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What I’ve Learned So Far

It’s been a while since I posted, but I wanted to finish up my discussion of the last few years with a summary of what I’ve learned (sometimes I think stumbled into is a better description).

Learning that I was not alone in diabetes what probably the most profound, and yet damaging, thing. Recognizing that many others, who had worked harder at staying healthy than I, suffered complications and worse drove me into a dangerous depressive episode, it also started to shine a light on what was going on inside my head.

I learned that I’m not broken and if I was, I was well worth fixing.

I learned that it is not my fault that bad things happen to good people. It’s ok to feel sad for them, but guilt and shame are destructive forces when allowed and constructive ones when used properly.

I learned that it is OK if I need help and it’s even more OK to seek it out. Whether it be physical or emotional, I learned that sometimes we all need a little help to stay healthy.

Staying healthy is more than just physical health. It’s Body, Mind, and Spirit and it takes all three stay healthy.

Self-care is just as important in a caregiving situation as the care you give. If you can’t really take care of yourself how will you be able to truly care for someone else? Again, it’s OK seek help and support when you are in a stressful situation. This is an important lesson, learned the hard way.

I’ve learned that I get tired of writing only about diabetes, depression, diabetes and depression.

Sometimes saying “no” is the healthiest answer… not only for you but others as well.

Saying “oh, hell no” to outrageous behavior is healthy and empowering.

The only way to become empowered is to take ownership of my health and everything that goes along with that. It involves education, engagement, communication, and a willingness to work with a support team.

The largest provider of mental health services in the country is the criminal justice system. What little “safety net” there is usually involves someone going to jail.

Mental health parity (with physical health insurance-wise) seems to be pretty much a joke. My personal health insurance plan through work requires me to have pre-authorizations for both in-network and out-of-network providers. That is not a requirement for the physical health part of the plan.

My chosen provider, who I believe was the best choice for me, was out of network. Would it be even possible to get an out of network pre-auth? How many in-network therapists would I have to go through? And not only that, but if I called any of the listed in-network providers, they did not take my insurance at their practices. It turns out that if the provider was affiliated with a treatment facility that took the insurance their name would be on the in-network list. So I would have had to check myself in to get coverage, but wanting to work through things on my own… Kinda sounds like going to jail if you ask me

I’ve learned that the stigma, expense and availability of mental health care prevents many from seeking it. People whose lives would improve if they could get help.

I’ve learned that the stigma surrounding mental health stops most, worldwide, from seeking help.

The stigma, no, the prejudice against people with mental health issues will continue to hurt countless people. What is someone with that called? Is there even a name like racist or sexist? How do we fight something without a name?

People, families, communities will continue to suffer until people start to stand up.

I think I’ve learned how to stand up.

© 2013 Scott Strange, Strangely Diabetic and

  • Scott, I’ve been hanging on every word. Keep telling it like it is. Thanks

  • Preach, brother!

    I am so in touch with what you’re saying about the difficulty in jumping through all of the insurance hoops, and to think that it is SO difficult for people already seeking help is terrifying. I wrote about this a while back. Sadly, not much has changed.

    I also find it fascinating that it was finding the DOC that both helped and hurt you. Makes total sense, though.

    Thank you!

  • I can’t express how happy I am to know that you learned to stand up, Scott, and that you inspired me and so many others to do the same. That stigma is something I experienced firsthand, and it prevented me from getting the needed help for the longest time. Same with medication. But once you and others started sharing your stories, and I saw myself in your words, I was able to get past that. So I owe you so much, my friend. Thanks for this post, and for everything. Here’s to standing strong as we move forward.

  • beautifully said, scott. thank you so so much for sharing.