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Scientists Linked Diabetes to Depression: Here’s How it Affects YOU

Are you curious to know if diabetes and depression are clinically linked in any way? You’d be surprised to find out that around 10% to 15% of all people who suffer from type 1 or type 2 diabetes could also suffer from depression.

This could turn out to be quite dangerous, as depression might affect your journey into managing diabetes. It could make the disease way worse. On the other side, diabetes management might feed into depression and take a great toll on your mental health.

You need to understand how to effectively recognize, treat, and live with depression and diabetes. You might want to look for a doctor who’s specially trained to treat diabetes and who is also wildly knowledgeable and accustomed to mental health and its role in treating diabetes.

diabetes to depression
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Diabetes and depression: What’s the link and how do they impact each other?

If you are diagnosed with type 1 or type 2 diabetes, then you have to buckle up for a change of lifestyle. Your health might be at stake, so you will probably have to change something, especially if you want to protect your well-being.

Diet impacts

Generally, your doctor will recommend that you cut out certain foods but also avoid sugar and alcohol. You might also have to start tracking your blood glucose and insulin levels. All these shifts could turn out to be incredibly stressful, and interrupting your old habits could potentially cause an emotional reaction.

Some of the most common symptoms of depression could also include sad feelings, feeling empty inside, drastic changes in your eating habits, insomnia, feeling a bit lethargic, sleeping too much, difficulty with decision-making, trouble concentrating, sudden feelings of despair, irritability, anxiety, feeling overly guilty, aches and pains, digestive issues, and thinking of suicide and death.

Diabetes distress

Another interesting link between depression and diabetes is something known as diabetes distress. What happens is that you start to develop hopeless feelings of despair, mainly caused by diabetes. You might feel tired as if the efforts you try to manage aren’t working.

You might also think that you suffer from a similar condition related to diabetes. Often, people might even feel as if the disease is controlling them, not the other way around. Unfortunately, in many cases, it can cause someone to revert to unhealthy habits.

You might even stop checking your blood sugar, insulin, or doctor’s appointments altogether. Diabetes distress could easily look like depression and anxiety, but it’s extremely specific to people who suffer from diabetes.

Their main mental health issues stem from suffering from diabetes in the first place because it is a severe condition. Treating diabetes distress is also part of treating diabetes.

Blood pressure

At times, symptoms that might resemble those of depression or anxiety are just signs that your blood pressure is too high or too low. Your doctor could help you determine what’s truly going on with your body. Also, regularly checking your blood sugar and insulin levels is highly critical.

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Oftentimes, one of the most challenging aspects of treating depression while suffering from diabetes is getting a proper diagnosis. When it comes to depression, anything that’s remotely related to decision-making becomes very difficult.

Besides, diabetes might cause you to avoid going to the doctor. The majority of ways in which you can prevent feeling depressed with diabetes also involve creating a proper treatment plan from day one. This could also include:

  • Finding the right endocrinologist and visiting him regularly. We’re talking about a specialist who might help you with your disease and teach you how to take care of yourself;
  • Getting a referral from your doctor to find a good mental health care specialist who treats patients with long-term conditions;
  • Joining a diabetes support group;
  • Focusing on a couple of goals for the future;
  • Getting proper treatment.

If you recognize any of these symptoms of depression and also suffer from diabetes, here are a couple of things you might want to try:


If you’re not in therapy yet, then you might discover that it can be extremely beneficial. You will soon be able to talk through any feelings you might have. You will also be able to find mindful solutions that will help you healthily balance your treatment plan.

There are a couple of therapy styles we highly recommend, such as cognitive behavioral therapy, family therapy, and dialectical behavior therapy.


There are some medications you could easily take to treat diabetes and depression, and in some cases, even both. Certain antidepressants, like SSRIs, could help you regulate blood sugar, especially if you have type 2 diabetes.

diabetes to depression
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Stress management

Prolonged stress could ultimately result in high blood sugar. Stress might also raise your blood sugar to higher levels, which makes monitoring your blood sugar a bit inefficient and difficult. Finding the right ways to move through difficulties while also managing stress is highly important for your overall health.

Some of the best ways to fight stress are exercise, meditation, taking long breaks, getting enough sleep, and limiting caffeine and alcohol.

How to lift your mood

Finding the best treatment for a double condition is difficult, and it might take a little bit of time. There are a couple of things you can do to lift your mood, such as:

Talking to a helpline

There are plenty of confidential helplines with experienced staff members and highly trained advisors that you can contact. These people have wide expertise and the needed counseling skills.

Talking to friends, family, and peers

At times, talking to those who know you best might help. We are aware that these conversations might be difficult to have, but in the end, your family could offer you the needed support. Also, remember that you aren’t alone! Lots of people could go through something similar.

You can share your story with other people and maybe even learn from their own experiences. There are plenty of online support forums where you can find various stories and get inspired.

Food and mood

Food could play a huge part in your life. For instance, having diabetes could ultimately turn something you used to love into something stressful, to say the least. However, food is a wonderful way to lift your mood, and that doesn’t have to change.

Moving more

Exercise is a very important part of how you deal with diabetes. It has tons of positive benefits, like managing your weight and lowering your blood sugar levels, while also helping the body use insulin in a more effective way.

Ultimately, it can even improve your mood. However, motivating yourself is probably the hardest part. Having depression also means that you have zero drive, so waking up is by far the last thing you want to do.

But the benefits are truly remarkable. When you are active, your body releases more endorphins, a chemical that makes you feel good. Exercise to improve your mood could really help you feel better, and it might even help you manage your diabetes.

Tackling this difficult matter might take all your resources, and that’s why we didn’t want to end this article without recommending a great e-book. If you want to enhance your personal knowledge on the matter, read this ebook.

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