I have been thinking a fair bit recently, and over the last few years, about how diabetes management interacts with mental health issues. I’ve been having issues with both, and have finally put thoughts into words. I feel that a warning is required, as this discussion of the interplay between my depression and diabetes includes several suicidal phases and self harm. Disordered eating may also feature, although I have discussed that before.
I’m also going to gloss over a lot of detail on the interpersonal relationships, as while connected, it’s not relevant. You can ask if you really want to know!
I’ve been a type-1 diabetic for 10 years now – having been diagnosed a month before my 21st birthday makes it easy to keep track of the slow yet inevitable march of time. I’ve had numerous flirtings with The Darkness (no, not the band, the euphemism for depression popularised by John Robins, do keep up!), but always under that crucial two-week period beyond which it is considered a problem.
That changed early in 2015 – arguably it was probably before that, but as so often with these things, it took someone else to point out to me that something was clearly up.
I was fortunate to be in the process of getting my first insulin pump, and was due a session with the clinical psychology team for acceptance therapy (which apparently I should have had at diagnosis, but the problems of knowing what help you’re supposed to get is a whole other subject). This meant that I was already booked into getting some help before I got too deep into the Darkness. The process of getting the pump was also a really useful short-medium term goal to keep me focused. Once that was over (successfully, yay!) in the summer, however, things took a significant downward turn.
I hit a real low, with pretty much ;