Don't let diabetes get you down

Don't let diabetes get you down

If you have diabetes, you have an increased risk of developing depression. The good news is that diabetes and depression can both be treated.

Once diagnosed with diabetes, you many feel alone or alienated from your friends and family because of the extra work that goes into managing your condition. The stress of managing diabetes can build up over time and leave you in a state of depression.

If you are having a hard time dealing with diabetes complications or keeping your blood sugar levels where you’d like, you may feel like you’re losing control of your diabetes. All of these factors can make you feel frustrated or sad.

Depression can lead to a cycle of poor self-care, negative relationships, unhealthy eating, decreased energy, smoking and more. All of these things can lead to making your diabetes worse.

Warning signs

If you have diabetes, do a self-assessment with the below statements. If three or more of the statements are true, you may have depression:

  • I no longer take pleasure in activities that I used to enjoy.
  • I often have a hard time falling asleep, or wake up during the night.
  • I have been sleeping more than usual.
  • I have feelings of sadness or hopelessness.
  • I worry that I am a burden to others and feel “empty” inside.
  • I often feel anxious or nervous.
  • My appetite has changed, and I eat more or less than usual.
  • I feel tired all of the time, even with a proper night’s rest.
  • I have thoughts of harming myself.

How can I manage the two conditions together?

  • Diabetes self–management programs. Diabetes programs that focus on behavior have been successful in helping people improve their metabolic control, increase fitness levels, and manage weight loss and more. They can also help improve your sense of well-being and quality of life.
  • Medications and lifestyle changes. Medications—for both diabetes and depression—and lifestyle changes, including different types of therapy coupled with regular exercise, can improve both conditions.
  • Shared medical appointments. Group or shared medical appointments supervised by a medical professional helps improve both depression and diabetes by offering collaboration with those who are experiencing the same hardships as you.

Treating Depression

If you think you might be depressed, seek help right away. Your doctor or diabetes educator can refer you to a mental health professional.

If you are suffering from symptoms of depression for an extended period of time, seek medical advice. A medical professional will be able to offer a treatment option that works for you.

Lifestyle changes can also help aid depression. Here are some activities that could improve your mood and help treat depression symptoms:

  • Regular exercise
  • Eating a balanced diet
  • Maintaining a regular sleep schedule
  • Seeking support from family and friends

The most important thing is that you do not leave depression unaddressed. This could lead to additional complications and make your diabetes harder to manage.


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