Diabetes and Depression

Depression and Anxiety seem to be epidemic in this generation. Whether this is a cold hard fact or simply a result of over- diagnosis, it is a statement worth noting. Similarly, Diabetes is the fastest growing chronic condition in Australia. In light of this, it is interesting that whilst human beings are discovering new frontiers in science, technology and space, their is still an awful lot of mystery involved in the inner world of ‘soul health’. Nevertheless, as we grow in our knowledge of the human psyche, there are some things that are helpful to know. Some of this ‘newish’ knowledge is in the area of neuroscience and the effects of diet, exercise and medical conditions such as diabetes on mental health and a persons emotional life.

Several studies suggest that people diagnosed with diabetes are twice as likely to get depress. Amongst other possible links, depression will generally effect motivation, and thus effect a persons efforts to eat well and exercise- the very things that help a person avoid diabetes. The interconnectedness of mind and body is an established fact, and the interplay between diabetes and depression is a plausible example of this.depression and diabetes

Psychcentral.com recently posted an article on the association between diabetes and mental health. Below is a segment of it.

Causes underlying the association between depression and diabetes are unclear. Depression may develop because of stress but also may result from the metabolic effects of diabetes on the brain. Studies suggest that people with diabetes who have a history of depression are more likely to develop diabetic complications than those without depression. People who suffer from both diabetes and depression tend to have higher health care costs in primary care.

Despite the enormous advances in brain research in the past 20 years, depression often goes undiagnosed and untreated. People with diabetes, their families and friends, and even their physicians may not distinguish the symptoms of depression. However, skilled health professionals will recognize these symptoms and inquire about their duration and severity, diagnose the disorder, and suggest appropriate treatment http://psychcentral.com/lib/diabetes-and-depression/2/

I was talking to a friend recently who had struggled with anxiety and what he had thought was burn out. Interestingly, he had since been diagnosed by a health practitioner with high blood pressure- and once addressed, the anxiety reportedly decreased. Another possible example of mind- body interplay. In a society that seems to reward fast paced, stress induced living, together with quick fix food and limited exercise time, the risk of not only physical illness but mental illness can be a reality. The connection between physical and mental health is obvious.

Be intentional about your health, cover all bases. We are complex beings. For one person, a change of diet may be the key to better emotional health, for another less stress. For still another counselling may be required or for someone else a visit to your GP might be the order of the day.

Nick Gwynn