When you’re first diagnosed with diabetes, you may find yourself going through the stages of grief over the loss of the life you once had: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. But those with diabetes are susceptible to more mental health issues, like burnout, generalized anxiety disorder, and even eating disorders related to managing the disease. The subgroup that runs the greatest risk of diabetes-related mental health issues includes those with limited access to good healthcare, resources, education, healthy food, and social support.
Depression is three times more likely to occur in people with diabetes compared to the general population, and this number is even higher in those with diabetic complications. Anxiety and depression can lead to overeating, drinking, and other destructive behaviors, all of which are especially dangerous if you have diabetes. And if you’re stressed, you may experience high blood pressure, poor glycemic control, and mental and physical fatigue.
Here are some practical steps you can take to manage your diabetes:
- Seek therapy.
- Seek a certified diabetes educator.
- Join a support group.
- Talk to friends and family.
- Set reminders for taking your medication.
- Take medication as prescribed.
- Name your emotions and accept them.
- Accept your condition.
- Take control of your situation by getting help.
- See a functional medicine doctor to get your hormone levels checked.
- Practice mindfulness, meditation, exercise, and doing things you love.
- Keep track of foods that make you feel bad or spike your blood sugar, and avoid them.
Still struggling to manage your diabetes? You may find it helpful to use technology to help track your moods, physical activity, medication, and food intake. Some popular diabetes management apps are Glooko, MyNetDiaryPro, BeatO, all available in app stores.
If you have diabetes and experience issues with your emotional and mental health, tell your doctor right away so you can begin treatment.