Wayback Wednesday – Clincally Depressed

Picture of my hand with a BG line chart in the backgroundCourtesy of the “Wayback Machine“, I bring you the early entries I made in my online diabetes journal.  This was back before Blogger made things easy, and I had to write the entries in HTML.  The journal is no longer available, but thanks to the wonderful tools available on the internet, I was able to find much of my old stuff.  I’d like to share one of the old entries with you.

I wish I would have asked for help so much sooner.


 

07 Aug 2001

On July 20th 2001 I was diagnosed with clinical depression. It happens a lot with diabetics. People with diabetes are 3 to 4 times more at risk than the general population. This has been one of the toughest things for me to deal with. I’ve always thought of myself as a mentally strong person, not needing any “help” in that area. Well, sometimes that’s just not so true I guess. In many ways it is very hard to deal with, but in other ways so many things make sense now. I think this depression has been affecting me much longer than I realized. Knowing what is going on, I am able to look back on the past couple of years. There had been a general underlying feeling of “something is not quite right”. I would spend all my time in “public” (work, extended family, etc.) pretending that there was nothing wrong. I would spend all my time in “private” trying to figure out what the heck was going on. It is a miserable way to live. There was no enjoyment from things I used to enjoy. There was general irritability. It seemed like I was mad all the time. I think it really explains my frustrations I’ve expressed with insurance and the health care industry.

Depression is a very serious condition. Depression with diabetes, left untreated is fatal. A downward spiral of self care leads to worse and worse diabetes control. Worse diabetes control leads to worse depression.

Worse depression leads to worse diabetes control. I think you can see where this is going. It is a terrible cycle to break free of, and it totally controls your life. That is why it is necessary to aggressively treat depression for those with diabetes.

I’m still very much trying to cope with this recent diagnosis, and trying to get in touch with what is going on inside me. I have to be ok with not feeling well, at least for a little while. I’m waiting for my next appointment, where I’m supposed to be tested more and possibly get some medication. The time spent waiting seems like a lifetime. In the meantime, I greatly appreciate the support of my family. Most notably my wife, my sister and my parents. They have been a great help in dealing with this.

I have thoughts about whether or not to “talk” about this stuff on my site. I think it is important for me to get it out in the open though. I need to document what kind of struggles I deal with on a daily basis. Maybe sometime it will give somebody some insight. Maybe it will help people understand why I am the person I am. If nothing else, it will be a record for my family and for myself. I dream of being able to look back on these problems I’m dealing with, and feel good about being able to come out of it.

I’m upset that I have to deal with this. I feel like the last two years of my life have been stolen. I feel even more upset when I think about those two years were probably some of the best I should have been having. I feel like I missed enjoying my only son grow up…

I’m in the middle of the storm, trying to stay afloat.


 

 

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10 thoughts on “Wayback Wednesday – Clincally Depressed

  1. A little late to comment but the truth is, I’ve been going through my own bout of depression and while I was aware I struggled with depression, this one kinda caught me off guard…this particularly bad spell has been going on since I was in Taiwan, but I only recognized how bad it was this month. I am now on a new anti-depressant (was on Lexapro for 2 years, but am now on 60 mg of Cymbalta, which is, ironically, also given to some diabetes with painful neuropathy, which I don’t have, but who knows..maybe some day down the line, but I hope not!).
    I relate to so much of what you said–all of it really, and just earlier tonight I decided to write about my own recent struggle with depression on my DD blog here: http://www.diabetesdaily.com/grace/2009/02/the-blame-game.php
    I’m glad we can both be honest and open about our depression and diabetes. It’s not always easy to be such an open book, open to scrutiny and judgment, but I feel less shame about being depressed since being more open about it, and I, for one, applaud you!
    ENJOY(ment) and DELIGHT are ours for the taking, Scott!

  2. Scott-
    I am glad you decided to share this blog post. Depression is one of those things we have to battle. I’m glad you reached out for help. There’s a gospel song I love to sing, the words go like this “As I look back over my life and I think things over. I can truly say that I’ve been blessed, I have a testimony.” this blog post you wrote back in 2001, is your testimony and you battled the storm. I’m so glad you did.
    You are helping so many people!!!
    Your Friend,
    Cherise
    from my iPhone;)

  3. I too suffer with anxiety and depression and was on Effexor for years that helped me tremendously. In April I went off the Effexor and lost 20 lbs, which I gained while on the stuff. Effexor really messes with your metabolism, but it helped me sooo much mentally.
    I am suffering again, but not sure if I should return to meds, but I know I was better on them, but the weight gain and other issues scare me.
    Can you share if you are on any medication, before I decide if I return to mine?

  4. Hello, Mister Scott! Thanks for being real. There is so much to deal with on an everyday basis and all this d-work in the midst of other daily stresses gets a bit much and leads to burnout, funk, etc.
    I agre with what George said about guys and dads. All this “hanging tough” and “bucking up” doesn’t leave us with any easy place to deposit feelings – except with a REALLY good friend, a blog or something like that. A blog lIke YOURS!!
    I don’t know about you, but I have just become about 10x more emotional since dx. It’s not all bad, but it’s true.
    Love your blog. Glad this is a Wayback Edition.
    Peace,
    J.B.

  5. Scott-
    Just some words of support. I am there too and it ain’t easy. It’s hard to accept and admit, and even worse when you realize that there is no quick-fix.
    I have suffered with depression since high-school and after dealing with a recent break-up, finally needed professional help. It is hard to hold my head high, to understand that my family can still love me while I suffer from depression and it’s effects.
    I too feel like I’ve lost precious time in my life. I feel detached, like a ghost hovering over my autonomous body, watching myself go through the motions, performing necessary tasks and activities because I simply can’t NOT do them.
    But I take solace in the fact that I WANT to be happy again; that I even HAVE the professional, medical and personal resources around me that I need to start back down the path I want to be on – and even my resources took a lot of work. I had NOTHING but my mother when my break-up triggered a dangerous side of depression.
    I had no close personal friends – so I had to fake a smile through nights out with old friends and even attempt to make new friends through unconventional means (i.e Craiglist – it worked out great, my friend Karen is a lifesaver!).
    While I felt the personal attempts were meager, — even minimal at the time — they have paid off greatly. Just don’t give up. If I can do it, ANYONE can.

  6. Scott,
    Great re-post to say the least. What a challenging issues so many Diabetic face and don’t know what to do with. Hopefully this opens some ears.
    Hoping things are better, wishing you the best.
    Bill

  7. Well-written description of what depression feels like. I feel like I’ve lost huge chunks of time to it too, my friend, and I can look back and see how it sneaked up on me years before I finally got a diagnosis. I super admire how you were willing to post about this so soon after diagnosis. I was a teenager when I was diagnosed, but I hated talking about it to anyone but a handful of close friends back when I finally got diagnosed and started treatment. And to add to George’s comment, I’m sure you’ve helped lots of other guys by initially posting and now re-posting this.

  8. It’s not easy for us guys to admit to being depressed. Especially when we are dads. I always feel like I am expected to keep my head together when so often I don’t.
    Your honesty has helped so much. Thank you for that.

  9. Scott, I’m really glad you decided to share your experiences with depression over the years. I think one of the hardest things about depression is the feeling that you’re going through it alone, nobody knows or cares. Reaching out is the only way past that.

  10. Kudos Scott for being so open and honest! I think, and I’m not expect, that the fact that you are openly speaking about it and acknowledging your conditions is a great step towards getting better. You are fighting back, you are no hiding away and that is fantastic.
    Keep your head up, lean on your support system and don’t ever forget that people love you and want to help you. Let them:)