Is There a Link Between Diabetes and Depression?
Some experts suggest individuals diagnosed with diabetes may present with depressive symptoms. Discover the link between diabetes and depression here, exploring the symptoms and have they may be overcome!
Can Diabetes Cause Depression?
Getting diagnosed with diabetes may not only be hard on the body, but hard on your mind. Diabetes is a chronic disease that requires lifestyle changes to prevent further health consequences. Especially if overwhelmed with all the new information and recommendations, dealing and managing diabetes may be mentally taxing. Though feeling down is considered normal every now, continued feelings of sadness and hopelessness may be indicative of serious depression, particularly if prolonged for more than two weeks. Depressive symptoms may include:
• Disinterest in things you used to enjoy doing, including writing, reading, exercising, or interacting with a social group
• A change in sleeping patterns that include trouble falling asleep, consistently waking up throughout the night, or wanting to sleep most of the day
• Diet changes that trigger high appetite or none at all, ultimately causing extreme trends in weight gain and loss
• Energy loss and increased feelings of tiredness
• Crying more than usual
• Experience exaggerated nervousness and anxiousness
• Distracted by thoughts and feelings, compromising concentration and focus
• Seeking out temporary, harmful rewards as a coping mechanism, including drugs, alcohol, and even food
Depression and Coping Strategies
New research further suggests people with type 2 diabetes who display symptoms of depression are more likely to be noncompliant with medications. Specifically, these individuals were more prone to skip or miss medications prescribed to treat blood sugar. Though treating blood sugar is necessary for best health, treating depression is just as (if not more) critical. Relieving depressive thoughts can in turn increase the compliance of diabetes management, not only to medications, but motivation to embrace a healthy lifestyle.
If struggling with depressive thoughts, seeking out professional help is ideal. Additionally, the following coping strategies can discourage negative feelings and encourage self-motivation towards managing diabetes:
Though it may take time, accepting and owning up to the chronic health condition is vital to its management approach. When it truly comes down to it, you are the one in control. You decide what to eat, if to exercise, and how often to monitor blood sugars and additional labs and health parameters.
Knowledge truly can be power, especially when exploring a condition demanding your highest attention. When you start to feel more comfortable with the information, the ease of diabetes control can occur naturally. There is an extensive amount of diabetes resources through the American Diabetes Association, the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Disease, and bistroMD’s own Health Library, just to name a few.
The concept of diabetes may not be only new to you, but to the rest of your friends and family. As you learn new concepts and techniques that work best, equip them with the opportunity to assist in your management. Additionally, be a voice of reason for others managing diabetes, further forming a strong support system.
Diabetes is not a life-sentence but rather a wake-up call to gain control.
Develop and cultivate a healthier you through diet modifications and fun physical activities. Not only will your blood sugars start to become more well-controlled and regulated, but you’ll start to achieve a happier, healthier you!