Mental Health: How would you know?
During the evaluation, I thought I was doing okay, and that worried me. I needed that extra time but thought what if life is just plain difficult and maybe I didn't actually have a learning disability after all I managed to be successful despite having diabetes and depression. When I got to the reading part of the test, the doctor came in and asked how I was doing. I told him that I was halfway through the story. He said to me there was no need for me to continue reading.
I can only imagine the look on my face when he told me that time had lapsed 10 minutes ago. He asked me several questions that I also ask my clients during the diagnosis part of the initial assessment at the start of therapy. The one that stuck out the most and always seems to be a constant issue for many of my clients, but not all, was, “When reading did you need to reread the same sentence?” I said yes, and he followed up with, “How many times before you can remember what you read?” I had no real clue, but I just said, “Many.”
He said that I was misdiagnosed, “Actually, this was not a diagnosis during your first testing as a child. You have Attention Deficit Disorder, Inattentive Type.” He told me that this was good news. At the time I didn’t think so, but I do now.
He recommended a psychiatrist, and I said I am already on enough medications, “I don’t want to take more medications! I don’t even take aspirin for a headache.” I do now and WOW, what a difference an aspirin makes.
Thanks to the right combination of medications, I feel much better, and I don’t struggle with or stress out about my diabetes nearly as much. I hated reading and writing prior to going on medicine but, now I love writing and have written over a hundred articles and blogs on the impact of diabetes on all aspects of life. I was at the top of my class in the Masters of Social Work Program at Fordham University; a huge change from undergrad. Psychotherapy and medications helped me resolve a problem I didn’t know I had.
When we live with a problem like depression or other mental health issues it is difficult to see it because it is all we know. I never realized how much harder managing diabetes was until I received help. I don’t need to continue going to a psychotherapist but find it is an excellent source of support when living with diabetes.
It is essential to have an open mind and try new things because you never know how something might help you, even if you don’t believe you have a problem. I didn’t and the past 17 years have been the most productive and happiest of my life.
Eliot LeBow, LCSW, CDE, is a diabetes-focused psychotherapist. I have spent years helping people living with diabetes resolve diabetes and non-diabetes related issues in my Manhattan Office and Online.
If you want more information on Diabetes-Focused Psychotherapy; check out my website: www.diabetictalks.com.
All the advice included in this blog is therapeutic and should not be considered medical advice. Before making any changes to your diabetes maintenance program, please consult with your primary physician or endocrinologist.
DiabeticMinds® addresses both the physical and emotional aspects of living life with diabetes while still addressing other non-diabetes related life problems to create a unique holistic approach to help people with diabetes thrive. My Private Practice helps people of all ages and their families manage life with diabetes.
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