World Health Day is coming soon; on April 7, we’ll be banding together as a global community to focus on some of the most pressing healthcare issues of our time. This year’s theme is a simple one: Beat Diabetes. That diabetes remains a ravenous disease is no great surprise. What may come as a surprise is that there is a close connection between diabetes and depression.
This is not to say that one of these conditions “causes” the other. The relationship is much more complicated than that. What can be said is that the daily management of diabetes care can be stressful—and often, stress contributes to depression. The work of diabetes care can also cause a person to feel cut off from friends and family—a sense of social isolation that can, again, contribute to depression.
Depression and diabetes can also form a vicious cycle; diabetes’ symptoms include lethargy and a lack of energy, both of which can impede proper diabetic self-care, causing both conditions to grow worse. As such, it is critically important for those with diabetes to recognize and properly address the symptoms of depression.
Some of the most common symptoms include:
- Pervading feelings of hopelessness or despair
- Lethargy or the loss of energy
- Loss of interest in daily activities, relationships, hobbies, work, sex, etc.
- Abrupt changes in appetite or in weight
- Abrupt changes in sleep patterns
Those with symptoms of depression sometimes struggle to take care of themselves; this is not a sign of weakness, but a symptom of the depression. As such, it is imperative to reach out for help. Ask a loved one to encourage and support you, and reach out to WestBridge for treatment. For those with diabetes, depression is one of the most grievous of side effects—but with the right treatment, it can be beat.
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