Diabetes and Depression: Ways To Cope
What I’ve noticed is that “depression” is a touchy subject topic, whether diabetic or not. From what I’ve experienced, depression is not brought up frequently in conversation. I’m sure it has a lot to do with not wanting to feel “labeled”, and not wanting more attention drawn upon us.
But it’s REAL and you’re FAR more likely to experience depression with having diabetes than without. I’ve battled depression for many years having diabetes, which a lot of it had to do with how I was managing. I have my good days and bad, just like everyone else. It took me awhile to realize that diabetes and depression are common and that I needed to find ways to cope.
There are the obvious reasons why a diabetic would be more susceptible to depression, but it’s not always fully understood. However, it’s extremely important to keep in mind that your diabetes and your mental health ultimately go hand in hand.
- The way you manage your diabetes and your lifestyle choices greatly effect how you feel about yourself.
- The added stress and repetitive doings of diabetes management may cause anguish.
- The constant worry of the future and possible complications that may arise.
- Feeling alone and unable to express your thoughts or feeling isolated from your peers.
Diabetes definitely has it’s “four stages”: Denial, Anger, Depression, and Acceptance. I, myself have felt all of these at some point. I can’t speak for other diabetics, but I can relate to those that have.
Even when you fully accept, it’s still never easy. You always have to continue managing your Diabetes to the best of your ability.
Here are ways to cope with Diabetes and Depression:
This avenue can be beneficial when you feel like your family and friends cannot relate. It may be hard to communicate with one another. There’s nothing better than feeling understood, and there’s not much better than another Diabetic or a good listener. You can open up with people of your age group/gender/and alternative backgrounds. I’m particularly in favor of the “couple support” group. Not only are you going through life with diabetes, but so is your partner. It’s important to be able to express yourself so that they can reciprocate accordingly.
Exercise & Healthy Eating
I can’t vouch for this enough. The hardest part about this is finding the time to exercise or the desire to eat healthy. But if you stay consistent and fit a least 20-30 min a day, you will see the difference in your mood. Not only will it improve your mental health and energy, but it will help manage your weight. What I like to do is take my children for a walk, several times a week or simply do 20 min cardio sessions in the house. The more I stick to a routine, the better I feel. Trust me, you’ll thank yourself later!
Sure, it may not be the route everyone gears towards. But sometimes it’s just the boost you need to get to where you need to be at mentally. What you’re gaining by this is much more than your losing. The good thing about it is you don’t have to stay on it forever. In order for you to be on the right track and to take care of your diabetes; it’s necessary to be able to focus and function, and to essentially feel better.
**Always remember to consult with your physician first about your healthcare
Disclaimer: The experiences and suggestions recounted in these articles are not intended as medical advice, and they are not necessarily the “typical” experiences of families with a child who has type 1 diabetes. These situations are unique to the families depicted. Families should check with their healthcare professionals regarding the treatment of type 1 diabetes and the frequency of blood glucose monitoring.