Diabetes and Mental Health – Anger, Burnout, Compulsive Eating, and Depression

Diabetes and Mental Health – Anger, Burnout, Compulsive Eating, and Depression

Emotions in Diabetics So what do diabetics experience emotionally? Managing a complex disease in life. According to some estimates, if the incidence of depression is 5% in the general population, it is as high as 15-20% in diabetics; worse, in diabetics with complications, it is even higher. How Do We Monitor the Mental Health of Diabetics? More importantly, even after having diagnosed a diabetic with mental health issues, the next steps, including a possible notification to patients’ care providers, including mental health specialists, seems to be missing. Provider Care From the provider end, approaches aimed at integrating mental healthcare with primary or secondary care can work. Such apps or tools can help physicians assess and diagnose diabetics’ mental health, and assist in deciding whether to either treat the patient themselves or refer them on to mental health experts. Although this approach may already have been leveraged, and not necessarily for diabetes, it may still seem to be a cumbersome approach. To the best of our knowledge, no specific approach for diabetes exists, but mental health service providers like Mindcare Solutions allow primary care providers to work with mental health professionals via video solutions in a telehealth format to provide holistic care to their patients. The scientific evidence exists to prove that mental health can have a significant impact on disease management and recovery for patients, not just diabetics.

Constantly Checking Social Media During A Tragedy Hurts Your Mental Health
Study Says Instagram Is Ranked The Worst Social App For Causing Young People To Feel Depressed
What your Instagram posts might reveal about experiencing depression
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google+
  • Buffer
  • Pinterest
  • LinkedIn
World Diabetes Day

World Diabetes Day (WDD) is celebrated annually on November 14 with the aim of increasing awareness of the effects of diabetes and the complications caused by the disease. The number of diabetics in the world stands at 415 million as of 2015. If the epidemic of ‘Diabetes’ were a country, it would come in at third place in terms of population, behind only China and India. But the magnitude of this problem needs no explanation. There is awareness not only of the issue and of the steps being taken to curb the problem by governments, academics, medical device manufacturers, pharmaceutical companies, payers, digital health stakeholders, industry associations and patient groups. But while the focus is usually on the physical aspects of diabetes and its serious complications, there is less emphasis on the emotional burden and psychological distress that can come with the disease itself.

Emotions in Diabetics

So what do diabetics experience emotionally? A range of emotions really, especially considering everyone is aware of the physical consequences of the disease. Here’s a quick summary:

Emotion

Experienced Feeling
Anger When first diagnosed

Why Me?

Dwelling on how unfair life / diabetes is for themselves.

Denial

When first diagnosed/ early stages

Not me.

Getting accustomed to, and simultaneously being overwhelmed by the requirements of managing diabetes.

Burnout Later in life

Don’t want this disease.

Managing a complex disease results in frequent negative feedback coming from glucose meters, doctors or family members.

Depression

Any point post diagnosis

Low.

Isolated, maybe due to the extra work of managing the disease.

Anxiety Any point post diagnosis

Overwhelmed.

Managing a complex disease in life.

OTHER ISSUES

Eating Disorders Any point post diagnosis

Attempting to adhere to special diet requirements with the need for carbohydrate intake counting (insulin-dependent diabetics) can lead to eating disorders, which coupled with diabetes can be harmful.

Why Does This Matter For Diabetes?

An increasing body of scientific evidence suggests that mental health and physical health are intricately connected, to the point that some experts suggest that the two are in a reciprocal relationship. According to some estimates, if the incidence of depression is 5% in the general population, it is as high as 15-20% in diabetics; worse, in diabetics with complications, it is even higher. The corollary is also true: those with depression have a higher risk of developing diabetes. Most clinical and scientific studies agree that there is a bidirectional relationship between diabetes and depression. This, of course, does not dilute the incidence of the above outlined mental health issues that affect diabetics.

A depressed…

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This