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A Disturbing Search

I’ve thought for a long time that every diabetes diagnosis & treatment regimen should include counseling right along with the medications and the medical professionals that will come and go during our lifetime with diabetes.  In fact, that should be the case for any chronic or life-altering health situation.

I’m doing that now and I’ve put myself out here as someone who is clinically depressed and diabetic.  Granted these postings mostly help me, but I also hope that my discussions can help people know it’s OK.  It’s OK to seek help when you or a loved one has diabetes or any other chronic condition for that matter.  Non-health related life-changing events can also use some help sorting out now and again.  That’s OK.

Because, dammit, life is hard enough and diabetes is another layer of stress, anxiety, fear, anger, frustration all rolled up in a little thing we call our lives.

It’s OK.

I’ve always felt as a diabetes advocate I have a responsibility to tell it like it is and to show that you don’t need to be a “perfect” patient to have a long, fulfilling life.   Depression has always sapped that “fulfilling” portion of my life and that is what I want to change now.

Putting it all out here about mental health is uncomfortable, not merely because I am searching for and looking at things that I spent 4 decades hiding from.  And it’s not merely because I am discussing some things that are very personal & private to me in a very open space.  It’s not because there is such a stigma associated with mental health.

Without really intending to, I seem to have moved into a mental health advocacy role as well. And that’s truly uncomfortable because someone, someone I may influence, found my blog using the search phrase:

decided to let diabetes kill me

That’s not OK with me.  I wish I had a way to reach out through that search phrase and find that person.  Try to tell them they are not alone, that what they are feeling is normal, and hopefully help them find what they need.  If you are reading this now, please talk with someone, anyone, even me.  Because it is OK.

I had kind of liked how I was writing about all this, it was helping me put some order to the jumble of thoughts and emotions that are part of this journey.  That search phrase is making me question my approach though.  I guess Morpheus and I will have a topic of discussion next time.

And that’s OK too.

 © 2012 Scott Strange, Strangely Diabetic and http://StrangelyDiabetic.com

  • A fan

    The person doing the search could have been me. I toy with the idea of letting the diabetes kill me fairly often. I am too chicken to kill myself by “conventional” means, such as jumping in front of a train or off a building. My crazy meds won’t kill me if I overdose on them. I am a person whose life is truly over, due to legal issues, and if I let the diabetes kill me, my children could inherit what money I have plus my life insurance money.

    You shouldn’t feel responsible in any way for me or any other person thinking about this option. Believe me, you didn’t put the thought in my brain. It has been there for some time.

    Keep writing!

    • http://strangelydiabetic.com Scott Strange

      Hi there, I’m glad you answered.  I was just expressing that advocates can have sometimes have a greater reach than they expect at times.

      You know, I’ve been where you are. I’m not going to blow sunshine at you, but “conventional” or not, I see that you still care deeply for you children.  You even care about me. 

      While you still have that care for others, for those you love, you still have more to live for than you realize.

      Take a breath and find that caring, that love, that is still there. 

      I think you should keep writing too

      Scott

  • Mike Hoskins

    Thank you for writing this, Scott. Yes, that search term is disturbing. But you can’t let that get to you, that someone might find you that way. Because as you say, people feel this way and need to be able to  find stories of peers when it’s needed most. Better they find someone sharing their own struggles, and learn and relate, than to not have anything and have no one to express these feelings to. You are doing an incredible service here, Scott. I’ve found myself thinking this very thing before, and in the not-so-distant past. I’ve almost given up a few times, but it’s been your posts and some others in the DOC that have shown me I’m not alone in what I’m grappling with. And there is a way out of this hole… and that just communicating about these things can do so much. It’s invaluable. Yes, there me be an influencing role you have in sharing and that be uncomfortable. But I think the potential for good, for positive influence clouds any notion of negativity there may be. We’re all in this together in a sense, and while we do live with it on our own for the most part and struggle in our own ways, it helps having someone you know is shouldering the same types of burdens. Thank you for what you’re doing, and god bless in your journey forward, my friend.

    • http://strangelydiabetic.com Scott Strange

      Thanks Mike… I think I’m going to keep on as I was doing, just keep with the potential for good outweighing the negative. Godspeed on your journey as well, my friend

  • http://twitter.com/jessmeandd Jess

    you are on a roll with these posts, my friend! i could not have said any of it better myself. 

    • http://strangelydiabetic.com Scott Strange

      Thanks Jess!

  • http://thegirlsguidetodiabetes.com/ Sysy

    Oh wow…I think you’re going into a really profound place.  That search term…I would have written that years ago but it was before the internet was around…so I too understand the hopelessness than can take a person over.  I’m with you on the mental health advocacy, too.  It’s never fun to crack yourself open in a public setting and express feelings of, as in my case “I’m broken” or “screwed up” but when others are honest about their struggle and fight to overcome, it really helps soothe those of us who are in a similar place or…those of us who have been in a similar place and fear falling back in again.  I feel like I’m a sneeze away from hopelessness all of the time so I work to stay afloat, constantly.  It gives me hope to hear about others who are in the same fight.  If everyone came out more, none of us might feel so alone.  So thank you for including us in your thoughts and feelings.  And I wish you the best.

    • http://strangelydiabetic.com Scott Strange

      Thanks Sysy..  I think the mental and emotional aspects of diabetes, or any long-term chronic condition, is too often overlooked.  Not only my the medical profession but also by the patients themselves.  Hopefully, if more of us discuss it, people will do something to address it and more acceptance and understanding will result

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  • natsera

    Been there, done that. I’ve had major depressive disorder since I was in the 5th grade. Diabetes came later, and created what I call the 4 D’s: Diabetes and Depression, a Deadly Disorder. I almost killed myself if 2010 by bingeing and underdosing insulin.

    In my utopia, every diabetes care team should have a psychologist or psychiatrist on staff, and appointments with them should be regular events. If a child is diagnosed, the parents need help; if a teenager is diagnosed, both need help, and if an adult is diagnosed, they and possibly their spouse and children need help. It’s just too much to handle on your own. There is so much emotional baggage associated with both types, and even if a person doesn’t get as far as suicidal thoughts, some emotional relief would make taking care of yourself SO much easier.

    • http://strangelydiabetic.com Scott Strange

       @Natsera I totally agree and I think that the toll of living with a
      chronic condition is just starting to receive the attention it deserves,
      not only from HCPs but also from the patients themselves!

  • shannon

    wow, scott. i agree with the notion that patients should receive mental health care assistance right alongside their endocrinologists. but that search phrase stopped me in my tracks. i think the path you’re on with these posts can only help someone struggling with the same issues!