Diabetes & Mental Health : Are they Connected?

diabetes and mental health

Do you know how diabetes and mental health are connected?

Are you or your loved ones dealing with anxiety, stress and depression because of the life altering illness, diabetes? If yes, then give a two-minute read and help yourself understand more about the connection between diabetes and mental health.

Let’s understand the science behind the connection between diabetes and mental health:

Stress is the reaction of your body and mind to a new or difficult situation. For e.g., if your assignments are due or you are at a party where you don’t know people etc. When you feel stressed, your body releases hormones like adrenaline and cortisol. These hormones give a fight response but make it hard for insulin to work properly, known as insulin resistance. Your blood sugar levels rise as energy can’t get into your cells.

Stress put you at high risk of diabetes complications.

Can Stress Cause Diabetes?

Diabetes and depression get worse with each other; hence the comorbid diabetes and depression are a major clinical challenge. Managing diabetes means bringing changes to your day-to-day routine. Your diet has to be changed where you can only have certain kinds of foods, restrict sugar intake, avoid alcohol etc. It becomes hard to remember appointments with the doctors, checking blood sugar levels and insulin can also be hard to remember, and the cost of medicines can also feel like a burden. All these changes in your lifestyle can be emotionally draining and can make you feel anxious.

Do you know diabetes can cause a condition called Diabetic Distress?

Let’s discuss what diabetes distress means. Diabetic distress is an emotional response to the life altering illness, where people experience feelings such as stress, guilt and denial. This condition can make you feel frustrated, discouraged, and tired of managing the daily diabetes care routine.

Mental health should not be overlooked if you are diabetic and dealing with stress and anxiety issues.

Therapy to deal with diabetic distress

Talk therapy can be very beneficial. You can find out solutions to your life problems. Professional therapists can help you find out reasons that are causing stress, anxiety and depression. They can help you identify your triggers.

Managing Diabetic Distress:

1. Talk to other people living with diabetes- you can feel relatable to the person who is diabetic. They might be dealing with the same mental health issues as you and you might feel light after discussing your problems with them.

2. Go Slow- you don’t need to rush things. As you start working on your goals, like exercising or doing any physical activity, just take it slowly.

3. Allow your family to take care of your diabetes care routine- If you find it difficult to remember the timings of your medicines and doctor appointments then let your family help you out in this. They can remind you to take your medicines, help you in working out and help you monitor your blood sugar levels.

4. Get yourself a break! – take out time to do things you love. Discover new hobbies, it could be dancing, singing, playing a sport etc.

5. Talk with close friends and family- tell your close friends and family how you feel about having diabetes. Sometimes just telling someone how you feel can help in relieving stress.

6. Prefer Ayurvedic medicines to treat diabetes- Ayurveda is one of the world’s oldest holistic healing systems. Ayurvedic life focuses on your physical as well as mental health. It is less expensive, safe with no side effects and leads you to a blissful life. While other western medicines have side effects, are expensive and this can cause stress in your life.

Managing diabetes and stress together can be hard. Your friends and family may know diabetes is challenging, but may not understand “how” challenging. Try to communicate with them and if that doesn’t work then seek professional help. It is important to pay attention to your mental health.

Remember that you are not alone, we care for you and we are here to show you the path.

Help is available. Go seek it!

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