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