I remember when I was diagnosed oh what a joyful day that was
So there I am in the doctor’s office being handed the news that the all-knowing oracle who is my Grandmother Adah (rest her obstinate soul) was right I am diabetic. This was followed by a Mini Diabetic cook book, a prescription for a nutritionist, a diabetic instructional class, a monitor and 1000mg of Metformin to be taken once a day to start.
Erm OK thanks? Yes I will follow up with you in 3 months doc…and a good day to you.
Here is the thing …I was given the tools to handle the diagnosis physically which I have found is only half the battle. What is missing is the mental care needed to help you accept the diagnosis and understand its significance before it manifests its self physically makeing you understand and accept it.
So here I am 14 years in the game and just now acknowledging that I have to change my life style (most days) not knowing what damage I have done to my Kidneys and God knows what else. I can’t help but question why the mental side of diabetes is never discussed.
To the internet!
I found a US News article in the health section that sates “Extremes in blood-sugar levels can cause significant mood changes, and new research suggests that frequent changes in blood-sugar levels (called glycemic variability) also can affect mood and quality of life for those with diabetes.
Depression has long been linked to diabetes, especially type 2. It’s still not clear, however, whether depression somehow triggers diabetes or if having diabetes leads to being depressed (Gordon , 2012).” The article goes on to discuss the frustration we feel when we can’t get that perfect balance or number on our glucometer. How shifting glucose levels make our moods go from happy to Velociraptor and back again.
On another site I found that the T1ers out there can experience an eating disorder called Diabulimia (the heck?). Accoring to that site it is “the reduction of insulin intake to lose weight. Diabulimia is considered a dual diagnosis disorder: where one has diabetes as well as an eating disorder. While diabulimia is generally associated with use of insulin, an individual with diabetes may also suffer from another eating disorder as well (NEDA).” To say that this shocked me is an understatement I never thought that we diabetics could suffer from an eating disorder I didn’t think it possible for some odd reason.
So here is my thing and the reason for this post ….
mental health care should be a part of a diabetics care routine. It should be an absolute requirement for as long as you live, covered by all public and private insurances and made mandatory from day 1 of the diagnosis. I think it would save a lot of us get through the denial phase quicker and negate a lot of the self-sabotaging.
Gordon , S. (2012, 05 18). Diabetes Can Take a Toll on Your Emotions. Retrieved 11 05, 2013, from usnews.com: http://health.usnews.com/health-news/news/articles/2012/05/18/diabetes-can-take-a-toll-on-your-emotions
NEDA. (n.d.). Retrieved 11 20, 201, from National Eating Disorders Association: http://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/diabulimia-5