Depression and Diabetes
Diabetes Advocates urge more awareness about depression.
“There is an urgent need for more effective and efficient depression treatments in diabetes.”
If someone’s living with diabetes, studies show he or she is twice as likely to be depressed compared to a person without diabetes. But what’s even more depressing is that only about 5% of those people who doctors might classify as “clinically depressed” are getting the help they need.
That number isn’t expected to go down, if everything keeps moving the way it is.
With more than 8% of the U.S. population already living with diabetes, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that one in three adults may have diabetes by 2050 if this trend continues. That means even more depressing statistics are on the horizon, and even children with diabetes aren’t immune to the rising tide of depression.
“There is an urgent need for more effective and efficient depression treatments in diabetes,” says the opening sentence in an 2010 article in the Patient Education and Counseling journal for patient education and health care promotion.
In recognition of May being National Mental Health Month (see http://www.mentalhealthamerica.net/go/may for details), Diabetes Advocates is calling for greater awareness of both medical issues that already impact the health and well-being of millions of Americans.
Recognition is one of the first steps in managing depression. The Mayo Clinic site has a list of symptoms broken down by age, but the signs of depression vary and not everyone might experience every symptom.
Take action. If you feel depressed, make an appointment to see your doctor as soon as you can. Depression symptoms may not get better on their own — and depression may get worse if it isn’t treated. Untreated depression can lead to other mental and physical health problems or problems in other areas of your life.
Treat. Your care team will help you define the treatments that are best for you, based on your diabetes, and if they diagnose depression. Staying on your treatment plan is tough, particularly if you don’t know anyone else who shares the same struggles. Diabetes often makes people feel alone. But you are not alone.
Support is available! There’s an entire online community of people with diabetes that “get it,” who understand the struggle of daily managing diabetes through honesty, laughter and friendship. You are welcome to join that community. Some Diabetes Advocates members regularly share their stories and about living with both diabetes and depression; some of those can be found here:
- Articles on Depression and Diabetes at Strangely Diabetic
- May Commemorates Many Things; Mental Health Is One PWDs Should Be Aware Of
- Mental Health Impacts all of Us
- Not a teenage issue at the Odd Duck Out
- Diabetes and Depression at the Diabetics Corner Booth
- Stress and Depression
- Help is all around and more from Cranky Pancreas
- Revisiting the not-so-wonderful moments
- DSMA February Blog Carnival – Depression in the Diabetes Community
- An Inside Look at Depression Training for Diabetes Educators
- Diabetes & Depression
Scholarly Articles on Depression and Diabetes:
- The Prevalence of Comorbid Depression in Adults With Diabetes
- Comorbid Depression is Associated With Increased Health Care Use and Expenditures in Individuals With Diabetes
- Social but safe? Quality and safety of diabetes-related online social networks
Other organizations that provide support and resources for those with both diabetes and depression include:
ABOUT DIABETES ADVOCATES
Diabetes Advocates is a not-for-profit program run by the Diabetes Hands Foundation. The program combines the resources of its members to do activities to better educate the public about all aspects concerning diabetes.