Recent research suggests that people with depression and other mental health disorders also have higher rates of Type 2 diabetes, and the combination can be devastating.
There is a strong link between these two disorders. Fixing one can fix the other.
Most folks see their diabetes diagnosis as a life-long sentence.
They connect it to something they have done wrong which leads to depression.
It is about fixing it with the food they eat and a daily lifestyle they can never veer from.
Diabetics see restriction, not freedom, as the only answer.
This feeling of guilt and despair has close ties to depression.
The higher rates of Type 2 diabetes with psychiatric disorders include:
- 39.7% with a sleep disorder (see my FREE quick workbook, Fastrack Your A1c Goal)
- 20.7% with a binge-eating disorder.
- 15% with substance-use disorder
- 13% with anxiety disorder
- 11% with bipolar disorder
- and 11% with psychosis
Management of Depression
While these percentages are significant, they make it hard to stay in the “management“ course with diabetes.
Depression can make it harder to exercise, eat healthily, or adhere to their medications, all of which can increase diabetes risk.
Chronic inflammatory (pain) responses are associated with a higher risk of developing Type 2 diabetes, whereas certain markers of inflammation are found at higher levels in people with mental health disorders such as depression.
Many people with diabetes may be more likely to get depression because of the psychological effects of the illness, such as the restriction on certain things you can do and the sort of prognosis that you think may be hopeless.
Treatment of depression
Mental health disorders may lead to delays in seeking diabetes treatment or difficulty adhering to diabetes treatments.
This is a “vice-versa” disease. This means that people with depression are more likely to get diabetes, and people with diabetes are more likely to get depression.
“There are some studies that show that by treating depression aggressively and assertively, you can actually improve people’s diabetes control—and, overall, their lives.
What you can do
Primary care physicians and general practitioners should play an important role in early detection.
Family physicians should be asking diabetics about their mental health, especially depression.
Any medications your doctor puts you on for depression should be free of side-effects leading to sugar cravings or weight gain.
Therapy does not have these side effects and we know that therapy along with medication has valuable positive outcomes for both diabetes and depression.
In some studies, once people with diabetes were treated for depression and other mental health disorders were identified and treated, then diabetes management improves tremendously.
Are you open with your doctor and asking for help?
This is not your fault. See this FREE guide, Fastrack Your A1c Goal to see why.