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5 Keys to Overcome Depression From Diabetes

By Jaye Marno

Diabetics often suffer from depression. One study posits that twenty to forty per cent of all diabetics have at least minimal to mild depression at any given time, and that ninety per cent will suffer some degree of depression in any given five-year span.

But which came first -- the diabetes or the depression? There is a lot of evidence that the physical effects of diabetes on metabolism and hormones lead to depression. The near overwhelming task of daily diabetes treatment also lends to a sense of helplessness that can lead to depression.

Now there is some evidence that some degree of depression or emotional stress can be one of the "triggers" for the onset of diabetes. The causes for diabetes are of course far more complex than stress. There are numerous risk factors involved, most of which are more pronounced in the onset of diabetes than emotional stresses. However, that there is a relationship between diabetes and depression is clear.

What can be done to combat depression from diabetes? Here are five important keys.

1 - Information and Education: Depression is often associated with helplessness and hopelessness. One step to combat this is to continually be informed about diabetes. Just the fact and activity of researching and reading about diabetes and its treatments is a step toward hope and of doing something about it. So an ongoing education should always be pursued, through books, magazines, websites, support groups and so on.

2 - Proper Treatment: It's important to have a good doctor and diabetes care team. With their counsel, you can establish the right diet, medication, exercise and so on. However, most of the responsibility for your diabetes treatment is up to you to manage -- which heavy responsibility is often part of the depression. In cases where the depression is more than minimal to mild, your doctor may determine medical treatment for the depression as well as for your diabetes.

3 - A Systematic or Methodological Approach: It takes a great deal of effort every day to control and treat diabetes. Even if you don't have diabetes but are caring for someone who does, you know that it can be overwhelming even without the effects of the disease itself weakening your resolve and abilities. This too can lead to feeling helpless and hopeless.

It is important, then -- perhaps vital -- to systematize, categorize and prioritize your care. Goal-setting and time management skills can help you to bring everything together and make it work. When you know what to do and when to do it and are confident in your system, it brings a great lift and sense of relief.

4 - The Right Attitude: The right attitude is not, or at least should not be, dependent on your feelings and emotions. On the other hand, the right attitude is more than simple "positive thinking". It begins with who you are as a human being, your core beliefs and life-expectations. You need to develop convictions about who you are and what you want from life based on your beliefs and expectations, not based on your feelings and emotions. Focusing your thoughts on these things rather than on how you happen to feel will help transform your attitude.

5 - Support: No person with diabetes should think or feel that they are all alone in their battle with their disease. Their family and friends certainly should be supportive and encouraging, but even in those cases where there is not support from family or friends, there are diabetes support groups available to help and befriend. Look for them through your doctor's office, the local hospital, library, college or school. There are support groups and forums abounding on the Internet (though one should be wary and discerning about in formation on the Internet). A lot of support is often aimed at helping one another overcome depression.

These keys work together to help combat the effects of both diabetes and depression. These are not "five simple steps". They each take time and effort, and each one is necessary. But the payoff should be a confident answer to helplessness and hopelessness and a buffer to feelings of despair and depression.

To overcome depression from diabetes, you need solid information, the right attitude, and a system to put it all together. Read about it at

Jaye Marno is an internet writer specializing in goal-setting and time management with a focus on Type 2 diabetes. Read this and other articles by Jaye at

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