Mental Health and My Diabetes

Recently my health has been terrible. I stop taking care of myself which is sending my body into a state of withdrawl. My mental health has hit almost rockbottom and my parents haven’t been able to helo or something.

I wanna get better but I don’t know how, everything is suffocating me and I try to ask for help but no one listens or can help me. Just wanna know if there is something that I can do.

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Hi @it_Leo. I’m glad you’re reaching out to your parents but sometimes people need help beyond what just family can provide. Speak your doctor, a trusted teacher or other adult - they may be able to refer you to a professionaL who can give you some guidance. Please don’t wait, and I hope you will come back and let us know how you’re doing.

@it_Leo It looks like you are recognizing that you need someone to talk to, which is a great first step. I want to push you to talk to someone professional. It took me a long time to convince myself to get to the point that I actually needed a therapist. Now that I see one, I would recommend it to anyone. I know that therapy is not for everyone, so at least talk to someone you trust about how your feeling(maybe that is not your parents). Ask them to just listen, they do not need to give input. You can contact me privately on here if you just need someone who understands, but I am not a professional and I will likely not be able to give you the help you need. As @wadawabbit said, do not wait till it is too late to ask for help. To me, it sounds like you recognize you need some help, so if you want professional help, I recommend someone who specializes in chronic illness or diabetes, or just a counselor to chat with about all of the struggles of life.

I’m trying to find someone to talk to, like hotlines, but it seems that my issues are just really deep and I did ask to get a therapist but my mother replied that she was currently looking into it, said the same to my endo. about a month before. I’m scared as to what would happen if I do get help. I’m scared that my parents will say that I’m lying, that’s it’s no reason to fail or to get over it, I’m scared that they won’t see me as a human. It all feels fake, I’m so sorry.

Hotlines are better than nothing. Call.

Diabetes is real. You’re real. Mental health is real. The brain gets sick just like any other body part.

Good for you for asking for help. Keep asking.

Hi @it_Leo . As @srozelle said, don’t stop looking or trying. A hotline is a good place to start and they may give you some longer term resources. And please remember - if you have a trusted adult in your life - a teacher or parent friend of a friend - they may be able to help you. And don’t be afraid to speak to your doctor on your own - you don’t give your age but at some point you will be doing that anyway… Your mom may be working on things but if your needs are urgent let them know you need help right away.
Please check in with us each day and let us know how you’re doing.

Hi @it_Leo . Checking in to see how you’re doing this morning.

Dear Leo, Welcome to the Community. When you are in pain it can be difficult to reach out for help. Two facts that matter: you’re posting on this forum bc you’ve hit rock bottom & you recognize that you’re not taking care of yourself. As a retired psychotherapist that tells me you haven’t given up & you want to get better. I want to briefly share my own experience & give suggestions for coming out of a dark emotional place.

You didn’t say what role your doctor or health professional is playing in managing diabetes. It might be helpful for her or him to know that you’re struggling with self-care. It is not unusual for patients to struggle. I can’t speak for other forum members but want to briefly share my experience. If it’s not helpful please disregard it. I’ve now had T1 for 65 yrs & did go through periods of not taking care of myself especially in younger years when life is not very routine. Also I’ve been treated for depression at various times. These days I have the best bg control ever but my bg #s can still go very high and very low. During those times I know my mood is greatly influenced.

Suggestions: Would you be able to talk with your parents about counseling? Might be worth a try. There are some psychotherapists trained to counsel those of us who are affected by conditions like diabetes. IDK if there are any such psychotherapists in your area, however, most psychotherapists could be helpful. I was trained to take disease or conditions into account when counseling. It does often help if you have a counselor or psychotherapist or life coach to gently hold you accountable in making changes you desire.

Many people are anxious about seeing a mental health professional. Beginning with anonymous phone contact can be helpful in lowering that anxiety. One such service is called CONTACT. You remain anonymous while a trained volunteer listener helps you, the caller, sort things out. It’s not intended to replace seeing a professional counselor/psychotherapist. You will never be told what to do but it does help people sort things out. The toll free phone # is 1-800-932-4616.
Best wishes.

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Hi @it_Leo . Checking in to see how you’re doing. I have to say I commend got on recognizing your need and reaching out for help - we all have things we can handle on our own and others where getting help is invaluable and absolutely necessary.
@Hen51 speaks as both a person with Type1 and as a professional - I hope and pray you are continuing to seek help and will consider calling the number he provided.
Please check in even if it’s just to say “Hello.”

I just wanted to chime in here to being a fellow type one who definitely feels like I’m failing, hits rock-bottom here and there and struggles mentally with everything at times. I always have to keep it together in my life so this is the only place I can come to vent and truly express my feelings. This forum is so helpful as you can connect with real people who genuinely UNDERSTAND the difficulties, uncertainties, sadness and frustration diabetes brings. As everyone else mentioned, I think you’re already doing an amazing job by recognizing you want to do better and that you may require some additional help. As one of the above posters mentions there are many anonymous hotlines available 365 days 24/7 that may be able to even guide you in the right direction. Please do not give up the body and mind are so beyond resilient there is never anything that cannot get better or fixed. Sending huge hugs—

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@it_Leo If I can say, I don’t know what your circumstances are with therapy. I recommend that you go alone. It sounds like you don’t want to lie to your therapist, so don’t. Be honest with them. Be honest with your family. Sit down your mom and tell her that you feel like everything is suffocating you. If you go to a therapist and it is at all possible, go alone, and leave therapy conversations for therapy. Something that may help you now, that one of my high school teachers taught me a couple of years ago, is to tell someone or write down a high and low of every day or week. Saying that to a diabetic makes it sound a little stupid as highs and lows of the day sound completely different in this community.

Example:
My highs and lows of this week

Low: I had many unusually high blood sugars this week and I feel overwhelmed because I am going about this week like any other. (this happens sometimes, but it can still be frustrating)
High: I got 100% on my inorganic chemistry quiz. Woop, Woop. (Side note, inorganic has been kicking my butt, so this was a huge achievement for me)

This allows you to bring your struggles to the outside, instead of keeping them bottled up. I like to ask my family members there’s as well. We may never have the same struggles and accomplishments, but it allows me to see that everyone has some. It can always feel hard to find what our “Highs” are compared to our lows, but finding that positively, brings perspective to every week. You definitely do not have to do this, it is just something that I like to do for myself.

Maybe for you, this looks different than mine. Maybe if you are struggling with taking medication. You focus your highs and lows of the day or week on that.

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Hey, thank you all so much. I am doing kind of like my own rehab thing where I actually try to get better by myself!

So far, BGs have been getting a bit better, I don’t feel sick anymore. I am getting my homework done, trying to have a bit more fun with it. Though I did have a derealization thing for a while and some major dysphoria, I manage to talk it out on a hotline!
I have a good feeling about this week. I honestly thought that this was going to be a lost cause, but it turned out better. There are some things that are gonna be harder to deal with, like the dysphoria, I am going to try!

I hope all is well with you, and may the sugars be in range!

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Really glad you’re turning things around. I don’t know your circumstances, but when I first became diabetic at 12, my parents found a local support group run by the hospital. Having other diabetics to talk to in person so we could share our experiences and encourage each other was helpful. Maybe there’s something like that for you? I know it’s harder now because of COVID, but it’s worth a look.

Hi @it_Leo . I’m so glad you wrote back and things are turning around, and that the hotline was helpful. Keep up the work on your overall health - physical and mental; reach out for help when you need to; and as @WearsHats suggested see if there are any local groups in your area - the JDRF Resources link is one option that might have some.

Wanda, Please read through final paragraph. One caveat re: support group: I would say to give support groups a try. Many years ago my 10 yrs younger sister with T1 tried a support group for diabetics at a major University Medical Center that was dominated by people with stories of the worst kind of outcomes which they were in midst of experiencing. One lady whose story included not even trying at self-care dominated the group. The leader, a professional, did not keep time on sharing, offering support nor give any direction to the group. My sister had minor complications at that time but came away feeling very depressed & hopeless re: her future. Went back once & experience was the same. Commute was 90" round trip at end of work day so she decided not to return.

It can be done for diabetics & I believe is being done in many places. Every possible avenue for assistance available should be pursued by Leo bc he will find something that works for him. I would encourage him to not give up if one “door doesn’t open” so to speak. Whether individual counseling or group support he will find help.

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@it_Leo First, I am so glad to hear that you are trying to do better for yourself!!

On the topic of support groups,
JDRF offers an option to meet with an outreach volunteer. Maybe having a specific person to talk things out with will work better. I haven’t tried it, but it may be something to look into as well.

https://www.jdrf.org/t1d-resources/personal-support/?_ga=2.103700233.847601128.1618084057-205676240.1614802522

I want to say that I love that you said you feel good about this week. That is such a great approach to have. I am only 18 and have only had it for 3 years and there are days/weeks/months where it sucks and days where I dance around like an idiot because my bg was excellent. Please celebrate yourself and your accomplishments. Celebrate trying to take your medication. Celebrate getting that homework done. Most of all, celebrate trying. We can only try. Life is not perfect and as much as we try, none of us is either.
Have an awesome week!!

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