Living with diabetes can be difficult. Sometimes you might feel tired, frustrated, or stressed. But if you feel sad and hopeless for two weeks or more, you might have a more serious condition: depression.
People with diabetes are about twice as likely to have depression as those without diabetes. And one study in the Archives of General Psychiatry shows that the combination may be especially harmful. Women with either diabetes or depression were less likely to die, especially of heart disease, than women with both.
A Vicious Cycle
Doctors aren’t sure why diabetes and depression so often go hand in hand. Hormones may play a role. Emotions linked to diabetes could trigger depression. These include isolation from friends and family as you cope with your disease, tension with your doctor, and distress from worsening complications.
What is clear is that depression can make your diabetes worse. Feeling down makes it seem harder to check your blood glucose, eat a healthy diet, exercise, and avoid smoking. Depression also causes changes in your body that may make it harder to use insulin properly.
Breaking the Chains
Recognizing depression is the first step toward healing. Talk with your doctor if you or someone you love has these signs every day for two weeks or longer:
- Loss of interest in former hobbies or activities
- Trouble falling asleep or staying awake
- Eating more or less
- Low energy
- Thinking about suicide or self-harm
Depression can be treated. Medicines, counseling, or a combination of the two can help. And with new types of therapies, including online counseling, can make getting help easier than ever before.
Your Rite Aid pharmacist is available to answer your medication questions. Prefer to ask by phone or online? wellness+ with Plenti members have 24/7 access to a pharmacist via online chat, or call 1-800-RITEAID.
“Anxiety and depression among outpatients with type 2 diabetes: A multi-centre study of prevalence and associated factors.” A.K. Khuwaja1 et al. Diabetology & Metabolic Syndrome. Vol. 2, no. 72, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21171976.
“Association of Depressive Symptoms With Impaired Glucose Regulation, Screen- Detected, and Previously Known Type 2 Diabetes.” P. Mäntyselkä et al. Diabetes Care. Vol. 34, no. 1, pp. 71-6, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20929992.
“Depression.”American Diabetes Association. www.diabetes.org/living-with-diabetes/complications/mental-health/depression.html.
“Depression.” American Academy of Family Physicians. www.familydoctor.org/online/famdocen/home/common/mentalhealth/depression/046.printerview.html.
“Diabetes and Depression.” A. Campayo et al. Current Psychiatry Reports. Vol. 13, no. 1, pp. 26-30, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=A.+Campayo+et+al.+Current+Psychiatry+Reports.
“Haemoglobin A1c, fasting glucose and future risk of elevated depressive symptoms over 2 years of follow-up in the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing.” M. Hamer et al. Psychological Medicine. epub ahead of print, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21284915.
“Increased Mortality Risk in Women With Depression and Diabetes Mellitus.” A. Pan et al. Archives of General Psychiatry. Vol. 68, no. 1, pp. 42-50, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3081788/
“Web-Based Depression Treatment for Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetic Patients.” K.M. van Bastelaar, et al. Diabetes Care. Vol. 34, no. 2, pp. 320-5, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3024341/