Although symptoms of depression differ for everyone, they include any of the following:
Depression can strike anyone at any age. It happens for a variety of reasons. Genetics, prolonged stress and anxiety, or a combination of causes may be involved. Even some medications can cause symptoms of depression.
If you have diabetes, you are at higher risk for depression. Dealing with diabetes can cause high levels of stress and frustration. It is easy to become overwhelmed when trying to get the disease under control.
Evidence suggests that individuals with type 2 diabetes are 30 per cent more likely to have been depressed than those without diabetes. It is hard to say whether a history of depression makes someone more at risk for developing diabetes or if diabetes leads to depression.
Depression can also cycle. If you have been depressed once, you are more likely to experience it again in future.
Being depressed can make it harder for you to take good care of yourself. Eating poorly, not exercising, gaining weight and less medication control can all make diabetes worse. Depression can also result in social isolation and unhealthy activities like smoking and drinking alcohol. Depression itself can worsen sugars.
Not taking care of yourself can lead to uncontrolled blood glucose levels, health complications, family problems, and higher health care costs. If your diabetes stays out of control, complications can include heart disease, stroke, blindness, and death.
It can be difficult for people with diabetes to recognize their depression, since some symptoms look like uncontrolled diabetes. Blood glucose changes can make an individual with diabetes feel tired, grumpy, anxious, and cause sleep disturbances.
Having symptoms of depression does not necessarily mean you are depressed. However, if these feelings and warning signs do not go away, they can start to affect your ability to care for yourself and your diabetes. If this is the case, seek help from a health care professional as soon as possible. The sooner you get help, the better your chances of avoiding complications related to uncontrolled diabetes.
A trained professional will usually help treat your depression, either privately or with a support group. Treatments, often called therapy, help figure out the cause of depression and devise ways to manage it.
Your therapist needs to communicate with the other health care professionals that make up your diabetes care team. This is especially important if you are taking antidepressant medication, as it may affect blood glucose levels. Talk to your pharmacist or doctor when starting a new medication so that you know what to expect.
Do not try to treat depression without help. Always talk to a pharmacist or doctor before trying any over-the-counter or herbal remedies, as these may interfere with blood glucose control.
Depression cannot always be prevented. It may occur without cause in spite of your best efforts. Living a healthy lifestyle may be the best way to protect yourself. Exercise regularly, eat a healthy diet and control your blood glucose. Try to manage stress before you become overwhelmed. Reducing stress should be a part of your overall diabetes management program.
Remember, poor blood glucose control can also cause anxiety. If you have been feeling anxious for a while, let your health care team know so that they can review your treatment plan. If the anxiety is not relieved with an adjustment to your diabetes treatment, some prescription medications may help.
When it comes to controlling diabetes, your mental health is as important as your physical health. If you think you may be depressed, getting help is essential. Talk to a trusted friend or family member, clergy member, health care professional, or call a helpline.