Type 2 Diabetes Guide

Diabetes and Depression - Recognizing the Symptoms

People with diabetes often exhibit signs of depression. The link between is unclear, but together they are increased cause for concern: depression makes it difficult for people to take care of themselves, and in diabetics, is particularly important to keep blood glucose levels under control.

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Depression can and should be treated. People who are depressed are less likely to follow their plan, resulting in poor glucose management and higher risk for the development of . Poor physical health can also impact your mental well-being, leading to a vicious cycle.

Symptoms of Depression

Signs or symptoms of depression in diabetics can include:

  • Repeated bouts of poor blood glucose management, resulting in , , or even hospitalization.

  • Extreme , often with no discernible reason.

  • Poor A1C results.

  • A halt in menstruation.

  • Repeated bouts of binge-eating or drinking ().

  • Behavioral issues: restlessness, irritability, inability to concentrate, impatience, anxiety, easily angered.

  • Physical issues: headaches, upset stomach, diarrhea, muscle aches, and excessive sweating.

  • Unintentional weight gain or loss.

  • Loss of interest in favorite activities, hobbies, etc.

  • Trouble falling asleep, or waking often during the night.

Getting Help

While it is normal to feel "down" every so often, a mood swing that lasts more than a few weeks could be depression. It can be difficult to tell someone that you're feeling depressed. However, depression is a serious condition -- and even more so in diabetics who need to be feeling mentally-well in order to engage in a good diabetes self-care routine.

If you notice symptoms of depression, talk to your doctor and ask for help. Depression can be treated. Medication and psycho-therapy are most often used in some combination, depending on the person being treated. Ask your doctor for a referral to a mental health professional who is experienced in treating depression in diabetics. Always provide every healthcare professional you see with a complete list of medications you take (including insulin), and the dosages. Since everyone responds differently, medications may need to be adjusted until the right combination can be found for you.

It is not uncommon to find diabetes and depression together. It is important to get assessed and begin treatment quickly, so that you can continue to take good care of your health.



The information on this website is based on our own research and personal experience, and is not a substitute for medical advice. Questions about your health and individual situation should be directed to your doctor.