Diabetes And Mood Swings

Diabetes BRINGS mood swings...

Anger, depression, loneliness, you name it. When our blood glucose levels get either too high, or too low, our moods WILL swing back and forth. Mood swings can vary between just general grouchiness, irritability, to violence (especially, during low blood sugars, when we may have little control over who we are.)

It's bad enough dealing with this scenario, but often friends just make us feel 'belittled' when they ask "Can you check your blood sugar?," if we share our emotions, or our frustrations. I admit, it's sometimes not so easy to tell... but if you're in the middle of a rational argument with someone, do not stop to ask them this; it's quite the same as asking a woman if she's on her period. I don't condone violence, but I can't say violence WON'T happen if you happen to reduce someone's honest views or emotions to a blood glucose episode.

How can I help?

Be an active "reader", and consider your friend or loved one with diabetes, as an open book; that is, listen more, and talk less. Read more, and assume less. Seek to learn, and seek ways in which you can be of help. Instead of suggesting actual tasks to 'police' your diabetic's behavior, you may ask an open ended question, such as "Is there anything I can help you with?" Or, "I have noticed you struggle with x, y, and z... is there anything I can do to make that easier?"

We can help our diabetics by "dividing and conquering" tasks, like bringing back up glucose supplies, or calling ahead to find out what meals will be served at events, or friends' places. We can even help by making a favorite diabetic's dish to bring. I don't know why, but these small things that take away my 'spontaneity,' are the ones that peeve me the most. If I have someone else as a back up for my forgetful mind, I don't have to feel so vulnerable at those times.

Invest your life alongside your diabetic friend or loved one's life -- I mean, you want them around for a lot longer, right? Why not go to their support groups with, or their diabetes educator sessions...? Ask thoughtful questions that do not put a person on the spot; you can ask about what a hypoglycemic event is, and feels like, when the person is NOT in the middle of one, for example.

Embrace a HEALTHIER life. Do not treat the diabetic's new life changes like they are a death sentence, but as a wake up call to the entire family that they need to be a bit more conscientious of what they eat, portion, and manage. If they are related to you by blood, it might benefit you ENORMOUSLY to follow their eating regimen and lifestyle, and get used to it now... while you don't have the strong pressure of complications looming over your head.

Finally, if your loved one, or friend, is greatly struggling with uncontrolled anger, and depression, remind them that it is OKAY to feel that way, and that it is OKAY to need some help sometimes with the overwhelming burden of managing a controlling, and demanding illness. Diabetes is as much a psyco-social disease, as it is a physical disease, and it WILL require outside support, and often require therapy.

This blog post is by no means exhaustive, but I hope to have at least shed SOME light for many of you on how being a diabetic can change one's world view, and bring with it, many unwanted frustrations, resentment, and often anger. Much of that anger we can grow from, and overcome, and some of it will forever linger... as is the nature of the disease, and the world we must face as diabetics.

For the last 14 years it’s like I’ve been a single mother. I’ve worked to deal with the roller coaster of diabetes on my own and so to ask someone to join me in that is a big deal for me. As I’ve gotten older I’ve realized every single person has strengths and sometimes issues, or a medical condition like diabetes. But if the guy can’t look past me having diabetes, he’ll miss out on knowing that I’m funny, compassionate, and intrepid

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