Living with any chronic disease, diabetes included, makes one more susceptible to depression. I am no exception and it took me some time to realize that. I am a pretty introverted person by nature and not inclined to talk a lot about the way I feel. I tend to internalize my feelings, convincing even myself at times that they are not there. From my original diagnosis with Type 2 diabetes, to my re-diagnosis of Type 1 diabetes, and still today, I have struggled with depression. It wasn't too hard to tell my doctor that I was having signs of depression. I had no motivation, I just wanted to sleep the day away, I didn't enjoy the things that I used to, and it took every ounce of effort I possessed just to get up and go through the motions. It took a lot more for me to admit that it was going to take more than a pill to make things better. The breaking point for me came a few months ago when the Pretty Lady in My Life told me how hard it was to watch me push everyone away and be someone that was not the person she knew. I knew I was down, but I didn't really know how bad it was or how it was effecting the people that I loved. That was the moment I knew that I needed to get more help. Not just for myself, but for everyone else in my life that I cared about. So I started looking for a professional to help me through it. Admitting that I needed that kind if help was difficult for me, and going beyond just saying that I was going to go talk to someone was very hard as well. I put off making appointments using my busy schedule as an excuse. Finally getting in to see someone has been a great help, although I have been through a few people already trying to find the right fit.
Depression, like diabetes, is different for everyone. For me, it seems to go in cycles. When I start to see the light at the end of the tunnel, my moods seem to peak and I crawl out of the fog. The challenge is staying there when things get tough. Once I begin the descent, climbing back out gets hard, and it is so easy to get bogged down in the negative feelings. There are times when I feel broken. My joints hurt from arthropothy, I see the bruises on my stomach from injections, every blood sugar check and insulin injection is a reminder that my body will never function the way it should. Other times the stress of diabetes management and life just gets to be a bit much and I have to remember to take a time out and recharge. That might mean a short Dexcom vacation, or night out to forget about the stresses of life. Whatever it is that brings me down it is important that I remember the feelings are temporary, I'm not alone, and that ultimately, I am in control of the feelings, not the other way around.
I still struggle with depression, I probably always will, and I'm still trying to find the best way to work through it. If you struggle with feelings of depression, be it from life with diabetes or something else, just remember that you are not alone. There are others that are going through the same thing that would be more that happy to lend an ear. There are people around you that care about you and sometimes you find them where you would least expect them. You are strong enough to get through it, and that starts with finding the strength to talk about it. For you that might just be talking to a friend or your significant other, or it might mean finding a professional to help you navigate the stormy seas. Whatever it is, as hard as it may seem to take the first step, it is worth it.