How to improve mental and emotional health in diabetes?

Diagnosis of diabetes can be a life-changing event. Type 1 diabetes, in which the body produces no insulin at all, or type 2 diabetes, in which the pancreas produces some insulin but not enough, can mean changes to your lifestyle that you may not be prepared for, as well as strain on relationships with friends and family. As you begin a new routine, it is critical to developing good habits for managing your mental health. Diabetes management requires being aware of your symptoms. Just as you take insulin to keep your blood glucose levels stable, it's critical to take precautions to avoid mental health crises by being aware of how you're feeling mentally and emotionally.

Control of your mind is as important as taking care of your body when it comes to living a healthy life. When left untreated, mental health conditions such as depression and anxiety can exacerbate diabetes, with fatal outcomes. Similarly, pre-existing diabetes can exacerbate mental health problems.

What Is the Relationship Between Diabetes and Mental Health?

A diabetes diagnosis can feel like a challenge not only to one's health but also to one's way of life because managing diabetes requires changes to one's daily routine. Your doctor may advise you to change your diet by eating certain foods, avoiding sugary beverages, or limiting your alcohol consumption, which can be difficult for anyone, regardless of a diabetes diagnosis. Additional responsibilities, such as tracking blood glucose and insulin, can be hard to recall at first, doctors' appointments can take time away from work, and the costs of appropriate care can be prohibitively expensive.

  • People with type 1 or type 2 diabetes are more likely to suffer from depression, anxiety, and eating disorders.
  • Diabetes patients have twice the rate of depression as the general population across the lifespan.
  • People with type 1 diabetes are twice as likely to have an eating disorder.
  • Bulimia is the most common eating disorder in women with type 1 diabetes, whereas binge eating is more common in women with type 2 diabetes.

Blood sugar fluctuations can be highly stressful. Blood sugar fluctuations can cause rapid mood swings and other mental symptoms such as fatigue, difficulty thinking clearly, and anxiety.

Diabetes distress is a condition that shares some characteristics with stress, depression, and anxiety. Diabetes distress, unlike depression, can be traced back to diabetes-related factors. Fear of hypoglycemia, or extremely low blood sugar levels, for example, can be extremely stressful. Diabetes distress can also be influenced by outside factors such as family and societal support, as well as health care services. Diabetes distress is estimated to affect 33 to 50% of people with diabetes at some point. While medication cannot usually cure diabetes anxiety, analysts claim that enhancing diabetes management strategies to reduce anxiety, psychotherapy, and support groups can be beneficial. 


One of the most significant challenges to treating mental health conditions in people with diabetes is the low detection rate. Up to 45 percent of mental health conditions and cases of severe psychological distress go undiagnosed in diabetes patients.

Diabetes treatment teams must be aware of the mind-body connection and provide holistic care. One way to accomplish this is to conduct regular mental health screenings during office visits. It is estimated that only about one-third of people with diabetes and mental health problems receive a proper diagnosis and treatment. This could be because perhaps the signs and symptoms that people experience when their blood sugar levels are too high or too low can be mistaken for depression or anxiety.

People with diabetes may experience discrimination when trying to discuss their psychological distress and may avoid mentioning them at consultations.

The American Diabetes Association recommends that treatment teams include a mental health specialist who is accustomed to the disorder and that people be scanned on a constant schedule. But even so, just several diabetes clinics offer mental health evaluations or incorporate counseling. And that is where online testing can be useful. Mental health screenings are a simple and effective way to evaluate whether your symptoms are associated with a psychiatric condition.

Do you have the feeling that something was not quite right?

Therapeutic approaches and Treatment

Psychological problems, like diabetes, can be handled. Having both simultaneously does not make one less treatable; they necessarily require alternative medications. Ask for information with your diabetes care squad about referring you to a mental healthcare professional such as a psychologist, therapist, or counselor. Your doctors can work together to develop a treatment protocol that will keep your mind and body healthy and strong.


Therapy is an extremely beneficial treatment option for people with and without mental health conditions. Psychotherapy is not only for trying to discuss your issues, it is also for solving issues. Experts can aid you in trying to work through the different issues which may be starting to cause you to stress, understanding your mental health condition and identifying triggers that may exacerbate things, and learning coping skills. Some common psychotherapies:

  • Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) (CBT). Cognitive behavioral therapy does have two primary elements. The cognitive dimension tends to work to produce meaningful opinions about your life. The behavioral component focuses on teaching you how and where to take healthy and nutritious activities. Cognitive behavioral therapy is commonly efficient for depressive episodes, anxiousness, and bipolar disorder, but it can be used with a variety of other conditions.
  • Group therapy enables us to communicate, resolve conflict, and problems - solving skills among many family members. Family therapy is widely used to treat eating disorders and bipolar disorder.
  • Dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT) teaches four key skills: mindfulness, stress management, emotional development, and effective communication.


About therapy, a wide range of medicines are readily accessible. When trying to decide on a medication-assisted mental health care plan, start debating your family history of depression as well as your diabetic condition with your mental medical professional.

Some evidence suggests that antidepressant drugs, such as Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, may help patients with type 2 diabetes control their sugar levels. One research reveals that taking antidepressant drugs is associated with a 95% increase in the likelihood that a diabetic's blood pressure will be controlled.   Other research shows that taking tricyclics and SSRIs may start increasing your risk of type 2 diabetes due to weight gain adverse effects.

Stress Reduction

A diabetes identification can cause chronic pressure which might also possibly cause a rise in blood sugar. Following your diabetes processes contribute can also be made even more difficult by strain. Find patterns, according to specialists; be aware of your level of stress each time you log your glucose levels and see if a situation occurs. If you notice a pattern, you can learn to recognize your stress warning signs and take action to reduce stress and blood sugar levels. Working with a professional to learn relaxation and coping techniques may be necessary.



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