Mental Health Tips For Dealing With Diabetes - Sugar.Fit
Metabolic Health

Diabetes And Your Emotions

Every disease comes with a condition of distress and fear. How people deal with an illness, its symptoms, and treatment affect their emotional health. Like any other disease, diabetes hampers not only your physical health but also your mental health. Every disease affects your emotional health, but the emotional impact of diabetes goes beyond. 

The emotional effect of Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes is the same. Rapid changes in mood and other mental symptoms like exhaustion, difficulty concentrating, and worry can be caused by variations in blood sugar levels. Diabetes distress is a disorder resulting from diabetes and has certain features in common with stress, depression, and anxiety. People with diabetes are more likely to experience mental health problems, such as sadness, anxiety, and an eating disorder.

How are Diabetes and Mental Health Connected?

Your thoughts, emotions, opinions, and attitudes may all have an impact on your physical health. Untreated mental health concerns can exacerbate diabetes, while diabetes complications can exacerbate mental health also. But, thankfully, if one improves, the other usually improves as well.

There is more than one way diabetes affects you emotionally. Below are some of the very common yet severe mental health problems that are connected with diabetes:

Anxiety and Stress

Anxiety is 20% more common among people with diabetes than among non-diabetics at some time in their lives. For some people, managing a chronic illness like diabetes is a big cause of anxiety.

Depression

When you are unable to control your diabetes adequately, problems such as heart disease and nerve damage increase the risk of mental health problems like depression, followed by stress and anxiety. Depression is 2-3 times as common in diabetics than in non-diabetics. 

Diabetes Distress

You can feel disheartened, anxious, frustrated, overwhelmed, or sick of dealing with diabetes care regularly as if diabetes is dominating you rather than the other way around. These overpowering emotions are referred to as diabetic distress. As per the research, 33-50% of diabetics experience diabetes distress.

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Ways To Improve Mental Health

If you are a patient with diabetes or are suffering from mental health issues, here are some effective mental health tips that will help you manage your mental and physical health:

  1. Start your day on a positive note: Having a morning ritual is beneficial, but it is also crucial to start your day on a positive note. Your mental and emotional health will benefit from expressing gratitude to yourself or someone else. 
  2. Exercise regularly: Exercise is essential to maintain a healthy weight and has many positive effects on your heart. Physical activity also has positive effects on the brain, which helps in strengthening cognitive function, enhancing mood, and lowering stress and anxiety.
  3. Adequate sleep: An appropriate sleep schedule is vital to a healthy functioning mind and body. The amount and quality of sleep you get can significantly affect how you feel the next day. A sound sleep pattern will help you wake up fresh and happy. 
  4. Set objectives for yourself: Nothing compares to the sense of achievement. Achieving a goal may help you feel more confident and deserving, whether it is shedding 10 pounds, saving for a down payment, or landing that promotion you've been targeting.
  5. Meet people: When you are struggling with mental health, you won’t feel like meeting people or getting up, but remember, doing that would mean giving in to the problem. If your mind is busy detaching itself from the world, go meet some people! It will feel good, give you a sense of association, and make you feel loved, even when your mind thinks otherwise.
  6. Write your feelings down: Keeping a journal is the most effective way to improve your mental health. It acts as a friend you can talk to freely without fear of burdening anyone else. You can easily express your concerns by writing them in a journal. 
  7. Therapy: No matter how much you want to run from this, therapy helps if the tips are not working for you. Taking good care of your mental health will automatically lead to emotional care. It will allow you to let your heart out to your therapist, who will also ensure personalised mental health tips.
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Bottomline

Whether it's stress, anxiety, depression, or diabetes distress, it's not easy to live with a mental health problem, and it's even tougher to live with a disease like diabetes. In this case, your life becomes all about handling the “physical and mental health problems“, quality of life becomes a distant topic, and all you are hoping for is survival. Diabetes and emotional health are interconnected; hence, one needs to be in equilibrium for others to help you live a balanced life. Follow the above mental health advice for a balanced and happy life. 

FAQs

How does type 2 diabetes affect you emotionally?

The emotional impact of type 2 diabetes includes rapid changes in mood and other mental symptoms like exhaustion, difficulty concentrating, and worry, which can be due to variations in blood sugar.

Does diabetes change your personality?

Although you might believe that diabetes only affects your pancreas, it can also hurt your mental and emotional well-being. One of the effects of having too high or too low  blood sugar levels is mood swings. Anxiety, stress, and sadness might also manifest.

Does diabetes cause mental confusion?

Over time, having high blood sugar levels can have detrimental effects, including heart disease and stroke. However, very low sugar can also lead to serious adverse effects, including disorientation, cognitive loss, and potentially an increased chance of long-term cognitive decline.

Do emotions affect blood sugar levels?

Yes, emotions affect blood sugar levels. Even the good feeling you experienced might cause worry occasionally. Our bodies create chemicals like cortisol when we are under mental or physical stress, and these hormones can cause blood sugar levels to rise even if we haven't eaten.

References

https://www.diabetes.org.uk/guide-to-diabetes/emotions

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