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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Scott K. Johnson

Patient voice, speaker, writer, advocate. Living life with diabetes and telling my story. Patient Success Manager, USA for mySugr (All opinions expressed are my own and do not necessarily represent the position of my employer).

Diagnosed in April of 1980, I recognize the incredible mental struggle of living with diabetes. Read more…