Mental health has a strong impact on many parts of daily life, including how you think and feel, deal with stress, interact with people, and make decisions. It's easy to see how having a mental health issue could make sticking to your diabetes treatment plan more difficult.
The Mind-Body Connection is a term used to describe the relationship between the mind and thoughts, feelings, beliefs, and attitudes. All of these components influence diabetes.
Depression Isn't Just a Bad Feeling
Depression is a medical condition that produces melancholy and, in some cases, a loss of interest in previously enjoyed activities. It can affect your ability to perform at work and at home, as well as your ability to manage your diabetes. When you can't control your diabetes, you're more likely to develop complications including heart disease and nerve damage.
Diabetes patients are 2 to 3 times more likely than non-diabetic patients to suffer from depression. Only 25% to 50% of persons with diabetes who suffer from depression are diagnosed and treated. However, treatment—whether therapy, medicine, or a combination of both — is usually highly beneficial. Depression often worsens rather than improves without treatment.
If you suspect you may be depressed, contact your doctor immediately away for assistance in obtaining therapy. The sooner you get treatment for depression, the better for your health, your quality of life, and your diabetes.
Anxiety and Stress
From traffic jams and family duties to diabetic care on a daily basis -- stress is a part of life. And this can manifest itself as an emotion, such as fear or anger, or as a bodily response, such as perspiration or a racing heart.
If you're stressed, you might not take care of yourself as well as you should. Stress hormones cause blood sugar to rise and fall in an unpredictable manner, and stress from being unwell or injured might cause your blood sugar to climb. Long-term stress can cause or exacerbate other health concerns.
Anxiety is how your mind and body react to stress, causing feelings of worry, fear, or being on edge. Diabetes patients are 20% more likely than non-diabetics to experience anxiety at some point in their lives. For some people, managing a long-term ailment like diabetes is a substantial cause of stress.
Studies demonstrate that counseling for anxiety is usually more effective than medication, but that both are sometimes necessary. You can also aid in the reduction of stress and anxiety by:
- Getting active: even a short stroll can be relaxing and have a long-lasting effect.
- Practicing relaxation techniques such as meditation, yoga, or breathing practice.
- Contacting a friend who knows what you're going through (but not someone who is causing you stress!).
- Taking advantage of some “you” time. Take a break from what you're doing right now. Get some fresh air, read something lighthearted—whatever it takes to re-energize you.
- Changing the room: If possible, change the place where you are for a time of calm.
- Removing annoying factors: for example, the unpleasant or understandable sound can cause the feeling of anxiety -- try to get rid of it or switch to soothing music (classical music would be a great option). The other example is the constant worrying about sensor safety. In this case, choose freestyle libre stickers to protect your CGM.
Low blood sugar can cause anxiety and vice versa. It could be difficult for you to figure out what it is and how to treat it properly. Check your blood sugar and address it if it's low if you're feeling worried.
Visit Your Health Care Team
Your healthcare team may be aware that diabetes is difficult, but they may not realize how difficult it is. And you might not be used to talking about how sad or depressed you are. However, if you have any concerns regarding your mental health, contact your doctor immediately away. You are not alone; assistance is available!