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How Does Diabetes Affect Your Mental Health

Diabetes And Mood Swings: Effects On Relationships

Diabetes And Mood Swings: Effects On Relationships

Diabetes is a condition that impacts the way a person's body uses sugar for energy. However, diabetes affects much more than blood sugar. It can impact nearly every body system and have an effect on a person's mood. Stress associated with managing diabetes as well as concerns about potential side effects can all contribute to changes in mood. In addition, the actual highs and lows of blood sugar levels may also cause nervousness, anxiety, and confusion. It is important for people to recognize their own individual symptoms of high or low blood sugar. They must also ensure they seek support for any concerning mental health symptoms they might experience. Watching these mood swings can often be difficult for friends and family to understand. However, learning why a person may experience mood changes related to diabetes and being supportive can help to promote a stronger, healthier relationship. Contents of this article: How do diabetes and mood swings go together? Diabetes can have many effects on a person's mood. For example, managing diabetes can be stressful. A person may be constantly worried about their blood sugar and whether it is too high or too low. Adjustments to their diet and constantly checking their blood sugar can also add to a person's stress and enjoyment of life. As a result, they are more likely to experience feelings of anxiety and depression. Blood sugar swings can cause rapid changes in a person's mood, such as making them sad and irritable. This is especially true during hypoglycemic episodes, where blood sugar levels dip lower than 70 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL). Hyperglycemic episodes where levels spike higher than 250 mg/dL may cause confusion in people with type 1 diabetes, but are much less likely to in those with type 2 diabetes. When a pe Continue reading >>

Diabetes And Mental Health - Anger, Denial, Fear & Depression

Diabetes And Mental Health - Anger, Denial, Fear & Depression

Mental Health - Anger, Fear, Denial & Depression Mental health is just as important as your body's health Diabetes diagnosis can often lead to anger, denial, fear or depression. These can range from mild feelings of irritation through to serious depression. Diabetes and mental health is a serious issue that needs better consideration and a range of care solutions. Like many mental health problems, those caused by diabetes are often underestimated or ignored. Anger is a common response to diabetes, and is completely natural. People who have been diagnosed with diabetes may wonder why it has affected them when many of their friends or relatives do not have the condition. Diabetes diagnosis is unfair, and sometimes anger can lead recently diagnosed diabetics to neglect their diabetes management or diabetes treatment. Denial is another common emotion felt following diabetes diagnosis. Denial is a difficult emotion, and happens when people refuse to believe that something has happened to them. Many people experience denial upon diagnosis. Fear is another common response to diabetes diagnosis. Fear occurs when contemplating the present and future managing diabetes causes fright. Diabetes is a serious condition that requires regular management, therefore fear is a natural response. However, if fear is preventing you from managing your condition it can become a serious problem. Diabetes can be a difficult condition to accept and it is not uncommon for mental health issues such as depression to occur before or following a diabetes diagnosis . Depression is a feeling of sadness that will go away, and it can seriously affect quality of life. If you have been feeling hopeless for more than a week you are suffering from depression. If you have been feeling hopeless for more than a Continue reading >>

How Diabetes Impacts Mental Health

How Diabetes Impacts Mental Health

Carrie Steckl earned her Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology with a Minor in Gerontology from Indiana University – Bloomington in 2001. She has spent over ...Read More In addition to marking the beginning of the holiday season, November is American Diabetes Month – and given the influx of unhealthy foods and practices that abound during this time of the year, I can’t help but wonder if the timing of this was strategically planned. When we think of diabetes, its physical manifestations and symptoms often come to mind first. After all, the vision problems, foot complications, hypertension, and high risk of wound infection due to slower healing weigh heavy on the minds of those with diabetes and their caregivers. However, diabetes affects people in a more insidious way that is no less important – it impacts mental health. Think about it. Diabetes is characterized by blood glucose (sugar) levels that are too high. The brain uses glucose for all of its functions, which include thinking, judgment, memory, emotions, and behavior. If we have too much glucose coursing through our body, our brain will be affected along with our eyes, skin, feet, and every other anatomical system. Here are a few ways that diabetes impacts mental health: Depression. People with diabetes are at a higher risk for developing depression. Scientists aren’t sure exactly why, but they theorize that it may be a combination of the way erratic blood sugar and insulin levels affect the brain as well as the psychological stressors associated with having a serious chronic disease. In addition, poorly controlled diabetes can create symptoms that mimic depression. Dementia. More and more research is finding that individuals who have diabetes are at higher risk of developing dementia in later life. One theory Continue reading >>

Type 1 Diabetes Affects My Mental Health | The Mighty

Type 1 Diabetes Affects My Mental Health | The Mighty

It is the meticulous monitoring and planning that wrecks havoc with my state of mind. My days are often planned around my food intake and the factors that may change my blood sugar reading. Food is not the only factor to consider when planning my day. Exercise affects it. I like to run and it can be a frustrating task to work out how the activity may affect my sugars. The weather. Stress. Amount of sleep. Menstruation. Illness. A hot bath. So many factors to think about. Imagine everything you do affecting your body. Time consuming? Only a little. I wake up and the first thing on my mind isnt my shopping list or impending bills. The first thing on my mind is what are my blood sugar levels? From the second I wake up to the moment I sleep, its on my mind. It never leaves. I cant switch it off. The worst thing isnt the injections, the bruises or the blood. Its the way a number on a screen can affect my mood. I credit my self-worth on a number. If the reading is good, I feel fantastic and successful, almost like a good diabetic. If the number is bad, I feel guilty, angry and worried. Ive felt guilty for enjoying a high carbohydrate cheesy pizza with my friends. Ive felt guilt for eating a doughnut.(Although, what contributes to a number being bad is mostly psychological. My bad might not be your bad.) In a restaurant recently, I ordered a virgin strawberry daiquiri, blissfully unaware of the sugar content until my mum mentioned it. A quick Google search told me the sugar content. Sometimes I let diabetes win, I let it get me down and restrict me from eating like everyone else, experiencing life like everyone else. But that one time with the cocktail, I thought, screw it. Im allowed to enjoy something sweet and sugary every now and again. My body might not agree with me, bu Continue reading >>

Dealing With Emotions: How Diabetes Can Affect Your Mood

Dealing With Emotions: How Diabetes Can Affect Your Mood

Having type 2 diabetes can affect not only your physical health but also your emotional health. Getting a diagnosis of diabetes adds an emotional weight onto your shoulders which can be challenging to carry day in and day out. Sometimes this weight can come out as other conditions such as anxiety or depression. There are multiple studies that have shown that external stressors, such as feelings of anxiety or depression, can lead to difficulties in managing self-care. Decreased physical activity, bad food choices, not regularly taking medication are some examples of poor self-care management. Anxiety and stress can lead one to taking up bad habits such as smoking or drinking excessively, which can put a person with diabetes at more risk for developing diabetes related complications. The Grief of Diagnosis When you are diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, you may notice that you start to experience a grieving process. Many people experience the same emotions associated with the loss of a loved one. When you consider the diagnosis of diabetes, it changes your life, you have lost something and you’ve lost your normal carefree life that you had before. These common emotions are explained in more detail below as well as various the ways you can learn to control these emotions or even overcome them. Common Emotions of Diabetes Diabetes is a chronic condition that requires diligent almost 24/7 management. Sometimes this type of schedule can seem like a burden. When this happens, other common emotions or conditions may manifest, causing even more difficulty in managing your blood sugar levels. Stress Stress is one of the most common emotions associated with having type 2 diabetes. Just the constant daily regimen of testing, ensuring you’re taking your medications and monitoring y Continue reading >>

Depression And Mental Health

Depression And Mental Health

Depression is a very real condition and is becoming increasingly common in the general population; approximately one in four people will experience depression some time in their adult life. For people who live with diabetes, this figure is even higher. Up to 50% of people with diabetes are thought to also have a mental illness such as depression or anxiety. People with depression and diabetes may find it hard to maintain daily diabetes care Diabetes Australia and SANE have developed a booklet ‘The SANE Guide to Good Mental Health for people affected by diabetes’ which explains the relationship between diabetes and mental health and what you can do to look after yourself Depression is not just low mood but a serious illness. People with depression find it hard to do normal activities and function from day to day. Depression has serious effects on physical as well as mental health. Research shows that having diabetes more than doubles the risk of developing depression. Living with a chronic condition like diabetes, coping with biological and hormonal factors plus needing to manage the condition on a daily basis may increase the risk of depression. Depression can increase the likelihood of developing diabetes complications. People with depression may find it harder to deal with everyday tasks. Over time, managing diabetes (regular blood glucose testing, taking medication, following a healthy eating plan and regular physical activity) can take its toll. This may increase a person’s risk of depression, which may in turn lead to their usual diabetes care being neglected. A person may be depressed if for more than two weeks they have: Felt sad, down or miserable most of the time OR Lost interest or pleasure in most of their usual activities and Experienced symptoms in at Continue reading >>

On The Association Between Diabetes And Mental Disorders In A Community Sample

On The Association Between Diabetes And Mental Disorders In A Community Sample

Results from the German National Health Interview and Examination Survey Abstract OBJECTIVE—To determine the relationship between mental disorders and diabetes in a representative community sample. RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS—This was a cross-sectional study. Data on diabetes and HbA1c values were obtained by structured questionnaires and by laboratory assessments. Current psychiatric disorders were diagnosed by a modified version of the Composite International Diagnostic Interview (CIDI). RESULTS—People with diabetes (PWD) were not more likely to meet Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Psychiatric Disorders, 4th edition (DSM-IV) criteria for at least one mental disorder than were individuals without diabetes. However, a different diagnostic pattern occurred compared with the general population: odds ratios (ORs) for anxiety disorders in PWD were higher (OR 1.93, 95% CI 1.19–3.14). Although PWD had higher prevalence rates of affective disorders, the relationship between diabetes and affective disorders was not statistically significant after controlling for age, sex, marital status, and socioeconomic status. In contrast, the relationship between diabetes and anxiety disorders remained significant after controlling for these variables. In contrast to individuals without mental disorders, PWD with affective or anxiety disorders more frequently had adequate glycemic control. CONCLUSIONS—Diabetes was associated with an increased likelihood of anxiety disorders. The association between mental disorders, diabetes, and glycemic control should be evaluated carefully in terms of potentially confounding sociodemographic variables, sample characteristics, and definitions of the disorders. During the last years, the comorbidity of mental disorders with chronic health co Continue reading >>

Impact Of A Type 2 Diabetes Diagnosis On Mental Health, Quality Of Life, And Social Contacts: A Longitudinal Study

Impact Of A Type 2 Diabetes Diagnosis On Mental Health, Quality Of Life, And Social Contacts: A Longitudinal Study

Aims The aim was to examine whether a type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) diagnosis increases the odds of psychological distress, a worsening in overall quality of life, and a potential reduction in social contacts. Method Longitudinal data were obtained from the 45 and Up Study (baseline 2006–2008; 3.4±0.95 years follow-up time). Fixed effects logistic and negative binomial regression models were fitted on a complete case on outcome sample that did not report T2DM at baseline (N=26 344), adjusted for time-varying confounders. The key exposure was doctor-diagnosed T2DM at follow-up. Outcome variables examined included the Kessler Psychological Distress Scale, self-rated quality of life, and four indicators of social contacts. Results A modest increase in the odds of psychological distress associated with T2DM diagnosis (OR=1.30) was not statistically significant (95% CI 0.75 to 2.25). A T2DM diagnosis was associated with a fivefold increase in the odds of a participant reporting that their quality of life had become significantly poorer (OR 5.49, 95% CI 1.26 to 23.88). T2DM diagnosis was also associated with a reduction in times spent with friends and family (RR 0.88, 95% CI 0.82 to 0.95), contacts by telephone (RR 0.95, 95% CI 0.87 to 1.02), attendance at social clubs or religious groups (RR 0.82, 95% CI 0.73 to 0.91), and the number of people nearby but outside the home that participants felt they could rely on (RR 0.92, 95% CI 0.86 to 0.98). Conclusions A T2DM diagnosis can have important impacts on quality of life and on social contacts, which may have negative impacts on mental health and T2DM management in the longer term. This is an Open Access article distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which perm Continue reading >>

Adult Diabetes: Tips To Improve Your Mental And Emotional Health

Adult Diabetes: Tips To Improve Your Mental And Emotional Health

Have trouble falling or staying asleep, or you sleep during the day Think about suicide -- you want to die or you think of ways to hurt yourself If you have at least three of these symptoms -- or youve been feeling down and have had one or more of the symptoms for more than 2 weeks -- you may be depressed. Diabetes distress. The constant work of managing diabetes can pile on top of lifes other responsibilities. Sometimes, you may feel like you need a vacation from it. Recently, doctors have given this burden a name: diabetes distress. Its more than just worry. Its the toll diabetes has on your mental health: a mix of anxiety, frustration, depression, stress , and more. Everyone with diabetes runs into it. But if its constant and you feel like youre getting burned out, its a problem. If sadness slips into depression or stress into anxiety, you should get help. Talk to your doctor or therapist about how youre feeling. You may need help managing your emotions. But you can take some practical steps to improve your well-being. Be good to yourself. Its easy to think you dont do enough or to feel worn down from everything. To balance that, you might: Exercise often. It lowers depression, anxiety, and stress . Yoga , the gym, or a simple walk in nature can all help. Get enough sleep . Everythings harder when youre tired . Create a nightly routine and get to bed at a good time. Nix the blame game. No ones perfect. If you mess up, go easy on yourself. Reward yourself. Find healthy ways to treat yourself so it doesnt feel like work all the time. Reward yourself when you meet goals. Check your plan. Make sure your plan works for you and not the other way around: Adjust your goals. If you keep missing your goals, maybe you set the bar too high. Dial it back and find easy wins to bu Continue reading >>

How Diabetes Impacts Your Mental Health

How Diabetes Impacts Your Mental Health

WRITTEN BY: Mark Heyman, PhD, CDE How Diabetes Impacts Your Mental Health is part of our Mental Health series. Type 1 isn’t just about counting carbs, checking BGLs and administering insulin. The disease takes an emotional and psychological toll as well. Check out other clinical information and personal stories about Mental Health. When I tell people I am a psychologist who specializes in diabetes, they usually look confused. Most people think of diabetes as a physical condition and have never really thought about the mental aspects with living with the condition. Even some people with diabetes are surprised that there are organizations like CDMH that focus on diabetes and mental health. They know that living with diabetes is hard for them, but often they are surprised to hear that their concerns are actually (and unfortunately) quite common. What is it about diabetes that is so hard? I tend to think about diabetes and mental health issues very broadly. While some people with diabetes have a mental health condition (that may or may not be related to having diabetes), there are many others who struggle with issues that are very real, but which may not meet the (sometimes arbitrary) criteria for a mental health diagnosis. Psychology is the study of how situations, emotions and relationships in our lives interact and impact our behavior. I think that this definition provides us with a framework we can use to talk about how diabetes impacts mental health. Situation Diabetes is a self-managed condition. This means that it is the person with diabetes, not their doctor, who is responsible for taking care of him or herself on a daily basis. Diabetes involves making frequent, sometimes life or death decisions under sometimes stressful and physically uncomfortable circumstances Continue reading >>

How Diabetes Affects Mental Health

How Diabetes Affects Mental Health

How Diabetes Affects Mental Health What Exactly Is Mental Health? All of us suffer from mental health problems at times, and such temporary problems do not necessarily lead to mental illness. However, being mentally unhealthy limits our potential as human beings and may lead to more serious problems. Mental ill health refers to the kind of general mental health problems we can all experience in certain stressful circumstances; for example, work pressures can cause us to experience: poor concentration mood swings and Such problems are usually of temporary nature, are relative to the demands a particular situation makes on us and generally respond to support and reassurance. Mental Health is about : How we feel about ourselves How we feel about others How we are able to meet the demands of life Mental health includes our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It affects how we think, feel, and act. It also helps determine how we handle stress, relate to others, and make choices. Mental health is important at every stage of life, from childhood and adolescence through adulthood. Early Warning Signs Of Mental Health Problems Experiencing one or more of the following feelings or behaviors can be an early warning signs of a problem: Eating or sleeping too much or too little Pulling away from people and usual activities Feeling numb or like nothing matters Having unexplained aches and pains Feeling helpless or hopeless Smoking, drinking, or using drugs more than usual Feeling unusually confused, forgetful, on edge, angry, upset, worried, or scared Yelling or fighting with family and friends Experiencing severe mood swings that cause problems in relationships Having persistent thoughts and memories you can’t get out of your head Hearing voices or believing things th Continue reading >>

Emotions & Blood-sugar Levels: How Diabetes Can Affect Your Mood

Emotions & Blood-sugar Levels: How Diabetes Can Affect Your Mood

by John Zrebiac, L.I.C.S.W., and Gail Musen, Ph.D. Diabetes can affect both your physical and mental health. A diagnosis of diabetes certainly adds a huge emotional weight, which can often manifest as depression, anxiety or some other emotional issue. The same goes for the stress of managing diabetes 24/7. Recently, Joslin researchers discovered a link between high levels of glutamate (a neurotransmitter in the brain that is produced by glucose) to symptoms of depression in people with type 1 diabetes. The study showed increased levels of glutamate in the prefrontal area of the brains of such people — an area associated with both higher-level thinking and regulation of emotions. At the same time, the study showed a link between high levels of glutamate and poor glucose control, , and lower scores on some cognitive tests. We believe that if health care practitioners emphasize good glucose control, it may help reduce the probability that patients with diabetes will also become depressed. Clinical depression is more than the normal response of feeling down for a couple of hours or days. It is more dramatic — taking you down further and longer. A psychologist would diagnose clinical depression if a patient has five or more of these symptoms for at least two weeks. At least one of these symptoms has to be depressed mood or loss of interest or pleasure. Depressed mood (feeling sad or empty) most of the day, nearly every day Markedly diminished interest or pleasure in all, or almost all, activities, nearly every day Significant weight loss when not dieting, significant weight gain (more than 5 percent of body weight in a month), or significant decrease or increase in appetite nearly every day Trouble sleeping, or sleeping too much, nearly every day Feeling agitated or slug Continue reading >>

5 Questions About Type 1 Diabetes And Mental Health Answered

5 Questions About Type 1 Diabetes And Mental Health Answered

5 Questions About Type 1 Diabetes and Mental Health Answered We interview Dr. Beverly Adler about her work tending to the mental health needs of the diabetes community. Dr. Beverly Adler (aka Dr. Bev, right) is an award-winning certified diabetes educator and diabetes psychologist. She has combined her first-hand knowledge of living with Type 1 diabetes with a PhD in clinical psychology to serve the mental health needs of those within the diabetes community. Shes also written two self-help books and many articles, and does speaking engagements. We caught up with her via email to ask her a few questions about mental health care for people with Type 1 diabetes. What has been your experience, as a mental health professional, working with people with diabetes? When I see patients who are newly diagnosed, they are generally stressed and feel overwhelmed with all the information which they have to learn. I try to help them reduce their anxiety levels. Many people with diabetes are in denial and dismiss the seriousness of living with this chronic illness. I think they so fear the possibility of serious complications in the future that they hide their heads in the sand like an ostrich. Some people are so angry about their diagnosis that they have a hard time managing a self-care regimen. My goal with everybody is to help them accept their diabetes. I think it helps them to know that I also live with diabetes and can be a role model for them. Our goal is to do the best that we can which does not mean being perfect, since there is no such thing. How would you recommend a person with Type 1 diabetes cope with stress, specifically pertaining to living with this chronic condition? This is advice I follow myself: Take one day at a time. Worrying about the future when you live with a Continue reading >>

Diabetes And Psychiatric Disorders

Diabetes And Psychiatric Disorders

Patterns of co-occurrence of diabetes and psychiatric disorders Comorbidity of diabetes and psychiatric disorders can present in different patterns. First, the two can present as independent conditions with no apparent direct connection. In such a scenario both are outcome of independent and parallel pathogenic pathways. Second, the course of diabetes can be complicated by emergence of psychiatric disorders. In such cases diabetes contributes to the pathogenesis of psychiatric disorders. Various biological and psychological factors mediate the emergence of psychiatric disorders in such context. Third, certain psychiatric disorders like depression and schizophrenia act as significant independent risk factors for development of diabetes. Fourth, there could be an overlap between the clinical presentation of hypoglycemic and ketoacidosis episodes and conditions such as panic attacks. Fifth, impaired glucose tolerance and diabetes could emerge as a side effect of the medications used for psychiatric disorders. Treatment of psychiatric disorders could influence diabetes care in other ways also as discussed in subsequent sections [Box 1]. Diabetes and psychiatric disorders interact in other ways as well. Certain substances of abuse such as tobacco and alcohol can alter the pharmacokinetics of the oral hypoglycemic agents. Moreover, the presence of a comorbid psychiatric disorder like depression could interfere with the management of diabetes by influencing treatment adherence. Similarly certain disorders such as phobia of needles and injections can present difficulties with investigations and treatment processes such as blood glucose testing and insulin injection. Also patients with psychiatric disorders are less likely to seek treatment. Such delays would postpone detection Continue reading >>

Physical, Mental & Social Effects Of Diabetes

Physical, Mental & Social Effects Of Diabetes

Like any long-term illness, diabetes can affect physical, mental and social well-being. The hallmark abnormality with diabetes is high blood sugar, or glucose. Exposure to high glucose levels often damages small and large blood vessels over time, leading to a variety of possible physical complications. Diabetes can also affect mental health, as it is associated with an increased risk for depression and may affect thought processes and memory. The stresses and demands of living with diabetes sometimes affect interpersonal and social relationships as well. The physical, mental and social effects of diabetes are interrelated, influencing short- and long-term health. Blood Vessel Damage High glucose levels damage the small blood vessels of the retina, the vision-perceiving tissue at the back of the eye, potentially causing permanent vision loss. Chronic kidney disease commonly develops with longstanding diabetes related to small vessel damage in these organs, which can lead to kidney failure. High glucose also damages large blood vessels, causing hardening of the arteries and the development of blockages that obstruct blood flow to the heart and brain. This type of large vessel damage increases the risk for heart attacks and strokes. The nerves controlling the functions of various body organs are also commonly damaged due to persistently elevated blood sugar levels. This can lead to a variety of problems. Slowed stomach emptying, bloating and constipation are common manifestations of diabetes nerve damage. Disturbance of the nerves controlling bladder contraction leads to urine retention. Damage to nerves that control the heart and blood vessels often leads to a rapid heart rate and dizziness on standing. Damage to nerves responsible for sensation commonly cause tingling, b Continue reading >>

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