Fighting diabetes can be an overwhelming experience! The changed lifestyle, constantly monitoring what you eat, its proportion, your medication, and keeping tabs on your blood sugar levels can ultimately take a toll on a person’s psychology. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), people with diabetes are 2 to 3 times more likely to have depression than people without diabetes, and only about 25% to 50% of those people get diagnosed and treated.
The responsibility of managing diabetes can be a tough task and hence calls for a collective effort, as diabetes can be a life-long condition for some. According to experts, it is important to tend to your emotional well-being, as that will help you take better care of your physical needs as well! According to the American Diabetes Association, these are the following symptoms to identify if a person is depressed:
- Loss of pleasure/interest: You no longer enjoy or take interest in doing things you used to like.
- Change in sleep pattern: You have trouble falling asleep, you wake often during the night, or you sleep more than usual during the day.
- You wake up early: You wake up earlier than usual and cannot fall asleep.
- Change in eating habits: You might eat more or less than you usually used to.
- Trouble concentrating: You can’t concentrate on the things you do because other thoughts or feelings get in the way.
- Loss of energy: You feel tired, lethargic all the time.
- Nervousness: You always feel anxious and nervous, and you can’t sit still.
- Morning sadness: You feel sad and guilty in the morning than you do for the rest of the day.
- Suicidal thoughts: You are thinking about ways to hurt yourself.
Tips to Improve Your Emotional Health
It is okay to feel sad, but not to the point that it slips into depression or anxiety. But, you may need help managing your emotions from time to time. It is okay to open up about your feelings and ask for help. Here are a few things you can follow to have a healthy attitude towards the condition.
Be good to yourself: It’s easy to think you don’t do enough or to feel worn down by constant monitoring of your health. You are going to mess it up once in a while, and it is important for you to not be hard on yourself when that happens. Also, find healthy ways to treat yourself when you’ve accomplished your goal. This will make you feel inspired to keep going and it won’t feel like a task all the time.
Exercise often: Exercising is known to releases chemicals called endorphins that trigger a positive feeling in the body. It lowers depression, anxiety, and stress. Yoga, the gym, swimming, or a simple walk in nature can help keep you calm and relaxed.
Get enough sleep: Everything’s harder when you’re tired, hence it is important to get a good night’s sleep. Create a nightly routine and get to bed at a good time every night.
Stay in touch, and stay open: See family and friends regularly and as often as possible. Talk to them, share your feelings and experience. This might make you feel stronger, knowing you are not alone and you have people that are with you in this together!
Take up some relaxation techniques: From deep breathing to meditation, try new ways that might help you to keep calm.
Diabetes affects much more than just blood sugar. It can lead to sudden mood swings that may cause an emotional strain on relationships and personal life as well. It is important to share your feelings, no matter how negative they might be, with your loved ones. It is always a better idea to ask for help when you need some. If you feel like you might be depressed, talk with your doctor or talk to a psychotherapist, and then work to overcome it. It might take time to overcome your depression, but once you have a plan in place, the process becomes simpler!