Can diabetes cause depression? What are the links between diabetes and depression?

How can I keep from being depressed over my diabetes?

It's not easy. It's only logical to be depressed when you first learn you have diabetes. And all the cheerful remarks people make about how much nicer it is to have diabetes than leprosy or than being run over by a moving van or some such nonsense do no good at all. You know that it's not better than having nothing wrong with you.

After all, you have to make many, many changes in your life, and at first glance, these changes all seem to be for the bad. On top of that, you feel like an outcast. You're no longer like everyone else. Of course, no one ever is like everyone else, but at the moment you feel like the town pariah, and you're certain that all your friends are going to drop you now that you have diabetes.

You get the automatic "why me?" reaction. "Why should i be selected to get this rotten disease?" "Why should / be threatened with blindness or kidney failure or gangrene or an early death if I don't follow a rigid regime?" Why indeed? There's really no reason. It's just the breaks of the genetic game. As a doctor told us once at a meeting, "Every person carries around about forty-four genetic defects." One of yours happens to be diabetes, and the fact is that some people draw out far worse tickets than diabetes in the genetic lottery. But that doesn't make you feel any better. As A. E. Housman said, "Little is the luck I've had and, oh, 'tis comfort small, to think that many another lad has had no luck at all."

So what do you do about all this? You can sit and resentfully mutter about cruel fate and wallow in your woe, or you can, as the old saying has it, take the lemon you were handed and make lemonade out of it. We read an article about a woman who is a successful author and consumer advocate on radio and TV in Los Angeles. She described her beginnings: "When we married, during the early years it was rough. We were poor, but I wasn't about to go on welfare. So I decided if I wanted clothes, I had to make them. If I wanted the best bread I'd better learn how to bake. What I did was take poverty and turn it into an art."

What you need to do is take diabetes and turn it into an art. Do all the things you need to do for your diabetes and make them enhancements to your life.


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