Depression needs to be monitored as closely as diabetes. It’s important to be alert to its signs and symptoms.
Managing diabetes every day, and doing it well, can be overwhelming. It’s not uncommon for people with diabetes to develop depression. Trying to focus on doing the “right thing” all the time can be draining, and it can be disheartening when things don’t go right. It’s important to be alert for the signs and symptoms of depression. As diabetes can be diagnosed, monitored and treated, so can depression.
Know the signs
Depression often goes undiagnosed and untreated. Some people feel ashamed or embarrassed about the way they feel. Or they assume that it will “just go away.” Others may not even realize how serious it is.
There are signs to look out for. If you notice 5 or more of these symptoms, it can be a sign of depression and you should talk to your healthcare team.
- Feelings of sadness almost every day, throughout the day
- Not performing as well at school or work
- Changes in appetite or weight
- Problems sleeping
- Loss of interest in work, hobbies, people or sex
- Withdrawing yourself from family or friends
- Feeling hopeless, guilty or having low self-esteem
- Feeling agitated or sluggish
- Difficulty concentrating, remembering things, or making decisions
- Crying easily or wanting to but not being able to
- Feeling out of touch with reality
- Having thoughts of suicide (these should always be taken seriously; reach out to those around you right away)
If any of these feelings ring true, don’t suffer in silence. Reach out to your family, friends and healthcare team right away. You’re not alone.
Ways you can help yourself:
- Make time for activities - be it hobbies, socializing or exercise.
- Don’t isolate yourself. If you’re feeling low, the last thing you may want to do is see people. But try to reach out to those close to you in times of need or consider joining a support group for people with diabetes.
- Know when it’s time to seek help. Don’t feel ashamed of the way you are feeling – you deserve to feel your best. Call up a friend if you need to talk. If you think you have signs of depression, talk to your healthcare professional.
Get tips to cope with stress
Diabetes Canada. (2021, March). Mental health issues. Retrieved March 18, 2021, from https://www.diabetes.ca/resources/tools---resources/mental-health-issues