November 30, 2014

Lessons for People New to Type 2 Diabetes, Part 12

Do you know and understand depression. If you are new to diabetes, this should be on your list of topics to learn about. Since diabetes is a 24/7/365 disease, depression will eventually catch up with you. Yes, a few people can avoid this, but even one person I know finally admitted that depression had caught her off guard and it took a few days for her to realize what had happened. She has had diabetes for over 12 years and was not happy about having even this mild case of depression especially the way it happened.

A.J said that my blog here on interventions – understanding depression helped him and recently he needed to have Jerry read it and several other blogs to help him conquer his minor depression. Those of us in our support group have been excellent learners and we work with each other to help when we have depression. We know we can count on our members to talk about it and this talking helps us through the tough times and gets us back to the positive and happy side.

This is one reason I have been able to do the blogs in this series. A.J, Allen, Barry, and Ben have been exploring the topics and pulling other blogs together for me to write about. Often they suggest thoughts and ideas to include. Even Barry and Ben's sister, Sue, has asked that I include certain women's issues, but would understand if I did not feel like writing about them. She said having diabetes when entering menopause can make some women more susceptible to depression. She said that their cousin was having these problems and was thankful for all the information we had supplied her for her cousin to read and talk about with her. She had been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes shortly after she started menopause. She had depression and her blood glucose readings were difficult the manage at the same time.

Mild depression is often not even paid attention to as a health problem. Many doctors just prescribe an antidepressant and often for too long a period. Depression and diabetes seem to feed on each other and many doctors treat both at the same time and do not follow up to be sure that both are managed properly. A good doctor will treat each separately and make sure that both are properly treated. Some will even recommend seeing a therapist to make sure that the depression is handled properly.

If not treated properly, mild depression can become severe depression and this will lead to unmanaged diabetes. Yes, I am aware of the resistance people have to therapists – they don't like this because they are all wrapped up in the myth that people that say this imply that the disease is “all in your head.” The fact that people with diabetes get depression and often suffer from stress, makes this even more important. Both can make diabetes more difficult to manage and by talking to a therapist can often help reduce stress and make depression more recognizable and easier to get past mild to moderate episodes of depression.

Approximately 67 percent of people with diabetes develop mild to moderate depression and about 19 percent develop severe depression. If this does not give you concern, it should. Depression that lasts for several weeks can undo good diabetes management and encourage the development of some complications. Please get depression taken care of and don't let it ruin you diabetes health.


Anonymous said...

Timely reminder for me. Thank you. I realize I have some depression due to the recent death of my husband. I completely forgot how that can affect my diabetes management. I've been seeing a grief counselor, but will now contact my doctor. It's true, when you're in shock/depression many of the things one would normally remember, are forgotten. Also depressing because he was the main cook & was supportive about my food. Bless you Bob. -Jane-

Bob Fenton said...

Jane, Glad to be of help.