Diabetes and depression must be cousins as many people with diabetes tend to suffer from depression. Actually diabetics tend to be almost twice more likely than non-diabetes to experience bouts of depression and it tends to affect women more than men.
According to Diabetes UK one in three people with diabetes suffer a significant loss in their quality of life due to depression. The bad news is that a diabetic who suffer from depression normally does not manage and control their diabetes properly. That is, they may not eat on time or take their insulin as required.
Diabetes and depression not only affect the diabetics concerned but also the family and friends of the diabetic person.
A simple definition of depression is lack of hope and a feeling of helplessness. If you are feeling helpless, you may need to speak to someone who may be able to help. Especially if, for an extended period of time, you feel that you lack the energy you need to do the things you normally love doing. The same if you all of a sudden always wanting to be alone or to be away from people who love you.
Even though I said that depression and diabetes must be cousins – there is no evidence that the diabetes cause depression or depression causes diabetes. The concern with depression is that it does upset your metabolism and may make your diabetes more difficult to manage. Depression could be one of the causes of the so called brittle diabetes.
Some people who suffers from diabetes mellitus do go through a mild form of depression – it a sort of mourning. They mourn the fact that their life will not be the same and are scared of the unknown. These diabetics ask questions like – why me? Or what have I done to deserve this? This is normal and should be expected. This mourning process should not last too long. The best way to deal with is by talking to your medical team. The problem will not disappear by itself you have to deal with it but you should be fine with the right help.
Lots of people have diabetes both famous and not so famous. If you are newly diagnosed here are some coping strategies for dealing with diabetes and depression:
• Take a break from your stressful life and recharge yourself.
• Ask for support from family, friends or employers when needed.
• Have realistic expectations about what you can achieve.
• Eating healthily and do physical activity to lift mild depression.
• Relax and take it easy- don’t worry about things that you cannot change.
For more information you can visit Diabetes UK. The American Diabetes Association is also a good source of information. The best plan is to visit your diabetes medical team. They will be more intimate with your case and can give you the best advice. Good luck.