Diabetes and DepressionIN WEIGHT MANAGEMENT
People with diabetes are at twice the risk of developing depression compared with people who don't have diabetes. Conversely, people with depression are at increased risk of developing diabetes. Though the link between diabetes and depression is not clear, being aware of the symptoms of depression and seeking help when you need it are two important facets of taking care of your diabetes and minimizing your experiences with depression. The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) and the American Diabetes Association (ADA) provide helpful information about the condition so that you can develop effective coping strategies.
Depression leads to poorer physical and mental functioning, which in turn may mean you'll be less likely to follow your diet or medication plan, so it's important to address the condition promptly and effectively. Here's how:
Step One: Recognize Your Feelings
Recognizing depression is the first step to overcoming it. If you've been feeling especially sad for two weeks or more, it's time to seek help. Symptoms of depression can include changes in your sleep, appetite, energy, attitudes, self-esteem and overall enjoyment of life. It's important to note that symptoms like these are typical for anyone in a time of major loss, but if the feelings stay for many weeks and continue to interfere with your daily functioning, it's time to consider getting help.
Step Two: Consult with an Expert
Seeking help is the second step to overcoming depression. If you think you're experiencing depression, first make an appointment with your doctor. Tell him or her how you've been feeling. It's possible that a physical condition could be causing your depression. If physical causes can be ruled out, a mental health professional may be able to help. Treating depression with psychotherapy, medication, or a combination can help you manage symptoms of both diabetes and depression. In addition, it can help you take better care of yourself and improve the quality of your life. A skilled professional can recognize the symptoms of depression, ask you about their duration and severity, diagnose your disorder, and suggest appropriate treatment.
Other Ways of Coping
Depression can come and go throughout your life, especially if you have diabetes, so it may be helpful to cultivate a few coping habits you can practice as needed. Here are four recommended by experts:
- Exercise every day.
- Participate in activities you enjoy.
- Play with children.
- Talk with family and friends.
| How Does Depression Affect You?
According to the National Institute of Mental Health, if you experience five or more of the following symptoms every day for at least two weeks and if they interfere with your routine activities such as work, self-care, child-care or social life, you should be evaluated for possible depression.
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Sources: nimh.nih.gov, diabetes.org, mayoclinic.com