Depression and mood swings

Hey everyone,
I have been struggling with some depression over the last month since being diagnosed, and I have been finding myself feeling a little alone in this whole process which is mentally exhausting. I have an amazing support system through my friends and family, and medical team, however, I find that I am isolating myself. I haven’t been my outgoing self recently and its really frustrating to hear “It’s okay, it’s not the end of the world”, or “it could be worse”. I don’t expect them to understand how I feel, or even the whole process of what I am going through. My mom has been a tremendous help in being by my side through every single doctors appointment, to education classes, to learning to help carb count, etc… I still find myself struggling to be happy. It’s still all very new to me, and I know isolating myself isn’t a good thing to do. I’ve also been experiencing mood swings. My doctor says this is normal with my blood sugar being all over the place, but I will catch myself feeling happy or laughing along with everyone, and the next minute I’m frustrated and angry and just want to be alone. I am hoping that the mood swings will ease up with getting my sugar under control.

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@chelshubbs Chelsea! I’ve been doing this for 39 years. Depression is common. you got diagnosed with a serious and incurable disease… the suffering and then the diagnosis is a trauma on your health and your head.

everybody, and I mean everybody no exceptions, gets depressed over this as they wrap their head around the concept of a life-long incurable disease., typically people go through “stages of grief” denial, anger, bargaining, depression and then acceptance - and it is grief actually, we have lost our former picture of health, and that is a loss and grief naturally follows:

1 - give yourself a little break here and breathe. this disease is very difficult and unpleasant. we have to do stuff and the routine can be exhausting.
2- nothing and no one is perfect… getting a blood sugar into the “normal” range is like tossing a quarter into a shot glass across the room. pffft… get to know and understand “good enough”. also a cruel trick for newly diagnosed is “honeymoon” - a poorly named time period when blood sugar control is easier because you are still making a little insulin yourself…
3 - this is not in any way your fault s don’t get caught up in google searches and conjecture trying to place blame on something or someone… it’s mentally exhausting and you end up right where you are now.

so with my 3 handy and completely obvious comments this become easy as riding a bike… except the bike is on fire… (you know the joke)

talk yell scream do whatever you want here. we understand.


Hi, Chelsea @chelshubbs,

I’ll put my neuropsychology hat on for just a minute to offer you a bit of information, then I’ll put my hat back in the closet (I’m retired from practice, now).

Part of what you may be experiencing is your body struggling to re-establish an effective metabolism. Insulin is the “key” to getting our metabolisms to work; when insulin is not available our bodies really, really struggle to keep going. This struggle leads to fatigue that can become severe. This fatigue can be "misinterpreted’ as “depression.”

Now, “depressed mood” (not “clinical depression”) is often part of arriving at the realization that “life has made a ‘permanent’ change,” and not for the better. This is what happens when you find yourself sitting on the couch with your insulin syringe in hand and what comes out of your mouth is , “Crap! I don’t want to do this!” Then you start crying and you end up in a “funk” for a month.

Then there is the "young adult “stuff” that adds stress to life anyway. Things like getting established in a career, relationships (both romantic and otherwise), goals you are developing for your life, and on the list goes on. All these things become “horribly” complicated by a diagnosis of T1. Well, kind of, maybe just a little bit.

When you combine all of the “stressors” noted above (both physical, aspirational, and emotional) it is easy to find yourself feeling “depressed.” I think all of us who post to this forum have been there at least once. And some are “frequent flyers” until they finally learn how to live with this rascal of a disorder.

Okay. So what do you do? You do exactly what you did in your original post, above - reach out to others who have been there. It might also be helpful for you to find another person about your age who has had T1 for several years. They can “show you the way” so-to-speak until you feel like you know enough to go on your own (I don’t think any of us ever really get to that point, though, but it’s a nice aspiration).

I always encourage children and teenagers to attend a summer camp for people who have T1. It’s a great experience for them because they are surrounded by other youngsters who also have T1. What a hoot! Some groups have “summer camps” of sorts for adults who have T1. It might be worth traveling to attend one of those sessions, even if it is just for a weekend.

Look around for a JDRF Chapter that is nearby. Attend some of their events, and don’t be afraid to ask questions - that’s the only way to learn how to live with this disorder.

Diabetes isn’t easy. But you can do it. I’ve had diabetes for more than 60 years. This past weekend several of the kids and grand kids came to town to celebrate my wife’s birthday. What a treat! Living with diabetes is absolutely worth the struggle.

Keep us posted on how you’re doing!



Chelsea, I am not going to tell you that everything will suddenly get better, but it will. Your body and mind are trying to get used to this change and it may seem overwhelming but it will get better. Your blood sugar can cause depression, have you seen the commercials for anti depressants they warn you that the medication can raise your blood sugar, but sometimes just a little raise can make you feel better. Don’t know what scale you are working for, but sometimes the lower numbers can be depressing, you are going to have to find out where your body feels good. Isolation is not good, gives you too much time to worry. I have found out after 64 years with this disease that it doesn’t hold me back from anything I want to do, I may have to do it a little differently than someone else, but it can still be done… This disease does not change who you are., you are still the brilliant, beautiful , compassionate, fun and so many other things that make you, you. It will get easier, trust me. I know it’s hard to try and explain to others what is happening, but please remember that they are trying to be supportive in the best way they can, it’s great to have that kind of love around you, things are still too new, but I promise they will get better. Bye jan

I was recently diagnosed as well and i feel the same way you do too. My best advice is to not give up and try to think positive it takes time and i’m still going through that stage of accepting myself with type 1. There will be good days and bad days but i always try to keep myself motivated.

Hi Chelsea,
It is totally normal to feel depressed about diabetes. It can be so hard to have these feelings and feel like no one understands what you are going through, but this is what websites like this are for! I’ll have mood swings happen when my blood sugar changes. For instance, I’ll get really mad when my blood sugar gets high, and when it goes low I’ll get really happy or tired. Check out the link below for some helpful ideas on handling depression with diabetes:

Hi there, I’m new to this site. I have been T1D (type 1 diabetic) for 38 years. I wanted to let you know that you are not alone, you don’t have to learn it all TODAY, there are going to be ups & downs both physically & emotionally, you are the same person you were before you got this disease and you are going to learn, grow & be successful. Don’t look at the rest of your life, look at the diabetes just in terms of TODAY, do the best you can and ask for help when you need it, just for today. Hope this helps you.

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“it’s not the end of the world” and “it could be worse” Jeez. Comparative suffering isn’t helpful at all! Yes, children in Africa are starving, but YOUR WORLD WAS JUST TURNED UPSIDE DOWN!! It’s natural to feel down and depressed.
Try to force yourself out of the house. Do you have a favorite type of exercise? Yoga, running, swimming? Do it. Even for 15, 20 minutes. Natural endorphins help your mood. Plus you get a sense of accomplishment.
Or just take a walk, go to a museum, whatever. (But take your supplies. Nothing sucks like a low BG when you’re 5 blocks from your house with no food!)
Check your BGs tho. I’ve been known to get teary-eyed (and really cranky) when my sugars are too high. And when I’m low, I just tell everybody to back-off for 30 minutes, until it comes up.
And continue to reach out. Even my friends and family who I know don’t really “get it” often respond compassionately.