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Re: [IP] depression and diabetes
On 15 Jan 00, at 4:16, email @ redacted wrote:
> My depression, in some ways, is directly related to diabetes. ....
snipped for space...
> When that happened I went into a very deep depression, which is related to
> him but is also related to the fact that I have to deal with this disease
> that never goes away and that some people see as a handicap. I hate that.
> I am still dealing with all this and still having a hard time, so any
> comments would be appreciated.
Depression isn't uncommon in people with any kind of long-term medical
problem. Recent research seems to indicate that episodes of depression are
fairly common in the US (hmmm... maybe that tells us more about our society
than we'd really like to know...) due to the fast pace, loss of community and
family structures, instability in the job market, loss of cultural identity
with the shifting gender roles and promotion of "alternative lifestyles", and
the growing trend towards anonymous "roll your own spirituality" and away
from traditional well developed religion...
In short, we live in a society where the rules we learned as children aren't
respected any more. Just look at the litigation - schools cannot post the
Ten Commandments, Code of Hammarubi, or even Mao's Seven Suggestions
without getting threatened with a lawsuit by the ACLU. Relativism has
taken hold and when that happens all that it really means is that the person
with the meanest lawyer, biggest gun or largest bank account wins...
Coupled with that we are afflicted with this "wonderful condition" where
we are trying to shoot a moving target with tools where the aim is unstable
and the environment seems more random than ordered. One day 1 unit will
drop your bg by 50 points, the next day it's only 5 points... My favorite
trite phrase about bg control is that it's like trying to balance a bowling
ball on a razor blade - theoretically possible but very, very difficult. Add
to this the insurance companies criminal behaviour, the number of
incompetent or burned out medical professionals and the personal toll of
having to devote so much time to trying to keep ourselves on target and you
have a perfect recipe for a very down day...
So we are faced with the fact that depression is a fact of life for many of
us. Some of us will require medication at some time - there's no shame in
that! Untreated depression causes physiological effects and if it isn't
addressed it can become chronic and much more difficult to treat. I've
spent a lot of time talking to people who have been told by someone they
recognize as a "spiritual adviser" that they don't need medication because
prayer, chanting the right mantra, diet, looking at the right color crystal or
buying the right books and videos can "fix" them. This is part of the
American obsession with being "perfect individualists" - we don't like to
admit weakness in ourselves or others because that might mean we would
have to confront the human condition head on and that makes us very
uncomfortable. If we can't "do it ourselves" that we are somehow less than
perfect... But it is a fact of life - sometimes we need resources outside of
ourself to survive. Whether it's medical treatment or a shoulder to cry on
there are many things that we cannot take care of on our own as total
What's the point of this long, rambling post? First, there is no shame that
can legitimately be attached to having depression. It is a recognized and
generally treatable medical condition that is a part of living in the world
today. Second, there are many resources available, beginning with becoming
a part of a supportive community (which can include family, friends and
others) on towards medical intervention. Third, depression isn't really the
end of the world even though it has all the hallmarks of it.
One of the most valuable things that I have discovered is this community -
where I can find people who really understand how down you can be after
two or three days of fighting the unexplained highs or crashes that affect
many of us. A wise teacher once indicated that shared sadness (depression)
can be divided while shared happiness is multiplied - and this is something
that has profound significance for us. From rants and raves of someone who
has just been abused by their insurance company to the ecstatic report of a
normal A1c reading - it all adds together when we discover that we aren't
desert islands but are actually surrounded by a cloud of caring people.
There are other things that I have discovered that help me deal with
episodes of depression... if you're interested just mail me and I'll be happy
to discuss them with you. Whatever your situation, the first step is to
remember that you aren't really alone, you haven't got anything to be
ashamed of because you have depression, and there are resources available
to help... and if you are on medication for your depression then remember to
This is beginning to read like a sermon, so I guess I'll have to wind down
now... my sermons are generally four to six pages long, single spaced... and
take about 25 to 45 minutes to deliver... so you're spared that... this time...
I hope everyone has a good weekend!
Rev. Randall Winchester
WD4HVA (email @ redacted)
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