Depression can impact anyone at any time and does not need to be a life-long illness. It comes in a wide range of intensities from low-lying depression called dysthymia to the more debilitating, Major Depressive Disorder (MDD). Depression can be an acute or a recurrent problem impacting all areas of life.
Depression is a complex issue that is difficult to define as it comes with many symptoms, and no one person presents the same way. Diabetes tends to complicate the diagnosis of depression, as many symptoms of high blood sugars are similar or identical to the symptoms of depression.
Most people living with depression are not the stereotypical individual that society has presented in movies, who lives on their couch all day, unable to function at any level. Most people living with depression work and function well enough to maintain relationships. Depression is a mood disorder that typically includes feelings of:
It may cause decreased enjoyment of previously enjoyed activities, increased or decreased sleep, increased or decreased appetite and a lack of interest in the world around them.
According to the American Association of Diabetes Educators, depression is 2 to 3 times more prevalent in people with both Type I and Type II diabetes.
Eliot LeBow, LCSW, CDE, is a diabetes-focused psychotherapist. His private practice, located in New York City and is also available via Skype. LeBow, who has been living with type 1 diabetes since 1977, treats the many diverse cognitive, behavioral, and emotional needs of people living with type 1 and type 2 diabetes.
All the advice included in this blog is therapeutic in nature and should not be considered medical advice. Before making any changes to your diabetes maintenance program, please consult with your primary physician or endocrinologist.