Many recently diagnosed diabetics become overwhelmed with a bombardment of medical jargon, doctor’s visits, medications, and feelings of helplessness. Being diagnosed with diabetes can be very scary, especially for those unfamiliar with the disease. Simple ignorance often leads to fear. Reading about diabetic complications, medications, and insulin injections can increase that fear and lead to feelings of hopelessness.
One of the first reactions of many diabetics to their diagnosis is a period of denial. Many simply refuse to believe they are sick. Typically, their condition grows worse as they remain in denial. In turn, this often leads to depression. In fact, depression often accompanies diabetes. Diabetics have a statistically greater chance of being depressed than others, according to the American Diabetes Association. Depression and diabetes can be a dangerous combination and are often experienced together.
Stress that accompanies the management of the disease can exact a heavy burden on a person. A new routine must be followed. Their blood sugar must be regularly monitored, new medications must be taken, and records must be kept for their doctors. Visits to doctors can be frequent, and a number of different medicines must be tried before the patient’s blood glucose is brought under control.
In addition to these stresses, diabetics are usually forced to make rapid changes to their lifestyles. Foods they love may now be off-limits. Or they may be told to begin an exercise regimen — something that helps prevent depression, but those with depression usually have precious little energy to get started with physical exercise. Depression can also be dangerous because a lack of energy can make people lose motivation to monitor their blood sugar and take their medication as directed.
A lack of interest in activities formerly enjoyed can be a symptom of depression. Another typical symptom is a lack of appetite. Others have difficulty sleeping or concentrating, while others may tend to sleep too much.
Diabetics can overcome many of the symptoms of depression by educating themselves on its signs and learning how to counter such feelings. In turn, this can help them overcome any helpless feelings that can stem from their diagnosis. If you suspect you are suffering from feelings of depression, talk to your doctor about how you can get help. Some people feel depression makes them weak. Other people feel depression is something to be embarrassed about. They should not feel embarrassed, since depression is very common in diabetics. Becoming educated about depression can help you overcome it. People feel depression keenly, but there is help available. If you are depressed, you can receive help and avoid any needless complications in managing your diabetes.
If you recognize some of the symptoms of combined depression and diabetes in yourself, contact your doctor. They can recommend a therapist able to help sufferers of chronic illness. This type of therapy can be very important for diabetics who may feel isolated as a result of all the activity required for managing their disease. Do not be shy about sharing your feelings with family and friends. Depression and diabetes affect many people who have received help, and so can you. This dangerous combination can be overcome.
Look around for diabetic support groups in your area. It can be comforting to relate to others who share the same situation as yourself. It can help ease any feeling of isolation you may be experiencing when you have a support group to rely upon.
Anyone who has been diagnosed with a serious illness runs the risk of developing depression. Such a diagnosis can leave you feeling out of control and helpless. This can make managing your illness that much more difficult. This is why it is so critically important that you recognize the symptoms of depression, and take action if you notice them in yourself. The dangerous combination of diabetes and depression can be treated and overcome once you admit your condition and seek help. When your depression is relieved, it will make managing your diabetes much easier.