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Diabetes and Emotions

Depression and Diabetes continued...

What are the symptoms of depression?

There are some key signs and symptoms of depression, including:

  • Sadness
  • Anxiety
  • Irritability
  • Loss of interest in activities once enjoyed
  • Withdrawal from social activities
  • Inability to concentrate
  • Insomnia (difficulty falling and staying asleep)
  • Excessive feelings of guilt or worthlessness
  • Loss of energy or fatigue
  • Changes in appetite
  • Observable mental and physical sluggishness
  • Thoughts of death or suicide

If you (or someone you love) show signs of depression for two or more weeks, inform your doctor and seek treatment. It's also important to know that the hormonal changes seen in someone with depression can cause worsening control of blood sugars.

How is depression treated in people with diabetes?

Depression in diabetes can be successfully treated with either medication or talk therapy. Both methods appear to be equally effective. Many people have trouble staying on their antidepressant medications and discontinue them after several months because of side effects. Be sure to talk to your doctor about side effects including how they might be affecting your blood sugars. If you are taking antidepressants and want to stop, talk to your doctor about the best way to slowly reduce the dose you are taking. It is important not to suddenly stop taking these prescribed medications.

For more detail, see WebMD's article Diabetes and Depression.

Diabetes Support

When your spouse has diabetes and isn't serious about managing the disease, it can cause the entire family to feel frustrated. It's important to understand some key ways to support a spouse with diabetes -- criticizing the person usually backfires. There are effective ways to create a healthy partnership with your spouse and give much-needed support without nagging.

Coping Strategies

Learning how to cope with the emotions that come with diabetes is a big step in staying healthy. Here are a few ideas:

  • Find a doctor who takes your diabetes seriously and who listens to your concerns.
  • Talk to friends about how diabetes has affected you.
  • Find a support group for people with diabetes.
  • Make an appointment with a professional therapist or counselor.
  • Learn more about your illness. The more knowledge you have about diabetes, the better you will be able to manage it effectively.
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WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Kimball Johnson, MD on June 15, 2012

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