Diabetes and Depression

Often when first diagnosed with diabetes, people are overwhelmed with all the new information regarding medications, doctor visits and even feeling of helplessness.  It can be a frightening time, particularly if you aren’t familiar with the disease or have concerns regarding complication and health challenges.

It is not unusual to experience periods of denial when first diagnosed.  Often people refuse to believe there is something wrong and unfortunately remaining in denial can lead to a worsening of the condition.

As a result, people can experience depression.  According to the American Diabetes Association, people with diabetes have a greater risk for developing depression than people who do not have the disease.

Managing diabetes can be a stressful undertaking. With new medications to take, blood sugar to be monitored and visits to the doctor. Often the first medication doesn’t work or it needs to be adjusted in order to keep your blood sugar under control.

Diabetes and DepressionOn top of that, people who have diabetes are often faced with a sudden lifestyle change.  Foods that they once might have enjoyed without thinking are now on the “do not eat” list.  As well an exercise plan is often recommended, which although can be good for depression, can make it more difficult to get involved with if you have little energy. The danger of depression is that people will often lose interest in monitoring their blood sugars and then skipping the medication which can have some disastrous results.

How Do You Know You Are Depressed?

Symptoms of depression may include a loss of pleasure in the everyday activities you used to enjoy as well as a change in appetite.  You may have trouble concentrating and even have trouble sleeping, or you may sleep too much.

One way to empower yourself is to learn everything you can about the disease at the beginning. Don’t be afraid to do some research and talk to your doctor about any concerns you might have. This can help to alleviate feelings of helplessness and led you to better manage your diabetes.

If you think you might be depressed, talk to your doctor. They may be able to recommend a therapist who can help you feel less isolated and better empowered to handle your disease. Also, discuss your situation with a family member or friend.  Talk to other people who have diabetes so you can gain some insight and support.

As well there are support groups available for people with diabetes.  You can join them in person or even online. This is a great way to get more information and to surround yourself with people who understand what you might be experiencing.  It is also a great way to get more information.

Depression is often a result of feeling challenged and out of control.  If you have been diagnosed with diabetes, take back the control and learn how to manage your disease.  By empowering yourself, you will not only be able to effectively manage your diabetes, you will eliminate the depression as well.

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