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Depression and Anxiety

I was diagnosed when I was 8 years old, I’m now 16. I’ve always been an independent diabetic, doing things on my own. I constantly feel like a burden because of my diabetes. I hate people looking at me and asking me so many questions about it. I really hate when people try to educate me because of my disease. I slack on checking my blood sugar, because I don’t like when people watch. I get very overwhelmed. It’s often hard to get out of bed, hard to go to school, just hard being around people really. I have panic attacks a lot, especially when my blood sugar is low. I don’t know if it’s just me or my diabetes that’s causing all of this anxiety.

  • #123165
  • I don’t think its just you. I also hate having people see me checking my blood sugar or doing my insulin and it is not uncommon for me to skip checking my blood and do my insulin in the bathroom. I do my best care of my diabetes when I’m home alone. I don’t even like my family seeing me do it all and I feel almost violated when people ask me what my blood sugar is. For me thats the equivalent of asking a girl if its her time of the month. It’s a complete violation of my privacy but maybe thats just me. But anyways diabetes is super stressful and I’ve done a little research on it. I’ve found that T1s are much more likely to get depressed than, for lack of a better word “normal” people. Some of the statistics are a little depressing so I won’t share the numbers unless you guys want them but yeah I think its normal

  • #123189
  • OK, so I’m not a teen but thought I would share anyway. I do suffer from time to time with depression as well, but I have not been able to tie it to anything (not even my current situation). I also suffer from anxiety but this I can attribute to T1D. Yes I have anxiety when I am low, but no where near as bad as when I am high. Sometimes I know I’m high because of the anxiety before I even check my sugars. It sucks, but at least I can fix it with insulin. As for checking BG….you are right, it is NO ones business what your sugars are. If you are confident in how you are treating your T1D, then you need to let others know that you are in control, period, end of discussion. On the other hand, I am not at all shy about testing sugars in public as I like to make people aware that there are others around them with “issues”. Often times people get so wrapped up in their own problems that they forget that EVERYONE has problems of one sort or another. This little reminder sometimes acts as a reminder to people to be kind to eachother. Lastly, YOU are the T1D expert! You’ve been a diabetic for more than half your life. I hate when T2D’s try to tell me what is best, when they really just don’t get it!!! I’ve given up fighting and just smile and say “thank you but I have it all under control”. When people do honestly ask about my diabetes I am happy to educate THEM! Be proud of what you do to take care of yourself so you can have a long and healthy life!! Be proud to show others that you are mature enough to grasp your situation and are not afraid! I recently moved to a pump and CGM which is just awesome. No more trying to stick myself (insulin injection) before a meal without being noticed or grossing someone out. I can also check sugar trends quickly and easily and it looks like I just have an outdated phone clipped to me. But I am proud to show off that I am in control and happy to share my situation with others. I hope I did not ramble too much and I really hope I have been able to encourage you through this time. It will only get easier with time. Sending you a hug with hope and encouragement. Now…get to school and show everyone how much more mature you are than all of them 😀

  • #123197
  • Hello. Sorry to hear you are having trouble.

    I am not a teenage either but have have had T1 40 years this month. I would offer a couple of things:

    1. I don’t like to test etc in front of other people, so i don’t. I excuse myself to another room or find a place where people are not watching me and too busy worrying about themselves. People who don’t have it don’t understand and probably won’t. So, why bother? It’s your thing and nobody else’s business. If it’s your mother or father that’s different. Everyone else MYOB.

    2. Don’t think about living with it forever or how it’s been going in the past. Just concentrate on 1 test at a time. Test, do what you need to based on that (dose or juice or whatever) and then move on. If it’s bad, deal with it but don’t worry about it. ALL OF OUR BSs are constantly in flux. As my endocrinologist says “nobody can do as well as a pancreas.”

    3. Lows are tough. Test if you think you might be going there and hopefully correct before it gets too bad.

    4. I can’t help you with your love life. I have ZERO expertise there evidently :).

    Hang in. It’s life for us. It’s better than the alternative!

  • #123202
  • Hi Presley, I totally get you on all points. I’ve had T1D for 30 years now and finally, after struggling for a while and noticing the exercise doesn’t work as well anymore to fight it, just started on an antidepressant last week. Fluctuating blood sugars have a lot to do with it and it’s very common for us T1Ds. Don’t let anyone make you feel bad if you need help. Watch Dr Bernsteins Diabetes University videos on Utube.. He discusses it a lot. He’s T1D, endocrinologist and the inventor of the blood glucose meter. One smart guy!
    You sound like an awesome, caring person. Take care of you and hang in there. Xoxo

  • #123215
  • Hey Presley,

    I think the JDRF website might be able to link you with therapists in your area who specialize in diabetes. Many mental health professionals work on a sliding scale based on income so it may be worth looking into.

    I’ve been diabetic since I was 10 and now I’m almost 30. When I was your age I really tried to give as little mental space as possible to my diabetes. I struggled with anxiety, depression, and an eating disorder as a teen and young adult, and it never occurred to me how closely my diabetes and mental health might be linked until recently.

    I’m considering going to a therapist now to work through some of the unresolved issues I have with diabetes but I wish it was something I’d made more space for when I was younger.

    Reaching out for support here is a great step, but I also think it’s totally valid and maybe even necessary to seek out more professional help when you’re struggling.

    Wishing you all the best!
    Dani

  • #123468
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