Diabetes and Depression Problems

Depression with diabetic people seem to go hand and hand. I know that it has with myself and many others. It can actually be a serious complication. A diabetic with depressive issues have them on a continual or recurrent basis. And a depressed person with diabetes may not have the energy or drive to maintain good health. Depression frequently causes appetite changes, and in the diabetic youngster, suicidal thoughts. Some teens have been known to take lethal doses of insulin.

There is some thoughts I have read that psychiatric or psychological problems can affect the course of medical illnesses like diabetes. The stress of the depression itself can lead to elevated blood sugar levels, and hypertension. High anxiety levels can really affect other conditions including irritable bowel syndrome, headache, and other stomach problems. Treatment of depression definitely leads to a better medical prognosis and therefore a better quality of life.

For a number of years now, doctors have suspected a connection between the emotional patterns and course of diabetes in their patients. Physicians conducting studies have found that stressful events or other psychological illness could even precipitate type 1 or type 2 diabetes.

Since there are more accurate ways to measure blood sugars, it is easier to see both the short and long term mood factors in blood sugar levels. Children found to have more of an Type A personality had an higher blood sugar level to stress; whereas kids with a calmer disposition had a smaller blood sugar rise in response to daily stress of diabetes management. There was a 1997 study that intimated that type 1 patients with a background of emotional illness could be at an increased risk of developing retinopathy. This group of patients were also found to have a higher level of A1C, (average blood sugars over a 3 month period). Also children whose family members played the "diabetic police," had even worse blood sugar control. Adolescents of whom are diabetic, have a much higher rate of suicidal thoughts. Those teens with suicidal ideas took very poor care of themselves.

Studies conducted recently have also strongly suggested that depression treatments can help diabetic control. Antidepressant drugs will do a lot to help diabetic people live their lives to the fullest.

A diagnosis of diabetes causes major life stresses. Diabetes requires constant care and physical accomodations. People with diabetes, kids, teens, and adults, have to learn a complex system of dietary control, and proper medical care for their condition. It consumes a lot of energy for the diabetic, and people around them. For example, my mother is my "type 3." She is the one who lives with me and hears about it on an every day basis. I know that a person has to adjust to a new outlook about their life and put it all in perspective.

A lot of diabetics will go through various stages of grief after diagnosis. There is the denial. This is more dangerous as the person with diabetes may not want to accept having it. Then there often comes anger and the "why me?", not uncommon. It may take a long time until true acceptance with being able to look diabetes in the face and go on living. I've gone through this myself as did my niece who is also a type 1. When she became a type 1 at the age of 9, her whole family was in denial at first, and it all came as such a terrible shock.

I believe that with routine doctor care, every 3 months, deprssion treatment, and focusing on the positives in our lives, we as diabetics can overcome the depression factor from the disease.

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