Can Diabetes and Depression Co-Exist?- Let’s Discuss
Awareness Self Help

Can Diabetes and Depression Co-Exist?- Let’s Discuss


Whether diabetes can lead to depression or make you feel sombre may be a question on your mind. Diabetes’s characteristics can contribute to the development of depression even though the condition does not directly cause it. Diabetes may exacerbate depression in people who already suffer from it.

Depression is a serious mental health condition. Regardless of culture, background, economic status, or family history, anyone can develop depressive tendencies. About twice as often as would be expected by chance alone, diabetes and depression co-occur. Because the effects of both disorders intensify one other, comorbid diabetes and depression present significant treatment challenges. Although the psychological toll of diabetes may exacerbate depression, this theory does not adequately describe the connection between these two illnesses. So, let’s try to explore their connections:

  • Additionally, conditions such as diabetes and depression may impair the body’s capacity to deal with stress, which is linked to higher levels of cortisol, commonly known as “the stress hormone”.
  • Diabetes management can be demanding and cause depressive symptoms like low mood, irritability, preference for social isolation, sleep disturbances, appetite changes etc.
  • Sleep disturbances are commonly linked to depression and type 2 diabetes. Insulin resistance is a risk factor for type 2 diabetes and can be worsened by poor sleep hygiene.
  • It may be challenging to complete chores, communicate, and think effectively when suffering from depression, thereby making diabetes management equally challenging.

Related: Diabetes Can Cause Depression, Anxiety, and Sleep Disturbance

7 Quick Tips for Effective Management of Comorbid Diabetes and Depression:

  • Programs for Diabetes self-management: Programs for managing diabetes that place a behavioural emphasis can assist participants in managing their weight, managing risk factors for heart disease and managing their metabolism.
  • Engage in new learning and creativity: Learning new things and engaging in creative pursuits can gradually yet steadily lessen depression propensity. There are several notable examples, including gardening, painting, cooking, and reading.
  • Medications and dietary modifications: Both diabetes and depression can be treated with medications, and both disorders can benefit from significant lifestyle changes. A regular fitness regimen is required along with special care towards maintaining a proper healthy diet.
  • Psychotherapy: For people with depression, a variety of therapeutic approaches have been found to be effective. In such circumstances, there is no shame in seeking expert assistance. The management of stress brought on by chronic illnesses like diabetes is aided by such approaches.
  • Avoid Social Isolation and spend time with your loved ones: As important as it is to spend quality time alone, social interaction is also crucial. Stay away from social isolation; it will only make you more susceptible to depression and poorly controlled diabetes. Both diabetes and depression can be particularly emotionally taxing. Spending time with loved ones is therefore strongly advised.
  • Maintain a Gratitude journal: Maintain a journal where you can note your daily thoughts, emotions, and doable short-term goals. This will serve as a reminder that each new day has a fresh start. Secondly, each night before you go to bed, sit down and write three things you are grateful for. Patients with diabetes and depression can benefit significantly from an attitude of gratitude.
  • Deep breathing and regular exercise: By calming the mind and reducing distress, deep breathing practises can help people with depression. Their ability to manage chronic diabetes will undoubtedly benefit from this. Additionally, when we exercise, our bodies release endorphins, a hormone that makes us feel good. It is certainly possible to feel better and manage diabetes by taking a light daily walk for 30-45 minutes including exposure to sunlight.

Despite the existence of reliable screening techniques, depression in diabetics is commonly overlooked. Although they have conflicting impacts on glycemic control, psychotherapies and anti-depressants are both beneficial in treating depressive feelings in diabetics. More research is needed to determine the factors that contribute to an individual’s susceptibility to depression and metabolic disorders over the course of their life, their response to treatment, and their resilience. The ability to provide patients suffering from comorbid diabetes and depression with the most effective care possible is vital to their survival in the existing environment.

Related: Bad food choices raise the risk of diabetes and poor mental health: Study

Leave feedback about this

  • Rating