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Kendsie Hunter: Diabetes and Depression

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Despite all the optimism I try to have about living with diabetes, there are days when I get down on myself about having to live with this disease.

I really hate to bring up this topic, but I feel that it can’t go unnoticed. Diabetics are among those most likely to also struggle with depression (http://www.dlife.com/dLife/do/ShowContent/daily_living/depression_and_coping/index.html).

I never thought about it until someone asked me, “Don’t you hate having diabetes?” When I stopped to think about that for a moment, I thought, “Yeah! I really do hate this!” and started to get really sad and fall into the “woe is me” mantra.

Coming to terms with a chronic, life-threatening illness is a hard decision to make. Once people are diagnosed, it often takes a while to get used to living life with diabetes. All of the adjustments, math, and what ifs start to add up to a seemingly insurmountable task.

There are plenty of reasons to be depressed about having diabetes, so if you are one of the many people pulling double duty by trying to deal with both, it is clear that you have a lot on your plate. But, the key words are "dealing with it."

If you are trying to combat your depression by taking care of your diabetes, then you are on the road to success! It is difficult to deal with both, but they can conquer. JDRF suggests group therapy, taking control over your diabetes, or helping someone in a similar situation (http://www.jdrf.org/index.cfm?page_id=105582) as some methods of coping.

It’s no good to try and cover things up, but if you can make the best of having diabetes, it will definitely help. When I changed my mindset to think of the benefits of diabetes rather than the issues associated with the disease, it made a big difference in my outlook on life.

I’m not saying that things will instantly get better – dealing with depression takes a long time - but having a positive mindset is a big advantage. Dealing with diabetes will last until there is a cure, but dealing with depression in a positive manner is in your control.

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.


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