Revisiting the not-so-wonderful moments

I first published the content of this post last September, but I think it is important to share it again now.

May is Mental Health Awareness Month.

1 in 4 people experience a “diagnosable, treatable mental health condition” (source).

That is an important statistic for two reasons.

  1. You are not alone.
  2. The way you are feeling is not forever. It is diagnosable. It is treatable. You will feel better.

(September 2011)

In terms of genetics, I drew the short straw. While I am the only person in my extended family with type 1 diabetes, there are quite a few examples of autoimmune issues on my dad’s side of the family.

By having diabetes, and as a result of some other circumstances, I drew another short straw. Did you know that people with diabetes are at a higher (maybe even double) risk of also having depression? (source)

My bachelor’s degree is in psychology so I can identify the signs and symptoms pretty easily. The step between knowing and doing something about it is a big one.

In February, I took that step and got help. It has not been an easy process. With the help of a medical professional, I made the decision to try medication.

The first medication that I was prescribed worked pretty well but it was not approved by my insurance and I could not afford the out of pocket cost for it. I tried another medication and it has taken a while to get the dosage and timing right for me.

If you have diabetes and think you may be struggling with depression, please seek help. It may be scary at first to admit you need help but you will feel so much better when you do. The community will be here to support you just like they were for me (thank you to those I was able to contact by DM and text).

I am living with diabetes and depression and still enjoying every moment of wonderful.


Since I first wrote this post in September I have stopped taking my medication. This is a complex decision that my medical team is aware of and is currently in support. I only share that information because I think it is an important part of the story. This does not mean that I am “cured” or that I no longer deal with symptoms of depression. Depression is a just as complicated as diabetes and your experience may vary.

If you are experiencing symptoms of depression or any other mental health issue, please tell someone. Please reach out.

Even when it feels like you can’t, know that you CAN do this.


  • Thanks for posting this, Sara. You nailed so many things, and are brave for doing so. Struggling with diabetes AND depression/anxiety is no joke and no easy feat. Thank goodness for good friends and empathic ears w/in the DOC!

  • Thanks for sharing your story. I know it will help others who may be suffering with depression and not realize it.

  • Love this line: “I am living with diabetes and depression and still enjoying every moment of wonderful.”

    May you have many of those moments.

  • What a great post. It is so important for others to know they are not alone. We are all dealing with something. I had to struggle with depression related to diabetes for a long time after being diagnosed. I hated it and felt I would never live a normal life. I even tried living a “normal” life, ignoring diabetes only to end up really sick as you can imagine. Then I decided not to let things get in my way. Depression still haunts me from time to time, especially when my readings are out of line, but I remind myself that I am not the only one, that God is in control, this moment will pass and there are so many positive things to look forward to that I can’t even imagine them all.
    Congratulations on getting off the meds, but knowing that they are there if you need them. I wish you all the best and many wonderful moments.

  • Great post! I think with any issue that requires 24/7 monitoring and especially one which even if everything is done right can lead to “poor” results can lead to some dark days. But like you said, with the right support network and being open about it, it’s possible to still enjoy every moment.

  • My mother’s side of the family is rampant with depression. And, just as I got the db tendency from my dad’s side I got the depressive tendency from mom’s. (Yeah, the luck of the draw.)
    I have taken anti-depressants for well over 10 years and expect to continue to do so. They have made a difference in my ability to cope with diabetes, dialysis, and cancer. I have a long-term relationship with a wonderful shrink that really, really gets it. I am grateful.

  • I, too, drew the ‘short straw’ and have diabetes. I also deal with depression. As an RN with a psych background, I can see how diabetes and depression go hand-in-hand. It is very difficult on the body and brain to have to deal with the metabolic imbalances that happen with swinging blood sugars. Not only does our blood glucose vacillate way out of the norm, with that comes rapid changes in the electrolytes surrounding each cell (and the glucose gets ‘into control’ much faster than the electrolytes get re-balanced). All of this is emotionally and physically exhausting! I finally looked into medical assistance (which didn’t work) for the depression part of my life after meeting a woman in 1990ish who had just had a pancreas transplant. Unfortunately, she rejected it after only 3 months. But she said that the biggest gift she discovered while the pancreas was working was, for the first time in the 20 years since she’d been diagnosed with diabetes, she was not depressed!
    Thank you, Ms. Moments-of-Wonderful! We all need the reminder that there is a cause (whether genetic or metabolic), there may be help, the symptoms ebb and flow sometimes, and that we are not alone.
    Love you! ~ Hilary

  • Love that you put this out there. I worry about it for Joe. I can totally see how the two can go hand-in-hand…and appreciate the RNs comment above. Makes me stand that much more in awe of all PWDs (and of Joe). Love to you Sara.

  • Thanks for having the courage to post about your struggle with depression — it encourages me (and I’m sure others) to share my story too. I have the combo of diabetes and OCD. Thanks for sharing.

  • Thanks for re-sharing this, Sara. I particularly applaud you for the ending point there, that just because we’re able to stop taking medication, it doesn’t mean we’re “cured” or “all better.”

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