Diabetes Syndrome and Mental Health

Diabetes Syndrome and Mental Health

Diabetes Syndrome and Mental Health


Is taking care of your mental health relatively low on your list of priorities regarding diabetes management?

This may change your mind.

How you think and feel, how you respond to stress, how you relate to other people,

and the decisions you make are all influenced by your mental health.

It is easy to see how having a problem with your mental health could make it more difficult for you to follow the treatment plan for your diabetes.

The Link Between the Mind and the Body

Your state of mind, including your thoughts, feelings, beliefs, and attitudes, can affect your physical health.

Diabetes-related complications can worsen untreated mental health concerns; mental health disorders can exacerbate diabetes-related difficulties and vice versa.

The good news is that if one patient improves,

the prognosis for the other is typically favorable.

What Is Depression If It’s Not Just a Bad Mood?

What Is Depression If It's Not Just a Bad Mood

Depression is a medical condition that manifests as feelings of melancholy and, frequently, a loss of interest in things that a person previously found rewarding. It can interfere with your ability to operate successfully both at work and home, including your ability to take care of your diabetes.

If you cannot maintain reasonable control of your diabetes, you put yourself at increased risk for complications caused by diabetes, such as heart disease and nerve damage.

Depression is seen between two and three times more frequently in those who have diabetes compared to those who do not have diabetes.

Only 25–50% of people with diabetes who suffer from depression receive a diagnosis and treatment for their condition.

However, the treatment, whether psychotherapy, medication, or both, is typically quite successful. And without treatment, depression typically worsens rather than improves.

Symptoms of depression can range from mild to severe and include:

  • feeling down or emptiness
  • declining enthusiasm for beloved pastimes
  • overeating or not wanting to eat at all
  • difficulty falling asleep or excessive sleep
  • finding it difficult to focus or decide
  • being overly exhausted
  • sensations of helplessness, irritability, anxiety, or guilt
  • experiencing stomach issues, headaches, cramps, or aches and pains
  • experiencing aches and pains, headaches, cramps, or suicidal thoughts

If you are concerned that you may suffer from depression, make an appointment with your primary care physician as soon as possible for help in starting therapy. The sooner you get treatment for your depression, the better it will be for your diabetes and the quality of your life.

Tension and Nervousness


Tension and Nervousness

Many things in life might cause stress, such as traffic congestion, expectations from family members,

and the day-to-day management of diabetes.

It’s possible to experience stress as an emotion, like fear or rage, as a physical reaction, like sweat or a beating heart, or in both ways simultaneously.

When you’re under a lot of pressure, it’s possible that you won’t take as excellent care of yourself as you usually would.

Your blood sugar levels can also be altered; stress hormones can cause your blood sugar to rise or fall in an unpredictable manner, and the stress of having an illness or injury can cause your blood sugar levels to increase. Prolonged exposure to stress can cause more health issues or exacerbate existing ones.

Anxiety, commonly referred to as anxiety, fear, or feeling tense, is your mind and body’s response to pressure. People with diabetes have a 20% increased risk of experiencing stress in their lives compared to people who do not have diabetes. Some people experience significant anxiety because of managing a chronic condition like diabetes.

According to many studies, talk therapy is more effective than medication for treating anxiety;

there are situations when a combination of the two is optimal.

You can also help reduce your tension and anxiety by doing the following:

  • Getting active: even something as simple as going for a short walk can have a relaxing impact that can linger for hours.
  • I am doing some relaxing activities, such as yoga or meditation, to unwind.
  • I was picking up the phone or sending a text message to a close friend who gets you (rather than someone who is the source of your stress!).
  • You are taking some time for “you” by yourself. Stop whatever you’re doing and take a break. Get some fresh air, read a lighthearted book, or do anything else that helps you refresh.
  • You are keeping your alcohol and caffeine consumption to a minimum, eating well, and getting adequate rest.

Sometimes, the signs of low blood sugar and anxiety might be similar. It could be challenging to determine what it is and devise an appropriate treatment plan.

Check your blood sugar level if you’re feeling worried,

and if it’s low, take some medication to raise it.

Life will never be completely free of anxiety and tension. However, if you are experiencing feelings of being overwhelmed, speaking with a mental health counselor may be helpful. Ask your primary care physician for a recommendation.

Diabetes Distress

 Diabetes Distress

Managing it daily can leave you feeling that your condition is in charge of you rather than the other way around, leaving you feeling disheartened, anxious, frustrated, or exhausted. It’s possible that despite your best efforts, you haven’t been able to achieve your goals.

Or, despite your best efforts, a health concern connected to diabetes has developed.

These overwhelming sensations, known as diabetic distress, may encourage you to slide into bad habits, stop testing your blood sugar or even skip doctor’s appointments altogether.

It occurs in an actual number of diabetics, perhaps even most of them, and frequently after many years of successfully managing diabetes.

33% to 50% of persons who have diabetes will experience diabetes distress within any given 18-month period.

The distress caused by diabetes can look similar to that caused by depression or anxiety, but it cannot be adequately addressed with medication.

Instead, it has been showed that the following approaches are beneficial:

  • If you have diabetes, you must get treatment from an endocrinologist.

They may have a more in-depth understanding of the difficulties associated with diabetes than your regular doctor does.

  • Ask your primary care physician for a recommendation to a mental health professional who focuses on helping people with chronic health issues.
  • Arrange a one-on-one meeting with a diabetes educator so that you and the professional can collaborate on finding answers to your problems.
  • Instead of convincing yourself that you need to work on everything at once, focus on one or two more manageable tasks related to diabetes management.
  • Consider joining a diabetes support group so that you may talk to other individuals dealing with the same challenges as you are and share your ideas and feelings with them (and learn from them too).
  • Communicate with the Members of Your Healthcare Team

Your healthcare staff is aware of the difficulties diabetes presents, but they may not fully comprehend those difficulties.

It’s possible that you’re not used to talking about being sad or feeling low.

However, if you are worried about your mental health, talk to your primary care physician as soon as possible. You’re not alone—help is available!


For living a healthy life, taking care of your mental health is on par with your daily physical health.

Untreated mental health conditions, like depression and anxiety can make diabetes worse, such as when left untreated. In a similar vein, diabetes can exacerbate pre-existing issues related to mental health.


here are two types of eating disorders (n.d.). Data retrieved from https://www.diabetes.org/



Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top