depression and diabetes

Depression and diabetes

There may be strong links between depression and diabetes and it is important to seek medical health if you are feeling that you may have depression. One in five people suffer depression and there is no need to feel embarrassed about getting help quickly.

These are some of the symptoms:

Behavioural changes: stopping going out, withdrawing from friends and family, relying on sedatives, unable to concentrate, not getting anything done.

Thoughts: feeling like a failure, feeling worthless, feeling life is not worth it.

Feelings: overwhelmed, guilty, frustrated, unhappy, sad and tearful, irritable.

Physical changes: tired all the time, sick, run down, not sleeping properly, not eating, weight loss, headache and pain.

If you feel you may have depression we urge you to consult your doctor immediately. Depression can be treated and there are various methods that will work differently for each person.

How can you help yourself?

We know it can be very hard to get motivated when you're depressed but these things may help (after you've seen your medical professional also):

  • Managing diabetes and depression simultaneously can be challenging, but it's important to remember that there are strategies and resources available to help you navigate these conditions. Here are some steps you can take to manage diabetes-related depression:

    1. Seek Professional Help: Consult a mental health professional, such as a psychologist or psychiatrist, who has experience in treating both depression and chronic health conditions. They can provide personalized guidance and therapy tailored to your needs.

    2. Open Communication: Talk to your healthcare team about your feelings of depression. Your doctor or diabetes educator can offer support, recommend resources, and potentially adjust your diabetes management plan to make it more manageable.

    3. Follow Diabetes Management Plan: Consistently follow your diabetes management plan, including medication, diet, exercise, and blood sugar monitoring. Maintaining stable blood sugar levels can positively impact mood and energy levels.

    4. Physical Activity: Engage in regular physical activity, as exercise has been shown to have a positive impact on mood and can help alleviate symptoms of depression. Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise most days of the week.

    5. Healthy Diet: Eat a balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats. Proper nutrition can support both your physical and mental well-being.

    6. Sleep Well: Prioritize getting adequate and restful sleep. Poor sleep can exacerbate symptoms of both diabetes and depression.

    7. Mindfulness and Relaxation Techniques: Practice mindfulness, deep breathing, meditation, or yoga to manage stress and improve your emotional well-being.

    8. Social Support: Connect with friends, family, support groups, or online communities. Sharing your feelings and experiences with others who understand can be immensely helpful.

    9. Set Realistic Goals: Set achievable goals for managing your diabetes and depression. Break tasks into smaller steps to avoid feeling overwhelmed.

    10. Limit Alcohol and Avoid Substance Use: Alcohol and certain substances can worsen depression symptoms and interfere with diabetes management.

    11. Monitor Blood Sugar Levels: Keep track of your blood sugar levels and observe how they might relate to changes in mood. Fluctuating blood sugar levels can impact emotions.

    12. Medication and Therapy: Depending on the severity of your depression, your mental health professional might recommend therapy, medication, or a combination of both. Consult with your healthcare provider before making any decisions about medications.

    13. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT): CBT is a proven therapy technique that helps individuals change negative thought patterns and behaviors. It can be particularly effective for managing depression and developing coping strategies.

    14. Self-Compassion: Be kind and patient with yourself. Managing both diabetes and depression is a journey, and there will be ups and downs.

    Remember that seeking professional help is a crucial step. A mental health professional can provide tailored strategies and support to help you effectively manage both diabetes and depression. It's okay to ask for help, and taking steps toward managing your mental health can positively impact your overall well-being.

Getting help:

Lifeline - phone 131 114 or


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