At any given time, most people with diabetes do not have depression. But studies show that people with diabetes have a greater risk of depression than people without diabetes.
The stress of daily diabetes management can build. You may feel alone or set apart from
your friends and family because of all this extra work. If you face diabetes complications
such as nerve damage, or if you are having trouble keeping your blood sugar levels where you'd like, you may feel like you're losing control of your diabetes. Even tension between you and your doctor may make you feel frustrated and sad.
Just like denial, depression can get you into a vicious cycle. It can block good diabetes
self-care. If you are depressed and have no energy, chances are you will find such tasks as regular blood sugar testing too much. If you feel so anxious that you can't think straight, it will be hard to keep up with a good diet. You may not feel like eating at all. Of course, this will affect your blood sugar levels.
Symptoms of Depression:
● Loss of pleasure — You no longer take interest in doing things you used to enjoy.
● Change in sleep patterns — You have trouble falling asleep, you wake often during
the night, or you want to sleep more than usual, including during the day.
● Early to rise — You wake up earlier than usual and cannot to get back to sleep.
● Change in appetite — You eat more or less than you used to, resulting in a quick
weight gain or weight loss.
● Trouble concentrating — You can't watch a TV program or read an article because
other thoughts or feelings get in the way.
● Loss of energy — You feel tired all the time.
● Nervousness — You always feel so anxious you can't sit still.
● Guilt — You feel you "never do anything right" and worry that you are a burden to
● Morning sadness — You feel worse in the morning than you do the rest of the day.
● Suicidal thoughts — You feel you want to die or are thinking about ways to hurt
If you are feeling symptoms of depression, don't keep them to yourself. First, talk them over with your doctor. There may be a physical cause for your depression.
Poor control of diabetes can cause symptoms that look like depression. During the day, high or low blood sugar may make you feel tired or anxious. Low blood sugar levels can also lead to hunger and eating too much. If you have low blood sugar at night, it could disturb your sleep. If you have high blood sugar at night, you may get up often to urinate and then feel tired during the day.
Managing 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 other cardiovascular disease risk factors. They can also help improve your sense of well-being and quality of life.
Similarly, participants in psychotherapy, particularly cognitive behavioral therapy, have reported improvements in depression, which has resulted in better diabetes management.
● 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.
● Collaborative care
Research shows that treatment supervised by a nurse case manager that steps up therapy when needed helps improve both depression and diabetes.
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