Diabetes and depression: why it's normal and what you can do

Over time, living with diabetes can take its toll on a person. In fact, research has revealed that people living with diabetes have double the risk of sustaining depression in their lifetime. Regular testing, daily medication, healthy diet and physical activity become a normal part of the routine of a person living with diabetes, yet this doesn’t mean that it won’t wear a person down. However, much like management is needed for diabetes, it’s also important that mental health is not neglected. Low feelings, fatigue, withdrawal and difficulties concentrating may be symptoms. This article illustrates a few tips that can help when an individual is feeling low.

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- 1. Seek encouragement

Relying on family, friends, a support group and/or medical professionals is a great first step. By sharing struggles with someone else, it can help put issues into perspective and result in further advice.

Offline and online support groups are readily available for people with diabetes. Diabetes NSW has provided a list of support groups in NSW and ACT. You can find the full list here.

YouTube is a great source of informational videos on diabetes and management tips. There are also a variety of vloggers who share their own personal experiences with their subscriber community. We have previously shared the Dale Tribe’s videos to our customers; a daily vlogging family who are learning to navigate the challenges and successes associated with diabetes.

At IBD Medical, we also have the Support Port, a Facebook support group for our customers to connect with one another. Our Porters’ have been sharing recipe ideas, management tips, stories and questions. Click here to join the community.

Finally, it’s important to remember that these low feelings are valid and it is worth discussing with your local GP. Your doctor will be able to provide you with more advice and may refer you to see a psychologist. In Australia, Medicare provides a rebate for psychologist fees and there are also some providers that may bulk bill.

 2. Get active

Whether it be daily walks with a friend or an aqua aerobics class, there is a proven link between staying active and a positive outlook. Diabetes NSW conducts an 8 week “Beat It” exercise program for those looking to jump into doing physical activity for the first time. Call 1300 342 238 to learn more about the program and other programs in your area. Staying active is positive for both depression symptoms and for diabetes management.

If you're looking to take the first step, our range of Glucology Diabetic Copper based socks in quarter (active) length contain copper, which has proven anti-microbial efficacy. In wearing this TGA Class 1 Medical Device fabric, you will help to decrease your chance of diabetic-related foot amputations, whilst getting the foot and ankle support needed when exercising.

 3. Practice daily relaxation exercises

Taking a few minutes every day to slow down has a proven positive impact on mental health. There are a variety of relaxation activities, such as yoga classes, YouTube meditation videos and breathing exercises that are beneficial for clearing the mind. Headspace has a great guided meditation mobile application, which reminds users daily to take 5 minutes to do their walk-through breathing exercises. 

It’s important to remember that the low feelings associated with diabetes are normal but require attention. In Australia, the Diabetes Infoline: 1300 136 588 can provide further direction.

Our Services and Blog posts are NOT intended to substitute any professional medical advice or treatment and are offered for informational purposes only. Remember to always work with your doctor before changing anything about your medication or diabetes management. The above information is NOT medical advice.

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