The Connection Between Diabetes And Depression

The Connection Between Diabetes And Depression

Depression symptoms might make it more difficult to control diabetes and avoid diabetes-related complications.

The Connection Between Diabetes And Depression

According to researchers, having diabetes increases your chance of getting depression. If you have diabetes-related health issues, your risk of depression might grow even more. It’s unclear why this is the case. According to some studies, this might be related to diabetes’ metabolic influence on brain function as well as the toll that day-to-day treatment can take.

It’s also probable that individuals who suffer from depression are more prone to developing diabetes. As a measure, it is advised that patients with a history of depression be examined for diabetes.

Source - Good Housekeeping

Research On Diabetes And Depression

Although additional study is required to completely understand the relationship between diabetes and depression, it is obvious that there is one.

Diabetes-related changes in brain chemistry are hypothesised to be linked to the development of depression. Damage caused by diabetic neuropathy or clogged blood arteries in the brain, for example, may lead to the development of depression in diabetes patients.

Changes in the brain caused by depression, on the other hand, may increase the risk of problems. Studies have revealed that individuals who suffer from depression are more likely to have diabetic problems, but it has been difficult to pinpoint which factors contribute to this. It is unknown if depression raises the likelihood of problems or vice versa.

Depression symptoms might make it more difficult to control diabetes and avoid diabetes-related complications.

According to 2011 research, patients with type 2 diabetes who also exhibit depressive symptoms had higher blood sugar levels. Furthermore, according to the findings of a second 2011 research, those who have both illnesses are 82% more likely to suffer a heart attack.

Are The Signs Of Depression Different In Diabetics?

For others, just coping with and managing a chronic condition like diabetes may be daunting. If you are unhappy and your sorrow does not go away after a few weeks, you may be suffering from depression.

Common symptoms include:

  • no longer finding pleasure in activities that you once enjoyed
  • experiencing insomnia or sleeping too much
  • loss of appetite or binge eating
  • inability to concentrate
  • feeling lethargic
  • feeling anxious or nervous all the time
  • feeling isolated and alone
  • feeling sadness in the morning
  • feeling that you “never do anything right” 
  • having suicidal thoughts
  • harming yourself

Poor diabetes control might sometimes result in symptoms of depression. For example, if your blood sugar levels are too high or too low, you may suffer heightened worry, restlessness, or fatigue. Low blood sugar levels may also make you tremble and sweat, both of which are indications of worry.

Consult your doctor if you are suffering signs of depression. They can help clarify if depression is causing your symptoms and, if necessary, make a diagnosis. They may also collaborate with you to create a treatment plan that is tailored to your specific circumstances.

It’s likely that the responsibilities of treating a chronic condition like type 2 diabetes cause depression. This may eventually make it difficult to manage the condition.

Both conditions seem to be caused and impacted by the same risk factors. They are as follows:

  • family history of either condition
  • obesity
  • hypertension
  • inactivity
  • coronary artery disease

It is possible, though, that your depression is making it tougher for you to regulate your diabetes physically, mentally, and emotionally. Depression may have an impact on all aspects of self-care. If you’re depressed, your diet, exercise, and other lifestyle choices may feel the consequences. As a result, blood sugar management may deteriorate.

Diagnosis Of Depression In Diabetic Patients

If you are having signs of depression, you should consult with your doctor. They can tell you if your symptoms are due to inadequate diabetes control, depression, or another health issue.

To reach a diagnosis, your doctor will first examine your medical history. If you have a family history of depression, inform your doctor at this time.

Following that, your doctor will undertake a psychological examination to understand more about your symptoms, thoughts, behaviours, and other relevant aspects.

They may also do a physical examination. In certain situations, your doctor may order a blood test to rule out other underlying medical issues, such as thyroid issues.

How To Deal With Depression

Depression is usually treated with a mix of medication and psychotherapy. Certain lifestyle adjustments may also aid in the relief of your symptoms and the enhancement of general wellbeing.


Antidepressant drugs come in all sorts of types. The most widely recommended drugs are selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI) and serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRI). These drugs may help lessen any depression or anxiety symptoms that may be present.

If your symptoms do not improve or worsen, your doctor may advise you to try a new antidepressant prescription or a combined treatment plan. Always ask your doctor about any possible side effects of any drug he or she suggests. Some drugs may cause more serious adverse effects than others.


Psychotherapy, often known as talk therapy, may help you manage or reduce your depression symptoms. Psychotherapy comes in many different forms, including cognitive behaviour therapy and interpersonal therapy. Your doctor can help you decide which choice best meets your requirements.

Psychotherapy’s overall aim is to:

  • recognize potential triggers
  • identify and replace unhealthy behaviours 
  • develop a positive relationship with yourself and with others
  • promote healthy problem-solving skills

If your depression is severe, your doctor may advise you to seek outpatient therapy until your symptoms improve.

Lifestyle Changes

Regular exercise may help improve your symptoms by increasing the levels of “feel good" chemicals in your brain. Serotonin and endorphins are two examples. Furthermore, this activity stimulates the formation of new brain cells in the same way as antidepressant drugs do.

Physical exercise may also help with diabetes treatment by lowering weight and blood sugar levels while improving energy and stamina.

Other lifestyle modifications include:

  • eating a balanced diet
  • maintaining a regular sleep schedule
  • working to reduce or better manage stressors
  • seeking support from family and friends


Recognising your vulnerability to depression is the first step toward therapy. First, consult with your doctor about your situation and symptoms. They may engage with you to obtain a diagnosis and design a treatment plan that fits you. Psychotherapy and antidepressant drugs are often used in treatment.


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