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Diabetes and Depression: When Should You Talk To Your Doctor?

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Diabetes and Depression Symptoms

Diabetes and Depression: When Should You Talk To Your Doctor?

August 26, 2008


By: Laurie Edwards for Diabetes1


Having a bad day or experiencing moments of frustration are completely normal. After all, managing diabetes can be extremely stressful. But if your feelings of sadness or despair remain unabated for two weeks or more, it could be a sign of depression. Recognizing this and making use of appropriate self-screening methods are effective ways to address a potential problem before it progresses.


Diabetes and Depression

Research suggests that people with diabetes face a greater risk of developing depression than people who don’t have diabetes. Though there are no clear-cut explanations for this, there are certainly many factors that can contribute. Daily maintenance can be overwhelming, and you may feel isolated from family and friends by the demands of your disease.

Take Action
Steps to Getting Help
  • Speak Up. The most important thing you can do is to talk about your symptoms with your doctor. If you are depressed, you can start setting up a treatment plan and if there are physical factors contributing to your symptoms, you can deal with them.
  • Stick to your game plan. Even if you are feeling low or anxious about your diabetes, don’t give up your daily disease management.
  • Be creative. If you’ve done self-screening and your doctor can’t refer you to an appropriate counselor, expand your search by contacting nearby medical schools and local branches of societies of social workers, psychologists, or psychiatrists
  • Take the depression screener
  • Vent in our forums
  • If you’re experiencing difficulties keeping your blood sugars in check if you have diabetic complications, this sense of loss of control can also have negative effects on your emotional health. Since emotional and physical feelings are so closely intertwined, this can set up an ugly circle: the less control you feel you have, the less likely you are to stay motivated about your self-care.



    Uncontrolled diabetes can cause symptoms that look a lot like depression. For example, blood sugars that are too high or too low can make you feel jittery, anxious, or fatigued. Low blood sugars overnight can disrupt your rest, just as high blood sugars while you are sleeping can make you urinate more frequently, waking you up and lowering your quality of rest. It’s important to contact your doctor to rule out physical causes of these depression-like symptoms.


    Could you be depressed? Try our Depression Screener to learn more and take the next step towards feeling better.


    Discuss Diabetes and Depression in our Forums More Forums

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