The emotional and mental cost of diabetes

Confession time…

Talking about the emotional and mental costs of diabetes nearly left me speechless. In some places in the corresponding video, I was without words or most definitely the “right” words. Constantly dealing with a chronic condition such as type 2 diabetes can take a toll on a person financially, physically as well as in the mental health area.

The Emotional/Mental Cost of Diabetes

There is no doubt that dealing with any sort of illness or condition can lead to emotional or mental health costs. depression

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there is a distinct connection between mental health and diabetes.

As the article states, “Thoughts, feelings, beliefs, and attitudes can affect how healthy your body is. Untreated mental health issues can make diabetes worse, and problems with diabetes can make mental health issues worse. But fortunately if one gets better, the other tends to get better, too.”

There is a very real condition called diabetes distress which looks and “acts” like depression but doesn’t respond well to medications typically used to treat depression or anxiety.

Some of the approaches that have been shown to help, according to the CDC include:

  • Make sure you’re seeing an endocrinologist for your diabetes care. He or she is likely to have a deeper understanding of diabetes challenges than your regular doctor.
  • Ask your doctor to refer you to a mental health counselor who specializes in chronic health conditions.
  • Get some one-on-one time with a diabetes educator so you can problem-solve together.
  • Focus on one or two small diabetes management goals instead of thinking you have to work on everything all at once.
  • Join a diabetes support group pdf so you can share your thoughts and feelings with people who have the same concerns (and learn from them too).

I think the main thing I would stress is that it can feel pretty hopeless from time to time when things aren’t working with getting your type 2 diabetes condition under control.

Honestly, things have not been going very well for me in my pursuit over the past two weeks. Well, actually over the past two years!

It is hard for me to remain motivated, but like Kelly Clarkson says, “Whatever doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.” I am hoping this latest struggle will end with me coming out stronger on the other side!

Today’s Video

In today’s video, I talk about some mental health things related to dealing with the continual battle with type 2 diabetes.

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Disclaimer: I am not a medical expert. The posts that I write are not to offer medical advice, but merely what I am doing on my journey and things that I personally have found helpful. I do a lot of reading and researching from an academic standpoint and will use some content that comes from people in the medical profession. If you have questions or concerns about anything that I write, please contact me at karin@diabeteshealthnuts.com. Thank you! 🙂

About the author

Karin Nauber is a professional journalist who has worked in the newspaper business for the past 25 years. She is also a grandmother who, along with her spouse, is raising one of their granddaughters. Karin has nine grandchildren with whom she enjoys spending as much time as possible. Karin also was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes about 13 years ago and has faced many challenges with the condition. If you would like to contact her, please do so at karin@diabeteshealthnuts.com.

2 thoughts on “The emotional and mental cost of diabetes

  1. I can confirm everything that you wrote about in this article. My wife was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes 10 years ago and I can definitely say that her emotional health can definitely coordinate with her physical health. When her diabetes is under control she obviously feels better, and her mental health definitely improves.

  2. I completely understand. I have been dealing with type 1 diabetes for almost 19 years now and alongside this journey I have found myself in a loophole with my depression and anxiety. Depression not so much, but anxiety and stress often tends to sky-rocket my blood sugar. The mind is a powerful tool, but it can also be a destructive one. When dealing with diabetes we need to find balance between our physical and mental health. 

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