Depression or low mood - what has helped you?

Flower

Well-Known Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 1
I’ve not suffered from depression before however I went through a few months over the summer where my mood was low and I was struggling to unravel all the worries and fears in my head of which diabetes and complications were just a part. I hadn’t felt that mentally low and struggling before and it scared me that I couldn’t pick myself up and find my normal positive self.

Audible books with someone telling me a story through headphones is something that really works for me, it cuts out reality for a time and it does help me to get lost in a book. Listening to books also helps me walk further as I try to keep walking until a chapter ends!

Feeling so low took me by surprise, I didn’t really notice it starting and it was such a tangled web of worry. Hopefully getting there now.
 

grovesy

Well-Known Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 2
1. Speaking with my GP
2. Finding medication which helps
3. Time in nature - even in a local green space in the middle of a city works, it doesn’t have to be in the depths of a forest
4. Not judging myself when I need a duvet day
5. Mindfulness
6. Laughter
7. Exercise (but when I’m ready for it - it can just be a walk)
8. Reading
9. Radio rather than TV
10. Finding something else to “control” - that can be short term like a 24hr fast maybe, or deciding to walk to a specific, not usual, destination and back.

What doesn’t help really is turning to family. I find they don’t really understand and the result is that I have to deal with their concerns in addition to whatever is dragging me down.
That’s in the acute moments as the chronic nature of it they do appreciate.

I’d also suggest reading Sunbathing in the Rain by Gwyneth Lewis. It’s a collection of her thoughts and musings whilst she was in a depressed state. It’s not all bleak and doom and gloom however as just because she’s was depressed doesn’t mean there’s no laughter.
I often think some people try to stigimise people who are on drugs for depression. I was on them for years and sometimes on and off them, my GP at the time who has now retired went to a lecture were research that some who had more than one episode were better off being on drugs. In the few years before he retired, he supervised me coming of them gradually. I was feeling better by then and some of it i am sure was due to me having less stress , due to having retired myself.
 

pm133

Well-Known Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 1
Yes, but maybe not possible if the depression is caused by an imbalance of chemicals in the brain.
I can only relate my own experiences after suffering horribly from this for almost 20 years and how I managed to find a working solution for myself. If that helps 1 person, then that's great.
 

ColinUK

Well-Known Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 2
@grovesy I couldn’t agree more. One of my friends is a journalist who has made it her mission to promote the idea that medication is always bad. She had an appalling experience with medication for her mental health and it’s coloured her views. On the flip side I honestly feel that I’m alive today in large part to the medication I’ve been on for quite some time (20mg escitalopram). It’s small dose, it doesn’t give me any detachment feelings and it doesn’t stop me having lows. What it does is smooth out the peaks and troughs to some degree but more importantly for me it dramatically speeds up the recovery from a depressive episode.
 

grovesy

Well-Known Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 2
@grovesy I couldn’t agree more. One of my friends is a journalist who has made it her mission to promote the idea that medication is always bad. She had an appalling experience with medication for her mental health and it’s coloured her views. On the flip side I honestly feel that I’m alive today in large part to the medication I’ve been on for quite some time (20mg escitalopram). It’s small dose, it doesn’t give me any detachment feelings and it doesn’t stop me having lows. What it does is smooth out the peaks and troughs to some degree but more importantly for me it dramatically speeds up the recovery from a depressive episode.
That was my experience too!
 

ColinUK

Well-Known Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 2
And I know this thread is called “Depression and low mood...” but the two are so significantly different that it’s not useful to conflate the them.

We wouldn’t have a thread saying “Broken leg and lightly sprained ankle... what works for you?” because it’s clear that the treatment for both is different but the fact that people feel that depression is often basically just the same as feeling a bit low annoys me. It’s incredibly reductive and it often gives rise to lots of responses along the lines of “well for me I just stroke my pet otter everyday whilst drinking green tea in the shade of an ancient oak tree and that works for me” it can also add to the weight of prejudice against taking medication.
Medication for mental ill heath saves lives. It’s that simple really.

If you are feeling depressed then go and see your doctor. You are not wasting their time.
 

pm133

Well-Known Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 1
And I know this thread is called “Depression and low mood...” but the two are so significantly different that it’s not useful to conflate the them.

We wouldn’t have a thread saying “Broken leg and lightly sprained ankle... what works for you?” because it’s clear that the treatment for both is different but the fact that people feel that depression is often basically just the same as feeling a bit low annoys me. It’s incredibly reductive and it often gives rise to lots of responses along the lines of “well for me I just stroke my pet otter everyday whilst drinking green tea in the shade of an ancient oak tree and that works for me” it can also add to the weight of prejudice against taking medication.
Medication for mental ill heath saves lives. It’s that simple really.

If you are feeling depressed then go and see your doctor. You are not wasting their time.
It's a fine line. Like diabetes, everyone's journey out of depression is different. Some want to avoid medication and for some, including myself, it made the depression much worse. For some the depression never goes away and for others it lifts for no apparent reason and doesn't come back. For yet others, it comes and goes with no warning at all.
I am also a bit wary of the discussion turning into a "my depression is more real than yours" competition.
 

Lucyr

Well-Known Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 2
And I know this thread is called “Depression and low mood...” but the two are so significantly different that it’s not useful to conflate the them.

We wouldn’t have a thread saying “Broken leg and lightly sprained ankle... what works for you?” because it’s clear that the treatment for both is different but the fact that people feel that depression is often basically just the same as feeling a bit low annoys me. It’s incredibly reductive and it often gives rise to lots of responses along the lines of “well for me I just stroke my pet otter everyday whilst drinking green tea in the shade of an ancient oak tree and that works for me” it can also add to the weight of prejudice against taking medication.
Medication for mental ill heath saves lives. It’s that simple really.

If you are feeling depressed then go and see your doctor. You are not wasting their time.
I’m not sure, it can be easier to realise you have low mood and harder to realise you have depression. I spoke to my GP about my anxiety and low mood a few weeks ago and told him I definitely wasn’t depressed, I wouldn’t have read anything about depression as I thought I didn’t have it. It wasn’t until I started the CBT this week and did the questionnaires that I realised it’s not just a short period of low mood, it is moderately severe depression. There are some things that help depression that would help low mood, as well as there being differences.

I also agree with the things like getting outside and exercise only helping you if you can get started. I went for a walk today and it helped, but there were more days where I couldn’t get started. Do anti depressants help with the getting started part?
 

ColinUK

Well-Known Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 2
It's a fine line. Like diabetes, everyone's journey out of depression is different. Some want to avoid medication and for some, including myself, it made the depression much worse. For some the depression never goes away and for others it lifts for no apparent reason and doesn't come back. For yet others, it comes and goes with no warning at all.
I am also a bit wary of the discussion turning into a "my depression is more real than yours" competition.
That wasn’t what I meant. I’m worried about the language used.
In order to destigmatise mental ill health then we need to use the right words.
 

SB2015

Forum Host
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 1
Thanks to Mike for flagging up my thread when I went through Diabetes Burnt Out.
I certainly would encourage anyone to ask for help, whether that be from the doctor, family, friends. Whatever suits you. I waited a long while before doing that, too long.

I used a combination of medication and counselling. I stuck with both for six months, and still see the counsellor once a month, three years in, which I find helpful. I also find I now recognise when I need to give myself time away from pressures. I then step back from things, and return when I am ready. I am fortunate that I am able to do this. I think I am with @Inka ’s statement of being kind to yourself.

I now do what I recognise I need to do rather than try to keep going.
 

rebrascora

Well-Known Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 1
I also agree with the things like getting outside and exercise only helping you if you can get started. I went for a walk today and it helped, but there were more days where I couldn’t get started. Do anti depressants help with the getting started part?
This is the big thing for me! Once I am out there I am usually much better, but getting out of the door sometimes is really difficult. For me having the animals means that I absolutely have to. It might not be at an appropriate or regular time but I always make sure to leave them enough until I eventually get there. Sometimes even being out with the animals doesn't help or makes it worse if I am really stressed, but at least they provide me with that impetus. Even when self care is a struggle, the responsibility of having something or someone else to look after keeps you going forward I think.
Going to the doctors is often way beyond what I can motivate myself to do. I did try medication in the early days and it flattened everything out so that I felt nothing. It enabled me to function and manage to do a day's work without crying all the time but it was no way to live. Once I was retired I decided to stop the medication and the combination of having the stress of work removed and being able to withdraw when I needed to has enabled me to cope. I get days when I feel on top of the world and so positive that anything is possible and then for no apparent reason I will take a nose dive and everything is out of perspective and I can't see the light. With experience, I know these down episodes will be over if I just keep my head down and do the absolute essentials and give it time and I can catch up again when I am back on an even keel.
The thought of having to go to the docs multiple times to see if they will prescribe different meds until I find one that suits me instills terror in me.... just contemplating it now has set my heart racing! The last time I psyched myself up....OK my sister dragged me along there in desperation... they gave me Propranolol (obviously not medication for depression but more to treat anxiety symptoms) and recommended CBT. I took one and felt worse, so never tried them again and CBT just isn't for me. Going back would be infinitely harder than my current coping strategy, but I know that I am extremely fortunate to be retired and therefore able to lay low during those periods when I can't cope and just give myself time.
 

rebrascora

Well-Known Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 1
Interestingly, I also find the forum beneficial. If I am feeling low and I read about someone else who is struggling it triggers me to find positive things to say to help them and in doing so, it helps me focus on those positives. It reminds me of the progress I have made and the things that i have achieved, so trying to help someone else becomes self help.
 

pm133

Well-Known Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 1
That wasn’t what I meant. I’m worried about the language used.
In order to destigmatise mental ill health then we need to use the right words.
Then I'm a little lost. I don't see anyone stigmatising mental ill health on this thread.
 

everydayupsanddowns

Administrator
Staff member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 1
Thanks @ColinUK - you’ve made important points and I apologise if I have caused upset to anyone including you by my choice of language.

I suppose I was aiming for a broad brush approach, and also for a discussion which might help those who actually do have clinical depression but have never sought help from their GP, from medication or from talking therapies because they consider their depression to be ‘just feeling a bit low’ and are avoiding seeking help.

I would encourage anyone to talk to their GP who can make an assessment, and offer appropriate support.

There are also online questionnaires which can help you assess how significantly your mental health is impacting your daily life, and offer a ’score’ for your mood and feelings, which can sometimes be hard for people to evaluate

 

Ivostas66

Well-Known Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 1
I think Diabetes burn out is something that I may have to admit to suffering from at present. A week and a half signed off work due to two bad hypos within an hour or so whilst teaching and inability to raise my levels. Dieticians, DSNs, consultant and GP have all told me to focus on me until I am ready/ stable and not worry about work - easier said than done! Levels much better since Thursday (90% in range, average around 6.8 and no hypos!) and I even managed to get out and take my daughter to the park and a long walk yesterday. I was really looking forwards to work today then woke up at 3am feeling dreadful. A quick scan and saw I had dropped to just above 2 when I was asleep for an hour or so around midnight - this despite going to bed with a healthy reading of 6.5! I feel like I have been beaten up and at the same time extremely guilty about not managing to get to work.

I suppose it now gives me another chance to try out some of the suggested methods of digging myself out of this hole. But it is fascinating to think how closely positive mood and stable BG levels are - for me anyway!
 

Inamuddle

Well-Known Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 1
Hi I have just joined after reading through this thread. I have been a diabetic for 40 years and most of the time pretended I am ok. But my blood sugars are very variable. Last year I had a heart attack and then 10 days later both me and my husband were made redundant. I got another job - part time in a shop. The problem was that my boss was a bully both to me and other staff. Just before the first lockdown she was extreemly rude about me being "vunerable". After lockdown the bullying started again. And I was in such a state, working with the public and staff who had no real idea about social distancing, that I walked out of my job.

I hit a brick wall and have not been able to cope at all. I spoke to my GP who has prescribed Citalopram anti-depressants and am going to talk to a therapist on friday. My problem is that although I have taken medication in the past, this time it is making me feel very agitated, unable to sleep, dizzy and very sick in the mornings. I had such a difficult time trying to get up and do my injection and eat. The GP says that the side effects will pass, but I am really not sure. Has anyone else had this kind of reaction to anti-depressants?

Thank You - Sue
 

Lucyr

Well-Known Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 2
Hi sue. Sorry to hear about your difficult times, but I’m glad you’ve joined to chat about it. It’s a while since i last took anti depressants, but I’m going to speak to the GP about trying them this week also. How long ago have you started them? I do remember that for two weeks ish they can make you feel worse whilst you get used to them, but that after that it does improve.
 

atoll

Well-Known Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 1
I started taking men's 50 plus multi-vitamins and minerals as well as vitamin D and C a few years ago after noticing a seasonal onset of depression as the days got shorter,worked wonders for me.
 

Inamuddle

Well-Known Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 1
Hi sue. Sorry to hear about your difficult times, but I’m glad you’ve joined to chat about it. It’s a while since i last took anti depressants, but I’m going to speak to the GP about trying them this week also. How long ago have you started them? I do remember that for two weeks ish they can make you feel worse whilst you get used to them, but that after that it does improve.
I only started taking them a week ago. Thanks for your reply
 
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