How I Battle Mental Health Woes with Type 1 Diabetes

A decade has passed since my dark day with diabetes, when the mental struggles all seemed like an endless tunnel of despair without endless frustration.

A lot has changed since then. I am lucky that I had a lot of luck and helped overcome these challenges.

Yes, I have been successful in most of my fights over the last decade. But no, I still “never won.” The fight is going on against the war. At any moment a new explosion could happen, suddenly fall on me or smoke me out of the safest sanctuary I have ever seen.

This is life with type 1 diabetes (D1D). According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, T1D is generally two to three times more likely to be a reliable source of depression than people living without it. At best, only about half of people with diabetes (PWD) are diagnosed and treated, and their condition worsens when left untreated.

While last year’s life-threatening epidemic significantly increased the mental health status of the population, the risk of having the most serious side effects was three times when PWD contracted with COVID-19.

Those figures are not in our favor, but I believe it was because I first talked to health demons. Know that we can keep them at bay. It takes a village – including family, friends, healthcare professionals, and sometimes medical support – but we can successfully survive the cycle below. I think my own story on the T1D helps show how this is possible.

In the years before that I had some mild complications of diabetes, but above all it was the financial challenges and work pressures that eventually pushed me. I just felt dissatisfied, and for decades my diabetes ups and downs ended in a sense of despair that I couldn’t overcome on my own.

Depression has become my reality. Frankly, this is not just a diabetic anxiety event, evidence of hope or sources of burnout PWD can sometimes accompany us when we are stuck in regular activities or are highly distracted. No, this is a complete tragedy. I didn’t realize it at the time, but a diabetic psychiatrist like DRS. Phil Polanski, dr. Jill Weisberg-Pencil, and D.R.S. Larry Fisher.

At the time, reading general articles on mental conditions and diabetes did not help me because I was not in a place to understand what good guides and suggestions are.

In fact, I did not realize how much help I needed until it was too late.

A friend in the Diabetes Online Community (DOC) wrote about her mental challenges, and while talking to her and some other friends, I added points that made me experience a lot more needs. help. Not only mutual support, but also the professional help of a physician.

Conversations with my endocrinologist and diabetes teacher were not particularly helpful at the time, but there were other ways. As luck would have it, I found someone who was qualified in this area of ​​mental health – essentially, a fellow PWD who lives in type 2.

This gave him the most needed insight into those private conversations, and for all the skills I brought to dig into my mental illness I called him “Mind Ninja”.

This therapist helped me see clearly that I was too focused on the negative side of things – mostly unconsciously – and sometimes, I experienced avatarism syndrome. I am here as a writer and an active patient advocate who writes about diabetes and in the background, I felt that I had “failed” to control diabetes.

They helped me see the whole mirror instead of running out of toxic inner thoughts and being empty. I have a very good job, a wonderful wife and family, solid insurance and diabetes care, and by God, I did what I could every day without D1D slowing me down or stopping me in my tracks K.

We also talked about thinking about diabetes and finding a balance between all other stresses in life. Essentially, it helped me to realize that a physician who knows diabetes will have to deal with negative thoughts quickly, encourage them and eventually reach a critical point.

This slowly happened to me with the feeling of sinking into a hole in diabetes management. There is fatigue of the device where my insulin pump injection sites do not want to rotate at the required time. I would like to count my corpses and keep the insults right, and all this would lead to high blood sugar, which would only increase my inadequacy and stress.

My solution: change my management tasks periodically. This means disconnecting from my diabetes devices and reverting to multiple daily injections (MTI) or having fingers instead of always connecting to my continuous glucose monitor (CGM). Instead of using the mobile app to log in to my diabetes data, I went back to pen and paper to mix things up and get involved in my work.

Tip: Try to take a short “diabetes vacation”. This is a well-known note by Dr. Polonski, author of “Burning Diabetes” and founder of the Diabetes Behavior Institute in San Diego, California. Personally, this trick allowed me to leave my job and join my husband for a short period of time without being connected to CGM or any diabetic device. There is no clear recommended timeline, but try to be “out of stationary phase” for any season that can safely fit into your life and diabetes care.
Feeling of loneliness amidst noise

I found myself very excited, and as I turned around, I felt isolated. My therapist helped me realize that I needed to mute the noise as much as possible and bring it back to my home, my loved ones and friends.

My solution: balancing social media and personal support of interpersonal and personal relationships

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