Diabetes and Mental Health

Life-long diseases like diabetes or cancer are often thought of singularly as physical illnesses tied to rigorous treatment plans. However, the possible mental health consequences are often overlooked. With rates of diabetes increasing worldwide, it is imperative to be informed of the many aspects of life that can be potentially affected by a diagnosis and how to manage your lifestyle for optimum life satisfaction. It can be hard to understand the effect that long term disorders might have on an individual’s mental health. Many of these diseases that require long term diseases can lead to a lot of stress due to high medical care costs, financial issues, impaired quality of life, and increased medical attention that could result in many hospitalizations. These
problems can lead to the development of mental health disorders.

Diabetes Effects On Mental Health 

There is a high prevalence of diabetes co-occurring with mental health disorders. Sometimes it is the case that mental health issues are already present. Diabetes and mental health are very closely linked and it’s not always certain when one precedes the other. Despite the tie between diabetes and mental health being quite common, people with diabetes and other chronic illnesses are not frequently screened for mental health concerns like depression and anxiety. This can lead to them suffering for a long time by themselves needlessly, when they could be getting help to get them back on track both mentally and physically.

Those with diabetes can often face something known as diabetes distress. Due to everything that has to be done on a day-to-day basis to maintain diabetes, it can be very discouraging to not see as much improvement despite putting in so much effort and adhering to all of the restrictions and maintenance that is required. When these feelings of distress take over and our efforts do not seem to be helping, one can slowly slip back into poor maintenance of their health and pick up unhealthy habits. Many people with diabetes suffer through diabetes distress even after several years of managing symptoms well.

Help Is Out There

There are many ways for someone suffering from mental health disorders as a result of another chronic illness to find help. For diabetes sufferers specifically, it might be useful to visit an endocrinologist who specializes in the system of diabetes more specifically than a general practitioner. Your endocrinologist might have specific recommendations to help maintain good health and manage diabetes. There are also health psychologists who specifically focus on helping those facing distress from long term health problems that can help one through the mental struggles through therapy and by recommending diabetes support groups.

If you or someone you know is struggling with a mental health disorder, like depression or anxiety, please feel free to contact the professional team at Lifeline Connections for help. Getting yourself help, whether it is through self-help or by reaching out to professionals is an important part of recognizing that you are struggling and is a good step forward to get the help that you need. You can visit Lifelineconnections.org or call 360.397.8246 for more information.

Sources: https://www.cdc.gov/diabetes/library/features/mental-health.html

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