Diabetes And Depression 

Everyone feels down once in awhile and this is normal.  However, some people feel down most of the time, and this feeling of hopelessness and sadness simply will not go away.   

When they are first diagnosed with diabetes many people are overwhelmed.  They have to adjust to lots of new information, new medications, frequent doctor visits, a change in their eating habits, and the need to monitor their blood sugar levels.  A diagnosis of diabetes can be frightening to anyone new to the disease.  They have probably read about possible complications from the disease, and now they have to learn about medications and maybe insulin and they may feel hopeless. 

Some people newly diagnosed with diabetes refuse to believe they actually do have the disease.  They refuse to believe anything is wrong with them.  If they remain in denial, the condition can worsen.  Denying their condition and skipping proper treatment often leads to depression.  Unfortunately, there are times when diabetes and depression go hand in hand.  In fact, according to the American Diabetes Association, people with diabetes have a greater risk for developing depression than other individuals. 

Often, people with diabetes are faced with sudden lifestyle changes.  They cannot indulge in some foods they once enjoyed.  An exercise regime should be added to their lifestyle.  Although exercise is good for depression, people with depression often have little energy to begin an exercise regime.  If the depression continues, some people will lose interest in monitoring their blood sugar levels and they may even skip their necessary medication. 

Some symptoms of depression include a loss of interest in everyday activities you used to enjoy.  With depression you may experience a change in appetite.  You may want to eat next to nothing or you may want to devour everything in sight.  With depression you may have trouble sleeping or you may sleep too much.  You also may have trouble concentrating.  Depression is suffered by many people, but for a diabetic, depression can be life threatening.  Depression and diabetes is a dangerous combination. 

As soon as someone is diagnosed with diabetes he or she can empower themselves by learning as much as possible about the disease.   Knowing about your disease can alleviate the feeling of helplessness that often accompanies the diagnosis.  Talk with your medical professional.  Ask questions.  Do research.  Learn how you can help manage your disease.   

If you think you are suffering from depression talk with your medical professional and ask him to recommend a therapist specializing in dealing with people with a chronic disease. For a diabetic patient who feels isolated because of the effort involved in managing their illness, therapy can be crucial.  Feel free to discuss your illness with your friends and family.  Millions of people have diabetes.  There is no reason to feel ashamed that you have diabetes. 

There are support groups for people with diabetes.  You might want to join one of these groups.  In a support group you will find others who are experiencing some of the same fears you experience.  You will learn new information and you will be able to discuss with others how they handle problems that come up. 

Being diagnosed with an illness can put anyone at risk for depression.  You no longer feel safe since your world has suddenly changed.  Now you feel out of control.   

If you are diagnosed with diabetes, take back the control of your life.  Learn to manage your disease.  When you empower yourself you will not only be able to effectively manage your diabetes, you will be on the road to eliminating depression.