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Managing as a Type 1 diabetic with poor mental health

Discussion in 'Type 1 Diabetes' started by aaronjunited, Feb 23, 2017.

  1. aaronjunited

    aaronjunited Type 1 · Active Member

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    As the title says managing type 1 diabetes with poor mental health is what I want to talk about here.

    I struggle with managing my diabetes because of my diet and that is related to my mental health, my moods and how im feeling at that point.
    Now I know this sounds silly.... It is type 1 diabetes you need to control your diet, take care of yourself and watch your carb intake.

    This is easier said than done for someone who has poor mental health.

    I think I need to change my diet in order to lower the stress im causing with the binge eating and not watching what I eat at all.

    Do you have these problems? How do you manage?
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  2. Juicyj

    Juicyj Type 1 · Moderator
    Staff Member

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    Hi @aaronjunited Do you get any support from your DSN/Diabetes team ? I know it's an obvious place to start but they are linked to a dietitian who should be able to give you advice and support in managing your diet.

    My only advice is to keep cupboards stocked with healthy food choices and try and establish what your mood is like when you binge eat, so perhaps keep a diary with food eaten, time and your current mood, this may help you see what the cause of your binge eating behaviour is.
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  3. jasmine1616

    jasmine1616 Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Like what @Juicyj said, communicate with your diabetes team and they will be able to link you to your dietitian so you can have help when carb counting and making sure that you are making the right choices when it comes to your meals.
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  4. himtoo

    himtoo Type 1 · Well-Known Member
    Retired Moderator

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    Hi @aaronjunited
    I think just telling us here is an important step.
    Managing Type 1 is a job for life and doesn't take a holiday , and I have learned from taking part in a therapy group for Diabetics with weight and psychological issues that talking is a great first step to understanding what happens to trigger events.
    Definitely I would be talking to your DSN ( Diabetic Nurse) and find out if you can be referred for some support.
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  5. Robinredbreast

    Robinredbreast Type 1 · Oracle

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    I have friend who suffers in this way as well, but she is type 2.
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  6. novorapidboi26

    novorapidboi26 Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    I struggle with my food intake and thats without any mental health issue so I sympathize with you......

    is the binge eating connected to your mental health then, like depression....?
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  7. mist

    mist · Guest

    Gotta dig deep man, you've got inner strength you might not have tapped into yet, but it's there for you to use whenever you need it.

    It's a give and take situation, body and mind are connected way more than we might sometimes fully appreciate. Looking after one will feed the other and you don't need to pile unneeded pressure on yourself, this doesn't help.

    Focus your attention on one thing at a time, set a realistic goal and visualise yourself accomplishing that goal.
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  8. DaftThoughts

    DaftThoughts LADA · Well-Known Member

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    I've had chronic depression and anxiety disorder since I was 15 (almost 29 now). Food is definitely something I struggle with. I lost 40lbs between 2012-2013 because I didn't eat from the stress, then put back on 12 pounds because I ate from the stress. I have had days where, when I went very low mentally, I just ate everything I found and sporadically injected to half-assedly cover my food. I expect this to happen more often in the future. It's financially very difficult for me to buy healthy foods and mind my carbs, which makes it easier to just give up and not even try.

    I have no easy solution for you on how to deal with this. I'm seeing a psychologist every month, I am in group therapy twice a week, and I have assistance at home as of this week to help me out and support me in areas where I struggle. It helps. I still have to do all the hard work of getting through the days and eating responsibly while looking after myself, but knowing I'm not alone and can fall back on others has proven to be very helpful for me personally. They help me stay on track and figure out where it all comes from. They give me tips on how to deal with the situation when it happens. They don't judge, and taught me not to judge myself either.

    Right now, I just take the days as they are. If it's a **** day where I take **** care of myself... so be it. Tomorrow is a new day with a fresh start, and nothing stops me from doing my best to be the best I can be. Sometimes my best is accepting that today sucks and I have to work with the punches I was dealt. It happens. It's part of my life. Struggling against it never worked for me and just made me feel more miserable, but seeing it for what it is and working with it is something that is working out really well. There's no point in feeling bad when I have a sucky day. I gain nothing positive from it. Feeling bad just makes tomorrow harder.

    I accepted that I have several illnesses that turn everyday things into challenges that require creative solutions. I don't blame myself - I didn't choose this, it was beyond my control, the only thing I do control is how I respond to the situations I'm dealt. I choose to deal with it in the way that limits the negativity of my conditions to the shortest amount of time possible. I allow myself to feel bad so I can work on feeling better. I take it one step at a time so I don't burn out and allow myself to breathe through it all. I communicate with myself on what's going on so that I can respond adequately.

    You have to find that for yourself too. Professional help can help you, if you haven't seen anyone yet I recommend it. It's not for everyone, but it's worth a shot.

    Always remember you're not alone. We might be internet strangers, but we understand how you feel and we believe that you have it in you to be the best you can be, too. :)
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  9. BeccyB

    BeccyB Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    I suffer from anxiety and depression and have similar problems with emotional eating etc. I have long been frustrated by the diabetes clinic telling me I need to sort my head first and then the mental health team telling me to sort my diabetes out to feel better, without anyone understanding the 2 can't be separated so simply. BUT I've just started seeing a psychologist that is part of the diabetes team at a local hospital so she understands the whole picture and for the first time ever I'm hopeful.

    I would do some research into any hospitals in your area, or ones further away if you have the time and transport even. I believe quite a few are offering this kind of service these days as there is more awareness of the emotional side of diabetes. If you can find one get your GP to refer you.

    Good luck x
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