Diabetes and Depression – What’s the Link?

By: Sara Barulli

September 22, 2020

Diabetes and Depression

Have you ever considered whether or not there is a link between diabetes and depression? If you have diabetes, mental health is definitely something you should be monitoring. Unfortunately, diabetes and depression often go hand in hand. Living with diabetes can put you under constant strain, which in turn can lead to debilitating mental health problems. This article will tell you all about diabetes and mental health - why they are connected, what symptoms to look out for, and how you can manage your mental health problems.

Can Diabetes Make You Depressed?

For those of you with type 2 diabetes, depression can often develop as a direct result of the condition. In fact, depression is twice as common in diabetic patients than in the general population. Living with diabetes often causes stress and anxiety in many patients, which can lead to more severe depression. It seems that diabetes may even cause damage to the neurological pathways in the brain, which may directly contribute to the development of depression in diabetic patients. Depression is a serious medical condition that shouldn’t be taken lightly. The disorder can cause intense feelings of sadness and a loss of interest in daily life. If left untreated, it can be a life-changing condition. Depression can be debilitating. If you think you have developed depression as a result of your diabetes, it’s important that you seek professional help immediately.

How Can I Spot Diabetes and Depression Symptoms?

Depression comes with a range of symptoms that can be difficult to spot. Here are a few of the most common symptoms of depression to look out for if you have type 2 diabetes.
  • Changes in mood. If you find yourself frequently becoming angry, irritable, aggressive, or anxious for no tangible reason, this can be a sign of depression.
  • Changes in behavior. You may find that you lose interest in your hobbies, avoid social contact, or develop a reliance on alcohol or drugs.
  • Changes in sexual interests. Depression can cause a lack of interest in sex.
  • Changes in mental abilities. You are finding yourself struggling to concentrate on tasks or converse with friends and seem distracted.
  • Changes in sleeping patterns. Insomnia and general sleeplessness can result from depression. Oversleeping can also occur as a symptom of depression.
  • Changes in physical health. Depression can even cause physical aches and pains, as well as digestive problems.
If you think you have the type 2 diabetes mental symptoms of depression, please contact your doctor for further support.

Can Depression Affect Diabetes?

You can spiral into a vicious cycle with diabetes and depression. The condition has been linked to poorer blood sugar management, so it seems that severe cases of depression can make diabetes even worse and increase your risk of diabetic complications. Studies show that if you have both type 2 diabetes and depression, you are more likely to have higher blood sugar levels. Although the exact reason for this link is unknown, it’s clear that the stress of managing both diabetes and depression can affect patients’ ability to manage their diabetes effectively.

How Can I Treat Diabetes-Related Depression?

While committing to any course of acting may seem difficult when you are struggling with depression, there are a few things you can do to help yourself.
  • See a professional. Your doctor may be able to provide you with medication to help with your depression. They will also help you find a psychotherapist should you need or want one.
  • Gentle exercise. Exercise can help to relieve symptoms of depression by boosting serotonin and endorphins in the brain. These “feel good” chemicals will help with negative moods. Exercise is also a great way to manage diabetes as it stabilizes weight and blood sugar.
  • Seek support. Make sure you confide in friends and family. It’s crucial that you don’t feel isolated.

Join the CuraLife Diabetes Support Network

If you are looking for a support network outside of your friends and family, CuraLife is here to help. Our incredible international community is a place where people with diabetes can connect with each other and find inspiration and friendship. If you are dealing with both diabetes and depression, you will find other people in the same position in our community. By joining this global community, you can share advice and get the support you need to make the lifestyle choices that will put you back in control. Don’t let diabetes or depression ruin your day-to-day life and relationships—check out our community and find the support network you’ve been looking for.

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