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Mood Swings in Men

Discussion in 'Type 1 Diabetes' started by Belzedar, Aug 9, 2011.

  1. Belzedar

    Belzedar New Member

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    I've developed a strong preference for the quiet life since I was diagnosed at the start of the year. I'm nearly 50 so a diagnosis of 'juvenile' diabetes was a bit of a surprise. I think I took it fairly well, all the more since I don't have any family around or a great network of friends. I've a couple of good friends but I was happy to all of the others the heave-ho. But I see there are concerns about the effect of diabetes on mental health. One of those concerns is to do with isolation and withdrawel. But I consider solitude my default setting, so am I reacting badly to the diagnosis or am I just reverting to type? I asked for a psychological assessment and the result was I request for me to refresh my certification as a psychotherapist.

    But I am worried about intensified emotions. Mood swings in middle-aged men are often mentioned by diabetic men but while the association is there, there is no firm evidence that diabetes causes those mood swings. However, I guess that other guys have been wrestling with the problem - whatever the cause, be it 'male menopause' or a reaction to having diabetes.

    I find that I get irritable with people I don't know and sometimes even quite angry. This HAS been a problem and it can often take some time to cool down. The problem is greatest at job interviews. The last two were nightmares. On both occasions, I had to hurry. The first time was due to circumstances beyond my control, the second down to sloppy planning on my part. Anyway, the result was the same. I had hurried, skipped food, talked myself into a pessimism spiral and arrived hypoglycmic - slightly light-headed, slightly shaky and definitely cranky.

    Any of this ringing bells? Irrational irritation, anger, panic, frustration - may be even a crying jag? (That last bit hasn't happened, but it's on the cards)
  2. noblehead

    noblehead Legend

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    All sounds very familiar with someone who has been recently diagnosed and was once there myself, depression in diabetics is very common and is often mentioned and discussed on the forum.

    Nigel
  3. dib

    dib New Member

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    I can fully relate to your predicament, even though I am type 1.5, I experienced very similar problems and only now after some months and seriously cutting back on my once very active working life am I seeing the light.
    Things seem to improve when you find a diet and medication regime that suits you and control slowly becomes second nature.
    I am looking forward to getting as much back to normal as possible and in the meantime taking it easy
    and 'allowing' myself some time to catch up.
    Hope things turn out well for you and go easy on yourself. :D
  4. catherinecherub

    catherinecherub Moderator

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  5. Belzedar

    Belzedar New Member

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    @noblehead: I've investigated the possibility of depression. Of course, that was the obvious suspect. But I've been assessed and it's been discounted. Generally, I'm pretty upbeat, enjoying the challenges of sourcing and cooking the ideal recipes and getting daily exercise. Just these intense flashes of emotion are quite new to me - and I'm not loving them.

    @dib: That diagnosis of TYpe 1.5 is intriguing. I want to talk to my doctor about that. Despite being diagnosed as an insulin dependent Type 1, I suspect that my pancreas is still firing. My only medication is the fast-acting Humalog twice a day and yet I function comfortably in the normal zone throughout the day.

    @catherinecherub: Certainly I recognise the phenemon isn't unique to men. I think we both accept there is ample literature on that. But there is also ample literature on the reasons for that and if there is a glandular or hormonal cause, I suspect it would be more useful to me to explore those in the context of the male physiology. I can accept that the anger is due, in some part, to negative thinking about the circumstances of my last job. It is the anger that erupts out of nowhere or is an over-reaction to a trivial matter. Those are the ones that strike me as an overactive adrenal gland. Falling testerone levels are also mooted as a cause, but the fans of that theory always fail to mention that the decline is relatively minor.

    By the way, I see you're on the low GI diet. Would you recommend that? Am I right in thinking that it's not to be confused with low-carbing? One of the things I've come across is the effect gluten can have on mood swings. Have you explored a gluten-free diet?
  6. catherinecherub

    catherinecherub Moderator

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    Hi,
    I think you are sensible in looking for the cause in glandular or hormonal changes, this may well be the answer for you.

    You ask can I recommend the GI diet? I would not presume to recommend a diet for anyone. If a Type2 was to ask me for some help with this eating plan then that would be acceptable to me. I do not have the expertise to advise a Type1 but I do know that there are Type1's who post here that use the G.I. method. Hopefully they will post in this thread.

    I wish you all the best, you seem to have a sensible approach to finding what is right for you with your mood swings.

    Take care.

    CC.
  7. Pneu

    Pneu Regular

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    I find that rapid change in my blood sugars can cause mood swings... sometimes my better half will be like 'all right Mr Grumpy' I know at that point time to check those BG's make sure they aren't dropping to quickly!

    Reference general mental health mine is generally good although I do suffer from occasional server anxiety and insomnia both can be triggered by hypo's... if I hypo in my sleep on waking I have had 'hallucinations' and night terrors which are particularly unpleasant... lucky these days these are a relatively rare thing maybe once every three - six months and I have a stock of Diazapam which I take to help calm myself down.. but I certainly do believe that erratic BG's can cause these sorts of 'mental' problems as I never suffered from them pre-diagnosis
  8. Pneu

    Pneu Regular

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    Reference your diet question...

    As a type 1 I certainly find it easier to control my blood glucose by eating a 'reduced' carb diet... which for me is around 20 - 40g carbs per meal although I am not totally religious in sticking to this... my carbs tend to come from fruit/vegetables/beans/ and a very small amount of brown pasta / rice and soya bread... its not specifically therefore 'low GI' but I don't eat anything that's going to massively spike my BG's...

    Its not an exact science when it comes to specific foods and BG's so your best to try different things and do 1 and 2 hour post meal tests to see what the food does to your BG's... personally I try and keep mine as follows:

    1 hour post: under 7.5 mmol/l
    2 hour post: under 6.0 mmol/l
    3 hour post: between 4.0 and 4.5 mmol/l which is my standard fasting BG's...

    and would avoid any food that put me outside of those ranges... now those are particularly aggressive and are not for everyone its a personal decision... NICE clinical guidelines for type 1's I believe are sub 9 mmol/l 2 hours post meal.
  9. Fallenstar

    Fallenstar Regular

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    Belzadar
    Sorry to hear this I hope things settle for you.

    Sorry I'm a chick, but I just wanted to add this into the mix. I'm a Type 1 have been for 20 years and have noticed the same as you and many others with Diabetes, it is the swing in BS.

    I was watching the TV the other days and a DR was on talking about PMT...this is me at this time of the month :evil: :twisted: :evil: :twisted: :evil: :twisted: :lol:

    He said that the cause of mood swings involved with PMT (which obviously you don't have) is down to the fluctuations ladies get in Blood sugar, also this is why they crave all the wrong foods at this time of the month chocolate,starchy foods...sound familiar when you have high blood sugars :?:
    Well these mood swings are bad for the non Diabetic lady who only has a small fluctuation within the normal ranges of blood sugar....I have glucose swings sometimes from 2 to 19...so there you have it, constant PMT no matter what sex you are :lol: No, but it makes for big mood swings something we just can't help but I do try because it is hard for people around us...but don't beat yourself up about it and try and go with the flow and understand it is just the nature of the disease not your personality or your fault.

    My OH goes to live in the shed once a month...much safer!
  10. Ricey

    Ricey New Member

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    I have had VERY drastic mood swings myself. When I last went to my doctor he said it may have been because of big swings in blood sugars. I remember one time in uni, one of my pens were on the "wrong" side of the table. This just set me off :/ Thankfully, I'm on a different insulin now and injecting when I eat. This has made it better than it was before
  11. fed-up

    fed-up New Member

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    I noticed as soon as I became Type 1 that my personality changed. I became very short tempered, aggressive, impatient etc. In fact the complete opposite of what I was prior to my diagnosise.

    I tried to tell my medical staff and it fell on deaf ears. My marriage has been through some very rough patches and if my wife wasn't as hard as she is, would of collapsed a while ago. She at least almost understands my problem and I try to go into the bedroom, for a walk by myself to try to limit the ranting, raving, aggressiveness especially as we have a very small son...Sometimes it's just over something very stupid and trivial.

    I have been at my wits end trying to get someone to understand me. Things that never used to bother me really make my blood boil to the point that i almost feel indestructable... I got into a fight recently, through absolutely no fault of my own and just felt no pain at all..Only wanted to destroy the other person...I know you can get 'diabetic rage' I have heard of diabetic people suffering from it, I'm not sure if it is a recognised side effect as such. I just try to keep myself to myself and away from situations that will likely set me off.
  12. Valealto

    Valealto New Member

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    Hi,
    I'm a partner of a type1 and I'd like your help. What is the best thing to do when a type1 becomes angry? I typically ask sorry if I said something that might have triggered the reaction and ask my partner to calm down, offer water, and try to hug him. But would it be better to leave the other person alone? My partner seems to prefer that...
    Lately we are having a lots of discussions which often lead to episodes of anger from his side or him being offensive. This happens when we touch upon possibility to start a family. We seem to have the same goal but then no actions are taken which drives me crazy. If I make that remark, i get an aggressive response.. If I try to make some jokes, I get aggressive response too..
    I don't want my boyfriend to get angry, I love him very much. I tried to avoid the subject, but having being together for 4.5 years and been more than mature for starting a family, it is very difficult for not to bring this subject up. Have you also experience difficulties in your relationship link to this matter? How did you handle it?
  13. annelise

    annelise Senior

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    Valealto, I will hurry to say that I do not have specific knowledge here.

    However, I have read several (anonymous) posts on diabetes forums about men with T1 having ED (erectile disfunction), and I believe this is a problem which is very sensitive/sore to a man, and a subject which it is difficult to come into the open about. – I wouldn't of course dare to venture a guess of whether this might the problem here.

    But since you report a long-term relationship and a common wish to start a family, you might cautiously try to skirt the question (when waters are calm!).

    His anger might also be a defense mechanism to not end in an 'intimate' situation … - in the fear of his not fulfilling expectations.

    Sorry if I have been too blunt – and in the wish that I have misunderstood the situation,

    Best, annelise

    - maybe you might google – or even start a new thread …

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