Feeling down once in a while is normal. But some people feel a sadness that just won’t go away. Life seems hopeless. Feeling this way most of the day for two weeks or more is a sign of serious depression.
Depression and diabetes are two conditions that can sometimes go hand-in-hand. First, diabetes can increase the risk of depression. In fact, having diabetes doubles the risk of depression. Conversely, depression also can increase the risk of Type 2 diabetes.
Does diabetes cause depression?
All people with diabetes may not have depression. But studies show that people with diabetes have a greater risk of depression.
The stress of daily diabetes management can build. You may experience loneliness or set apart from your family because of all this extra work.
If you face diabetic complications such as nerve damage, or if you are having trouble keeping your blood sugar levels at prescribed levels, you may feel like you’re losing control of your diabetes. Even tension between you and your doctor may make you feel frustrated and sad.
It’s often a vicious cycle. Depression can get worse as the complications of diabetes get worse, and being depressed can stop people from managing their diabetes as effectively as they need to, which can lead to increased chances of long-term complications such as retinopathy, neuropathy or nephropathy.
Unfortunately, a large number of people suffering from depression and diabetes never receive help for the depression. It’s not even recognized by healthcare professionals as people who are depressed don’t communicate to their doctors about their thoughts and feelings or don’t realize that they are depressed.
Symptoms of Depression
Knowing the symptoms of depression is important for getting the help that’s needed.
· Loss of pleasure.
· Change in sleep patterns.
· Feeling restless or anxious for no apparent reason.
· Change in appetite.
· Feeling hopeless, helpless or worthless.
· Not being able to concentrate.
· Fatigue or loss of energy, feeling “dragged out” and tired.
· Suicidal thoughts.
· No interest in the things that used to bring pleasure.
If you have three or more of these symptoms, or if you have just one or two but have been feeling bad for two weeks or more, it’s time to get help.
When to get help?
If you have any of these symptoms of depression, then you should seek help. First, talk about it to your doctor. Some physical conditions can also be the reason of depression.
Uncontrolled blood sugar levels can also cause symptoms that look like depression. High or low blood sugar during day may make you feel tired or anxious. Low blood sugar levels can also lead to hunger and eating too much. If you have low blood sugar at night, it could disturb your sleep. If you have high blood sugar at night, you may get up often to urinate and then feel tired during the day.
Do not stop taking medication without consulting your doctor. Your doctor will be able to help you discover if it is a physical problem that is the root of your sad feelings.
Getting help for depression not only improves a person’s quality of life, it also can help people manage their diabetes better by giving them more energy and a more hopeful outlook towards life. Talking to a counselor or therapist can be helpful. Most prescription anti-depressant drugs are appropriate for people with diabetes and do not affect glycemic control. Nortriptyline (Pamelor, Aventyl), however, can affect blood glucose levels, so it should be used with caution to treat depression that is complicated by a co-existing diagnosis of diabetes.