist ourselves with our own diabetes. Doctors being the primary point in which we will rely upon, but as we know, even they can be void of the proper information to assist us and support us which can lead to us feeling `alone` within the disease and in turn helpless as well. The feeling of helplessness stems from 2 things. The first being a lack of understanding or knowledge and the second from not actually helping ourselves. If we look at the word helpless it is a feeling that we do not have `help` within our world and our world also includes ourselves, so if we're feeling helpless we have to admit to ourselves that we are in fact not giving ourselves the support and care that we're actually looking for in the world out there. So within this we need to stand back for a moment and then ask ourselves what is the help that we are actually looking for, specifically define the help, then start to create a plan to give ourselves that help. In that way we don't feel so helpless because we're the ones giving ourselves the help in which we're feeling helpless within. The overall solution to helplessness is to rather look at solutions, because within helpless we will start to feel burden by all the `problems` that potentially or do exist within diabetes. If we only focus on those problems rather than the solutions then of course we're going to feel helpless, so rather look for solutions. We need to challenge ourselves with these problems to find solutions, it is going to make us stronger human beings and diabetics.

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