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Depression in Diabetes

What is Depression?

Depression is a mental health disorder that should not be taken lightly. More than 264 million people of all ages suffer from depression according to the World Health Organization.

The occurrence of depression is two or three times higher in people with diabetes with many cases remaining undiagnosed. With a lack of diagnosis and management, depression can lead to suicide since the patient would not know how to handle the mental illness.

The World Health Organization, notes that close to 800,000 people die due to suicide each year with the root cause being depression. Depression is a condition that is different from mere sadness arising from the challenges of everyday life.

Depression consists of severe and long-lasting feelings of sadness that are intense and can cause the affected person to suffer greatly and function poorly at school, work, or in day-to-day activities.

Managing Depression in Diabetes

While diabetes patients tend to have a higher risk of experiencing depression, all hope is not lost as there are ways in which depression can be managed. At first, depression would have to be diagnosed.

The doctor would then carry out a physical examination and ask the patient questions to understand his/her lifestyle. Depression can manifest in various ways. A patient may report changes in behavioral patterns, moods, and habits.

Some individuals who are clinically depressed may withdraw or be in a state of apathy. Others may become irritable; have irregular sleep and eating patterns.

For instance, an individual may either sleep or eat excessively or experience the opposite. Depending on the severity of depression, a doctor may prescribe medication such as antidepressants and counseling.

Also, a patient with severe depression is often referred to a facility with either psychologist, nurses, psychiatrists, or occupational therapists for further support.

Other ways of dealing with depression, include exercise, which is important as studies show it can increase energy levels while reducing fatigue. Eating a healthy diet and basking in the sun for 15 minutes a day helps too.

Engaging in your favorite hobby and even caring for a pet may help in combating depression also. Pets have been found to be good companions for individuals who live alone.

Other ways of dealing with depression include positive self-talk where you do not focus on negative events around you but see the beauty of good things to come.