Diabetic Depression

By now, everyone’s heard about diabetes. This is a tough disease to deal with sometimes. There are some folks who think this is pretty easy to do; just change how you eat. Well, it turns out it’s not quite that easy to do permanently, and when you change up, sometimes bad things happen.

migrant mother, Dorthea Lange, for TFIF contest
susan via Compfight

At least I know about it. I was reading a story a couple of days ago where a basketball player on the Georgetown team was just diagnosed with it. He was having stomach problems and finally went to the doctor about it, and there you go. Now they’re saying he might miss some games; how bad can it be if he has to miss some games?

This kid is in great physical condition and got it; how the heck is someone like me, out of shape and on insulin, supposed to control it all of the time?

Well, I could, and I do well from time to time. I’ve written about my eating plans and when I can stick to them they do work. When I don’t, though, things can start messing up in different ways.

One thing I go through here and there is something called diabetic depression. I seem to get it when my glucose levels are high for at least a couple of weeks. I don’t always know it immediately when it’s coming on, but probably should know that if my glucose level is high for at least a week it’s time to go back to the drastic eating plan.

What does high mean? Though there are mandated highs or standards by the government, each person has their range where they feel good or bad. The U.S. has a standard between 80 and 120; I feel good between 110 and 150. When I start getting under 110, I feel like I’m borderline dizzy, and when it gets below 100, I’m no good at all. Hitting 44 after a walk one day, when I couldn’t even drive home, was probably my scariest moment. By the way, as Sire once mentioned here, other countries have different numbers they use, and I guess if they stay under a 4 they’re considered as doing well; I don’t fully get it, but I just wanted to be somewhat clear.

This obviously means anything over 150 is high, no matter how you look at it. If I’m around 170 or so, I don’t panic at all. But when my readings get around 200 and stay there, or higher for awhile, there’s trouble a-brewin’.

In the last two weeks, since that’s the average a glucose monitor will give you, I’ve been averaging 219; no, that’s not good. Three days ago I awoke to a reading of 320, and that was after being awake 2 hours without eating anything.

The day I wrote my post on possibly giving up blogging, it was 244 after a couple of hours; nope, not good. I’ve had only two readings under 200 in the past two weeks, and both were afternoon readings, not morning readings. I’ve come close to 300 a few times; that’s not good either.

I tend to get depressed. When I get depressed, I want to quit some things and overdo others. I’m a dessert hound; I admit that.

But it’s not just desserts that drives up the numbers. Carbs is the monster. I’ve had pizza a few times. My wife made spaghetti on Sunday and I had some, then had some on both Monday and Tuesday. I’ve eaten a lot of McDonald’s fish sandwiches over the last week or so; yeah, that commercial got to me. I’ve had cake, cookies, and hot chocolate also, and I can’t say in moderation either. Once the numbers get high, you stop caring, and you go hog wild.

Luckily, my life has always been about coming to grips with something at a certain moment and deciding it’s time to get back on the straight and narrow. My wife is out of town this weekend, yet I’m working hard on being good. I can’t claim perfection, because I acknowledge that I do need her help, but I’ve gained a little bit of control, and hopefully by the middle of next week I’ll be back into the 150’s or lower.

I was talking to a friend of mine Wednesday night at a networking event. He was telling me his mother was diabetic, and he never realized how hard it was to plan meals and try to stick to an eating plan.

I’m not going to say this is harder than giving up cigarettes, but it’s different. You stop smoking, at least you have other things you can go to that you enjoy. Sure, you might overeat for awhile, but you’ll get used to that. With diabetes, supposedly you can never go back to eating what you like, or at least how you like, and there’s nothing to replace it. Well, there’s poker, but when I play poker I don’t tend to eat, and my wife wouldn’t like that any better than me playing poker every day. She’s like that. lol

Just thought I’d share that, so if every once in awhile you see an odd post or two, you might have an idea of where it might be coming from. Doesn’t mean I might not be thinking about something here and there, but at that moment the thought process might be influenced by something else. And, just for clarification, not everyone gets depressed. There are so many different symptoms people will exhibit. I’m lucky that my vision hasn’t been affected this time around.

25 thoughts on “Diabetic Depression”

  1. I didn’t know you had diabetes. I’m sure it must be difficult. I have several friends who also have diabetes and it seems like it’s a full time job at times controlling their diet and checking blood sugar levels.

    I am glad you are feeling better at now.

    And next time you say you may quit blogging I’m just going to tell you to quit eating crap,ha,ha..

    1. Gee Glen, and here I was thinking that maybe I wrote about it too often on this blog; go figure.

      And at least this time around I only wrote about what I was thinking instead of making the snap decision and doing it, which I’ve done with other things from time to time. Way better control over the last couple of days, thank goodness.

  2. Hey Mitch, I’m really glad to hear you’re feeling better now.

    I just read your post about your meal plan and the effects of uncontrolled diabetes sound downright scary. Feel your heart pounding? I never knew that!

    Take care of yourself, ok?
    .-= lazygirl´s last blog ..Detoxing with carrots =-.

    1. Thanks LG. There’s a lot of odd stuff you start noticing, and odd stuff it takes you awhile to notice every once in awhile as well. I need to stay mentally sharp enough to keep working on it, but overall, I think I’ll be just fine.

  3. Hang in there Mitch! I know what you’re going through! I have to deal with gestational diabetes whenever I’m pregnant and that’s the worst. Try not eating sweets when you’re expecting…Not an easy task. Fortunately my numbers return to normal after I have the baby. You know I’ll always tweet with you if you need a distraction! 🙂
    .-= DeAnna Troupe´s last blog ..This week’s featured entrepreneur-Angie Nelson =-.

    1. Well of course you will, DeAnna. Odd as it seems, I don’t usually know when I’m going into one of these types of depressions, even though I see the numbers whenever I check them. I must play it off well when my wife is around, since she doesn’t seem to notice it either. At least it’s been a good Saturday.

  4. Diabetics is definitely a life long torture if one is not adapting carefully. I am glad that you have learned to cope and even writing a lot about it to increase awareness – I recall quite a few of your posts where you have mentioned the topic. On a related topic.. I recently (6-7 months now) developed high Blood pressure owing to work/personal issues mainly. I am on two medicines now. Some people say that if you are on BP medication, invariable you will become diabetic later on. Is it true?
    .-= Ajith Edassery´s last blog ..QueryAds Affiliate Program =-.

    1. Hi Ajith,

      No, that’s not true at all; they have nothing to do with each other, though they do share one thing. Both can bring on heart problems eventually if they’re not monitored and taken care of properly. I take two low dose aspirin a day. I used to take one, then was watching one of our TV doctors who’s very well respected, and he recommended two a day. Diabetics often have high blood pressure because medication often starts inducing weight gain, and thus high blood pressure can come. However, my blood pressure is perfect, and I’ve been diabetic for 12 1/2 years. The symptoms that bring on high blood pressure are varied, and thus different than what brings on diabetes. My wife has had high blood pressure for about 8 or 9 years now. I blame both on her. 😉

  5. A good friend of mine from my high school days had diabetes. He drank and smoked and did all the things you’re not supposed to do. He eventually went blind. I remember driving him around in my convertible and describing everything he couldn’t see. Then he passed away. He was in his twenties.

    I know it’s not easy. I have a hard time giving up things I like even without such a major health risk staring me in the face. One day at a time I suppose.
    .-= Anne Bender´s last blog ..Lucky Me =-.

    1. It’s more the regimentation that’s hard, Anne. I have periods of time when I’m great at it, and other times when I’m not. Sometimes I just don’t care, other times I’m not in a place where I can be fully regimented. However, I’m going to get better control over both parts of this; I have to.

  6. My grandmother struggles with Diabetes and she has to exhibit constant self control. It is not something she just “got over” and that’s it. She said changing her diet was and still is harder for her than when she quit smoking. And she had smoked for 35 years.
    .-= Jp14´s last blog ..Hey, Duke Fan! How Ya Feelin’? =-.

    1. It’s not always the easiest thing, for sure. For instance, just got fussed at for eating Doritos before eating any real food. Since I haven’t gone out and bought any real food yet, I guess I’m going to have to deal with that as well.

  7. My mother was a diabetic and I know managing it isn’t easy. You don’t have to give up all sweets. I guess you just need to find that balance Mitch.
    .-= Rose´s last blog ..Easter Toy Gift Ideas =-.

    1. Rose, I refuse to give up my sweets, but I do have to look for an overall balance between carbs, which includes sweets, and other foods. It’s a tough road, though. I could try to eat all protein, but then I risk high cholesterol problems. I’d eat all salmon, but then I’d risk too much mercury and cancer issues. One really can’t survive only on vegetables (which I hate) and fruits (which I hate) without taking supplements. And all of us are affected differently; too many carbs at once pretty much puts me to sleep while driving the glucose levels up.

      Still, at least I have a chance, and I’ll take what I can get.

  8. My fiance was diagnosed with diabetes about 5 months ago. He has been acting really weird, not like himself at all, so I asked him to talk to his doctor about it. They said that he had diabetic depression. I did not even know there was such a thing. He is very touchy and I cannot say anything to him without being yelled at. This has also made him question our relationship and all of the plans we had made (kids, etc.) Do you have feelings like that (wanting to run away, etc.) when you have an episode with depression? I am just wondering if that is normal. I also want to say that I really enjoyed reading your post and it was nice to hear things from someone elses perspective.

    1. Thanks for writing, Renee; sorry you’re going through this with him. When it’s creeping up on me, I start feeling like I just want to quit things. Quit what is another matter, because though I say I just want to quit it all, the one thing I never want to quit is my relationship with my wife; that’s too strong. However, since I’m usually a fighter who doesn’t like giving up on anything, that’s usually when, at least so far, I know something else is going on with me, and that’s when I start paying attention to my glucose readings better. Touchy; yup, definitely. However, I don’t yell, I just get quiet and want to withdraw; I’m not a yeller by nature, and never have been.

      That, by the way, explains why I’ve gone on my meatloaf jag, if you happen to read my story about meatloaf through this blog. The more protein I eat, the lower my glucose numbers are, and if I have to continuously eat a lot of the same thing here and there, so be it. Good luck to y’all.

  9. I hadn’t realised that you’re diabetic. I just spotted the tag in the cloud (love the tag cloud, could play with it for hours but then I mostly forget to click the tags, lol!) I have non-diabetic hypoglycaemia (low blood glucose). You’re probably familiar with the symptoms of it too. Horrible, really affects everything. And that affects me like your blood glucose highs affect you – including the possibility of strange posts and odd behaviour! Decisions with both these conditions – mine and yours – can be very difficult, particularly when there is brain fog present.

    Have you seen the Glycemic Index? If not, maybe that’d help you to find the foods that will sustain energy and still keep your glucose levels steady.


    1. Thanks Val. Actually, I know about the glycemic index; been diabetic 13 years now. Actually, the body just reacts differently to things as I get older; that’s a bad sign to me.

    1. Chris, my first number was around 272 when I was diagnosed. They didn’t immediately put me on medication, but I eventually ended up there. I was on Glipizide until a few months ago when my doctor took me off it because he said it promotes weight gain, and he saw that I was working hard on losing weight. I wish you the best; this disease stinks sometimes.

  10. My moms dad, and my dad BOTH died of Diabetes complications.
    I just turned 56, thought I might escape, my cousin on Insulin. So far, textbook response to the metformin/glipzide combo, fasting was 118 today!!!!!!! It is the CHIA Seeds Mitch, they are truly a miracle food for us. I make a 1 gallon pitcher up of them soaked in water, mix it with a little lemon juice and sweet and low, and add some wheat germ, then I drink it for breakfast, and throughout the day.
    Plus, I TRY to eat right. Chia is dirt cheap, and has no taste, it just tastes like a lemon aid smoothy! I am a batchelor, no one to care for me, Chia is super easy to take.
    There is a place overseas called ACLEPSA dot com where you can get any depression meds dirt cheap, I get my blood pressure meds there. I do not have any insurance (working poor here) so I have to save every dime on medicine. Coffee is my “anti depressant” 🙂

    1. Ah, one of the underinsured as well; I’m sorry for that. Chris, you’re probably correct on the chia seeds thing, but I’m just not doing it. I will cut down on certain foods and I’ll exercise, but in the end I’m not going through those types of regimens, at least not yet, to try to keep glucose down. The exercise also works; Thursday after a workout my glucose was 110; that’ll be my chia seed. 🙂

  11. You can sprinkle the chia seed on salads, mix into Yogurt, etc, etc. Even bake with them, I have Chia Cornbread sometimes! I put them in my Bulgur Oatmeal. But your program seems to be working for you, so if it aint broke, don’t fix it 🙂 I got a real good workout in yesterday, so I can be lazy this weekend, watch football playoffs!

  12. I have heard that while diabetic depression is very common , it can be eased by adding amino acids like Acetyl L-Carnitine to a balanced diet .Has anyone tried this with positive results?

    Louise from Zurich Switzerland

    1. Louise, I’m not sure, and I’m not even sure where I’d get it. But it’s something to look into.

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