According to the American Diabetes Association, studies show that people with diabetes have a greater risk of depression than people without diabetes. Oh how true!
Let me tell you about the experience from an expert on this vicious cycle of Diabetes and Depression. That person is me.
A month and a half ago, I was put on a new set of medications to lower my unbelievably high sugar levels. My endocrinologist wants to ensure that the excess sugar in my blood will not damage any of my internal organs. I had to alter my diet, get more rest and avoid stress.
I started to tweak my eating habits. I now only have one serving of rice a day (one cup). This means I only have one decent sit-down meal per day. The rest of my meals are spread out as light snacks. I have totally shunned any sugary beverage. I eat more vegetables than I usually do. Instead of empty calorie snacks, I have learned to feast on half an ear of corn or a cup of boiled peanuts. I started to feel better and had more energy. I take my blood sugar reading twice a day - after waking up and another one two hours after my full meal. My glucometer has earned its place in my purse.
A normal blood sugar reading is 90-105mg/dl. Me? Despite all the dieting and the new medication, the lowest reading I have ever had for the past 6 weeks is 144 mg/dl. Grrr.. Last night at work, my mid-shift meal was a small steamed bun with ground pork filling. I took my meds right after. I started to feel extremely tired and sleepy. This lasted for a good three hours after my meal. I took my blood sugar reading. Unbelievable. 371 mg/dl!
And so here I am, flung into the depths of depression (again). Despite all my efforts to get my blood sugar down to "acceptable" levels, it just won't budge! I am resisting the urge to drown myself in a tub of ice cream. What the heck! I might as well enjoy the sugar anyway.
I am now having feelings of anxiety. I have resigned my fate. I know there is no way I will escape being put on insulin. Not only will it be expensive, it would mean I would have to be pricking myself with another gadget. It is just so sad to have this kind of disease. I am the most unwilling recipient of the genetic markers for Diabetes. Worry is starting to set in, fearful of what the future would bring. Would I be dying soon? Who would then take care of my family? Who would cook, clean and do the laundry? Who will send my boys through school? Sigh...
Managing Diabetes can be stressful enough - diet and lifestyle changes, compliance to medication, enhancing weight loss, increasing fitness levels to avoid cardiovascular complications. These alone can lead to depression and the feeling of hopelessness. Once depression sets in, compliance to the self management of diabetes is compromised.
This is where the vicious cycle begins.
I guess I would be seeing my endocrinologist earlier than scheduled. I have to fight this. If I want to be well, it should start with me and a whole lot of prayers.