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Suicide Rate in Men with Type 1

Jun 1, 1994

A study from Odense University, in Odense, Denmark, investigating suicides among men with IDDM has discovered that the suicide rate is higher than expected (March, 1994, Diabetes Care).

The study involved men born between 1949 and 1964 who were diagnosed with type 1 diabetes before the age of 20 and who had died prior to January 1st, 1991. Of the 168 deaths investigated, twelve were officially classified as suicide. Using a previous study of the general Danish population as a control, the expected number of suicides was one. The study also looked at deaths classified as unknown cause, and found three possible and two probable suicides, as well as one accidental death that could be reclassified as a probable suicide. Additionally, 15 deaths occurred in connection with the onset of diabetes.

This is the largest population-based study of suicide in people with IDDM, and the results indicate the importance of recognizing depression in patients with diabetes and treating it appropriately.

Categories: Diabetes, Men's Issues, Professional Issues, Type 1 Issues

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Posted by Anonymous on 9 July 2008

My son recently committed suicide at the age of 23. He had Type 1 diabetes since the age of 12. He had great control while he lived at home but once he went to college, he didn't take care of himself like he should have. As college students tend to do, he drank with his friends and ate what he wanted without testing his blood sugar on a regular basis. The night he shot himself, he had been out drinking and got into a fight with his best friend. After his death, I found his meter which showed numbers ranging from 400-500. Would this explain his death?

Posted by Anonymous on 26 September 2008

I'm 37, had type 1 for 24 years. I can only imagine the pain over losing your son, as I've imagined how much my attempted suicide several years ago would have devestated my family and friends. I overdosed on insulin and was found by a friend and taken to the hospital. High and low blood sugars can cause severe mood swings and, as I've noticed, alcohol increases this problem. I've damaged relationships by sugar levels causing me to become depressed, irrationally angry and frustrated. It is extremely difficult to explain to a friend who experiences this behavior that you are sorry and an unbalance in your system is mostly to blame. People forgive but never forget. I've recently lost my girlfriend due to irrational behavior during a sugar low of 30 after drinking, when I tried to explain and apologize she said she could not be with someone who could have unpredictable mood swings. I wanted to die, remembering many times in my life that I've lost control and felt helpless. I'm starting a stressful new job and I'm scared. High and low blood sugar levels can turn a happy, stable diabetic to severely depressed and confused, alcohol exaggerates this and a fight with a best friend on top of it is totally overwhemling. Honestly, I stay alive now for my parents and siblings, I could not live this life for myself.

Posted by Anonymous on 29 September 2008

A few days ago, my father-in-law committed suicide by shooting himself. He was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes when he was 14, which was 47 years ago. In the last 15 years of his life, he was increasingly unable to control his blood sugar levels, and this lack of control apparently seeped into the other parts of his life. Only days earlier he seemed happy, had plans with us and many friends in the near and distant future, and gave no indication of any problems. The why is still unclear, but reading these articles and posts seems to shed a little light on such a complicated problem. Thank you.

Posted by Anonymous on 30 September 2008

A few days ago, my father-in-law committed suicide by shooting himself. He was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes when he was 14, which was 47 years ago. In the last 15 years of his life, he was increasingly unable to control his blood sugar levels, and this lack of control apparently seeped into the other parts of his life. Only days earlier he seemed happy, had plans with us and many friends in the near and distant future, and gave no indication of any problems. The why is still unclear, but reading these articles and posts seems to shed a little light on such a complicated problem. Thank you.

Posted by Anonymous on 10 January 2009

My father committed suicide just before the holidays. He had increased health problems due to diabetes that led to depression and later his death. He had symptoms of passing out in the night trying to get to the refrigerator to eat something, etc.
The autopsy report stated he had an enlarged thyroid. This happens later in life w/ some diabetics b/c the thyroid is an "autoimmune" organ and part of the endocrine system w/ the pancreas.
Reading more on hyperthyroidism and "Thyroid Storms", it is now logical that the thyroid condition was making the depression worse and causing these episodes.
I now spend everyday learning more and more about the disease of diabetes mellitus and what it does to your body.
I pray for all those affected by suicide. Unfortunately, it was a permanent solution to a temporary state of mind.

Posted by Anonymous on 15 April 2009

I have a close friend who is suffering with type 1 diabetes. He is 24 years old, and was diagnosed when he was 19. I know it has only been 5 years, but his depression is uncontrollable- and I feel like he has given up. He smokes all the time, and seems not to care about his health. He eats what he wants, and his mood swings are dramatic and occur often. I love him, and I dont know what I can do to help without pushing him away. His mom is on her last string, he has stopped listening to his family and they have asked me for help. Any suggestions?

Posted by Anonymous on 19 May 2009

I have had diabetes for over 30 yrs. It has been very difficult and I have done everything I could possibly do to stay healthy. I am in the best physical shape of my life @ 51 because I found out a few months ago that I have a gluten allergy and severe magnesium deficiency both can related to diabetes and make your moods and blood sugars uncontrolable. I still suffer from the swings. Please be a good friend and look up the symptoms of both. We need all of the help we can get. Forgive us sometimes for we know not what we do and our behavior hurts us more then you can imagine.

Posted by Anonymous on 25 May 2009

Im 17 years old and I got diabetes when i was 10 years old on my birthday. It was the most confusing day in my life, and I often ask myself "what is there to live for?", or "why me?". The thing about diabetes that Ive noticed is that when things are down and out, diabetes makes them 10 times worse. Reading all these stories about suicide really makes me understand how others like me really feel, and I thinks thats important to know. The only thing worth living for in my life is my family and the future, and what it possibly holds for me. If you know anyone with diabetes, don't take their presence for granted because its an everyday dtruggle for them to push forward with the most simplest tasks at hand.

Posted by Anonymous on 18 August 2009

It doesn't surprize me. In fact, I am surprized the suicide rate is not higher. When I became diabetic at age 21 my father told me that whatever I planned to do with my life, to forget it--I would never be able to take the stress of living in the real world as a diabetic, especially since my family has a high incidence of mental illness even without the diabetes. Later my mother wondered why that should make me go into a state of chronic depression. A priest told me God gave me diabetes to keep me out of the priesthood because I would more hard than good in this world if I were to become a priest. I have never met a diabetic success story. They only exist in diabetic journals. The irony is the harder I struggle with the depression, the more difficult it is to properly control my diabetes. Then the doctors lay a guilt trip on you for not managing your diabetes properly. The insurance company insists that I only need to test my blood sugars once, rather than four times a day. The professors and other graduate students wonder why I don't get through graduate school according to schedule, because, of course, they believe the success stories in the diabetic journals, etc., etc. The longer I live with diabetes the stronger the impression I have that suicide is ultimately inevitable. After I am dead, everyone who knew me will wonder why I just didn't try harder.

Posted by Anonymous on 2 September 2009

I sympathise with everyone here. I'm a 30 year old with type 1 diabetes. I have been diabetic since 17. The doctor ignored my symptoms and pleas for help for ages and I ended up in hospital on a drip with severe hypoglycemia. It has affected my education as during school I was almost passing out. I had told the teacher I was ill but she said I was ill in the head and people bullied me because I was underweight saying it was an eating disorder etc. I can't imagine what the mis diagnosis holds for the long term. As if the lethargic crappy feelings of not being able to control my blood sugars and nearly dying infront of my boyfriend isn't enough, I have to live with the possibility of going blind, having kidney failure, heart failure, messed up pregnacy and /or amputations in the future. My friends and family too don't understand why I act the way I do sometimes. Also my family are prudish and ask me not to inject so as not to humiliate them. Although my mum is better my sister was horrible once. I've made mistakes at work due to hypos, hallucinated due to hypos, been aggressive and been arrested because of it. Lost relationships with friends etc. Nearly died due to two faulty metres with my boyfriend in tears. Luckily he is understanding and sticks by me. Doctors and nurses tell me I'm fine when I'm not and aren't helpful. I feel exhausted, angry, a sense of hopelesness and fear for the future every day of my life. I have to say I stive for a cure for it. Type 2 can be cured but so they say not type 1. I hate what I have and yes have in the past contemplated suicide. Diabetes and depression go hand in hand. However I am fighting hard. Also God didn't give (last poster) diabetes on purpose. It is a man made disease. Scientifically it says it is caused by environmental factors and /or genetics. Think chemicals we've used, radiation, saturated fat etc. WE CAUSED ALL THESE DISEASES NOT GOD. What we are today is the result of our evil doings in the past. I fight this disease every step of the way. Today diving is now possible, without complications, you can be under certain circumstances and if you are prepared to fight hard, be accepted in the fire service now without predudice. Medication has improved immensely since the olden days with a syringe. There is hope please don't give up. These days communication is better, there is more understanding and hopefully with this less suicides. In the past however unfortunately this wasn't the case and you were told "you are imagining this, or you are "non compliant" etc. and you felt isolated and trapped with the disease. God rest the souls of those who suffered this way and suffered through accidental death also. Please be known there is still hope. If I can fight it and stay strong so can you all. Peace and love Rach

Posted by Rachael on 2 September 2009

Anon 18 August. How old are you now? Firstly God didn't give you this diabetes on purpose - it is man made. What happens to us today is the result of our own evil doings in the past, think chemicals and pesticides, warfare, radiation etc. I am a 30 year old type 1 diabetic. I sympathise with everyone here that has posted. God rest the souls of those that have left because they felt frustrated, angry, helpless and exhausted with what they have. I only know because I was diagnosed at 17 and this is what the so called professionals do is tell you "you are non compliant" or "you are imagining these symptoms" or "you are doing fine" when you aren't. I was bullied at school for being underweight I was desperate for an answer and kept seeing my doctor only to be ignored. Eventually I screamed at him and he told me straight away it could be three things. He didn't seem to care, the next minute I was rushed to hospital with US 675(mg/dl) or UK 37.5(mmol/L). I had suffered negligence that's for sure. Also I don't know what that holds for my future. I've lost relationships with friends etc. due to how I've acted through diabetes too, I've nearly died and lay there helpless unable to speak while my boyfriend cried then next minute paramedics were pumping glucose into me to keep me alive. I've lost jobs, made mistakes been arrested all to do with diabetes and few people understand. In the past people were isolated had poor medication, no communication or understanding from others. They would pretend they are fine (and still do) so that their closest ones don't worry. Then it becomes all too much and they can't cope with feeling helpless, lethargic, lonely, isolated, trapped, fearful of future complications such as amputations, blindness, kidney failure, still birth, oversized baby, miscarriage, all due to diabetes, trying desperately to control it to feel NORMAL, "HELP" they scream please let me be NORMAL!!!! Please understand me please can I not feel like crap every single day of my life. I have contemplated suicide in the past, even now my doctors are crap and my sister tells me to inject in the toilets as to not "embarress her and behave incorrectly". I don't eat or drink with her or her friends now. My mum used to tell me the same and I would say "ok I'll just have a convulsion infront of you instead suffer immense sickness and pain, just so you don't have to have your daughter stick a pen in herself to save her life!". She soon got used to the idea and doesn't mention it now! I pray and hope and strive to get a cure. I research and research. These days I hear of juveniles going on a raw food diet and reversing type 1 also some vitamin D and niocitin or something helps too upon first diagnoses. However for me who's had it for years apparantly it's irreversable but I do not give up hope. People are slowly becoming more understanding of diabetes, there is more advanced medication to help us now also attitudes are changing. This and the fact I have a loving boyfriend who understands and want to provide positivity to others who have suffered and still do like me, makes me want to carry on and FIGHT this disease. Fight it and I CONTROL IT rather than the other way around. It's hard though but after 13 years why should I stop now? Peace and love Rach.

Posted by Rachael on 2 September 2009

I should add, there are some online forums etc. now which have helped me get through a lot of struggles with diabetes and unhelpful doctors etc. Also I fight for a normal life. There are still blanket bans against diabetes such as firefighter etc. however I've been told by a type 1 diabetic that he got through to be a firefighter after much fighting. Also people have fought to be on animal insulin as they have been allergic to synthetic causing erratic blood sugars and mood swings. I am currently on animal and synthetic and am considering the pump. After suffering 5 night time hypos, exhaustion and insomnia almost every day and losing my job in the UK I qualify for the pump. I haven't mentioned spasms and fear of having a child as part of the illness too. However I WILL NOT GIVE UP. It is important to keep the faith, and not give up hope. I aim to be a veterinary nurse in the near future rather than in the financial sector. Not because I believe diabetes stops me but to be a financial sector worker is not in my heart. Also in some ways diabetes has made me gain more inner strength, and more aware of my diet and what I'm eating and so I don't curse completely what I have. Also at the moment my blood sugars are a little erratic but good diet and exercise is helping me a lot. Hope this comforts most if not all families who have lost, diabetics and friends etc. Rach

Posted by Rachael on 2 September 2009

Anon 15 April 2009. I hope you manage to read this / post back etc. Your friend is in a kind of state of denial. He does not want to accept he has what he has. He smokes and drinks etc. partly to act cool and normal but also as a coping mechanism. Reminding him of the dangers isn't going to do any good. Rather kind of coax him into doing positive things such as ride a bike with you, or join a healthy cooking class together or something that will benefit his diabetes but at the same time you both will enjoy. You should want to do the activity too, make out you need him there as a friend and don't mention the diabetes. He'll figure out eventually what you are trying to do. Exercise and good diet are a plus point in diabetes. Also good mood foods are mung beans, lobster, turkey, asparagus, sunflower seeds, cottage cheese, pineapple, tofu, spinach and bananas - the foods containing the highest levels of tryptophan. tryptophan helps you produce the hormone serotonin which stops us feeling depressed basically. Sometimes these levels can drop and that's when the doc prescribes prozac or something. However the natural alternative is all the foods above, and it is just as effective believe me! I've done prozac, eventually I felt numb and angry, now I do "mood foods" so offer your friend a snack like this every so often. All these snacks are fine for a diabetic. Also he should do carb counting, helping to balance the sugars more. However don't introduce all this at once. More info below. I'm off to bed now.

Read more: http://holistic-nutrition.suite101.com/article.cfm/the_top_ten_good_mood_foods#ixzz0PzszeDSm

Posted by Anonymous on 10 November 2009

I can say that there is not a day that goes bye without me thinking about my diabetes and suicide....25 years at 44....all down hill from here.

Posted by Anonymous on 15 December 2010

What happened to all the posts that were deleted after this last post of Nov,2009? If you don't like the comments don't ask the question.

Posted by Anonymous on 27 December 2010

I'm in my early thirties, I've had type one diabetes since I was three. I was doing good for a long time with my health, an athlete even. Now, just in the last couple years some horrible things have happened, and I can't afford it anyway. I can't afford dental care, insurance, or any standard of living that is worth living in, I even went without heat for a while. I don't see any chance what so ever for any kind of happiness from this point forward. I'll most likely be ending my life soon, either by shooting or hanging myself.

Posted by Anonymous on 17 March 2011

I appreciate the honesty and heartfelt thoughts from you all. I have been a diabetic for 40 years and always toughed it out. is'nt that what we are supposed to do? Howevr I have grown tired of the fight, now 53. Thank you for those speaking of suicide. Somehow it provides some relief and comfort. I too think of taking my life every day. It's exausting.
Thank you

Posted by Anonymous on 17 January 2014

It is tough I have had type 1 for 27 years. have control of blood sugar it is very difficult to keep an eye on sugar levels and diet and shots every 3 or four hours a day I AM VERY TIRED OF DIABETES

Posted by Anonymous on 26 January 2014

I have had Type I Diabetes since I was 19 years old. I am 52 now. I have managed to have a good career, a wife I love more than anything and 3 wonderful children along with 4 grandchildren. However the diabetes is taking its toll. It is affecting my job performance and I fear losing my job everyday. Lately my thoughts are of the serious complications that may soon be coming my way and my inability to care for my wife. Suicide while still in my current job would leave her pretty well set with the insurance and that. I do not want to end my own life but I fear I may have any other choice.

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