Is Depression Stopping You From Managing Your Diabetes?


depression and diabetes

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.


Why depression?


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.

About the Author

Do you feel frustrated with your medical care? Do doctors spend 5 minutes with you, push you out of the office, with you wondering what's going to happen? Does your insurance deny paying? You're not alone. I'm frustrated, too. This is a growing trend in healthcare. Having seen pre-insurance medicine (yes, my dad was an old country doctor), I grew up watching him spend time with his patients, giving them the best care he had to offer. I saw families trust him to help them through hospitalizations and the next crisis. As a patient advocate, my job is to see that you get the right diagnosis, the right treatment plans, and the right supplies and education to make good decisions about your health. More importantly, I will teach you the tricks of the healthcare trade. We need more healthcare consumer protection, especially for chronic illnesses like diabetes. This is what I am passionate about. I make it happen every day with thousands of patients who now know what I know about beating the healthcare system and getting the best patient care...Patient Best.

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