From Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada:
My 29 year old wife who has had type 1 diabetes since age 15, denies that her diabetes is a contributing factor to her serious depression, hopelessness, fatigue, migraines and lack of sexual interest. She allows her sugar level to roam anywhere between 2.0 and 30.0 mmol/L [36 and 540 mg/dl]. She chooses to have no friends and is now falling away from her family. During our two and a half year marriage, we have gone through a lot of changes including parenthood, but our marriage is now falling apart, and I would like to know if her lack diabetes control could possibly be our largest problem. I truly believe diabetes is one of our biggest problems because for the few times maintained herself better she was a totally different person.
Like many rocky relationships, we are each to blame for various things and are going into counselling. After one argument we had, she finally said she would see our doctor but that was over six months ago, she never went and is getting progressively more depressed. Should I force her to see our doctor? I realize that diabetes can make men impotent, but are there any sexual affects from type 1 for a female?
It is not possible to determine what is actually causing your wife's depression, although living with diabetes certainly leads to an increased risk of depression. The most important thing you can do to help her right now is to get her into treatment for the depression. You might wish to express your concerns to both her diabetes physician and her gynecologist or internist, as they might be able to recommend psychiatrists who can help your wife. You might also wish to make an appointment with a psychiatrist and bring your wife with you to that appointment, where you can openly express your concerns about her depression.
If she is so depressed that she does not have the energy or ability to go to an appointment on her own, then take her there yourself -- even if that makes her angry. If you think that her depression is life-threatening, you might wish to find out about which hospitals in your community have emergency psychiatric services where she can be immediately evaluated.
Additional comments from Craig Broadhurst:It sounds as though you became parents right after getting married, and the stressors are significant. I absolutely agree with Jill's answer and would suggest couples counseling as soon as possible also.
Original posting 3 Jul 2001
Posted to Behavior
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