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.
Diabetes is a self-managed condition. This means that it is the person with diabetes, not their doctor, who is r Continue reading