January 24, 2012

The Depression and Diabetes – A Cycle?

This discussion is not to include the major depressions, but realize they can happen. Mild and short-term depression is the most common for people with diabetes – about double the risk, with approximately two-thirds of people with diabetes at risk for depression. For people with depression, the risk for diabetes is about 20 percent.

Several items came to light in my continuing research on the depression affecting people with diabetes. One person says people may have chronic sorrow rather than clinical depression. Chronic sorrow according this person says it means that people new to diabetes are now coping with new long-term lifestyle changes that they may find stressful.

This condition as it is termed comes from simple things like not being able to join a group for a piece of birthday cake, which can leave the person feeling apart from the group and resentful. For a person to feel sad is a normal reaction about a chronic disease that has taken so much away from you. This make the illness a burden to bear alone and we need to have empathy and support from those around us.

Another piece of advice given is always worth checking out is the thyroid, as it is in the same gland family as the pancreas. Hypothyroidism is a major cause of depression and weight gain. In all cases of diabetes, this should be checked on a regular basis. Another thought is checking for a vitamin deficiency because low levels of vitamins B1 and B12 can cause depression.

Depression – diabetes and the reverse can be a vicious circle for some. As depression gets worse, the complications of diabetes may become worse because the depression causes people to stop or slow their diabetes management. This may cause the people to develop long-term complications like retinopathy, neuropathy, and nephropathy.

It is unfortunate that a large share of the people suffering from depression and diabetes never receive help for the depression. Sometimes it is not recognized by healthcare professionals, and sometimes people with diabetes who are depressed do not communicate to their doctors about their feelings or do not even realize they are depressed.

If you are a person with diabetes, learn the symptoms of depression or chronic sorrow to be able to communicate with your doctor about these. Learn also that people with diabetes can become burned out managing their diabetes. They can often become upset, gloomy, and have the helpless feeling because they cannot control their blood glucose levels.

There are reasons that cause people with diabetes to develop depression or chronic sorrow, and this can vary from one individual to another. Learn as much as you can about what affects you and learn the best way to deal with sorrow or depression.

The following articles are sources for this blog: article 1, article 2, article 3, and article 4.

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