Diabetes is a rising public health concern worldwide, with a type 2 diabetes epidemic on the rise. Many people are struggling to improve their diabetes control. It is because of the underlying mental health and social issues.
Poor diabetes control has huge consequences for the individual. If left untreated, it can lead to blindness, stroke, and cognitive decline. One-third of people with diabetes suffer from psychological or social issues.
The issues impair the ability to manage diabetes on their own. There are serious consequences if doctors can’t identify and treat diabetes-related mental health issues early. Examples include the impact of financial, social, and medical pressures on society and the healthcare system.
This article will address the prevalence of mental health difficulties in type 1 and 2 diabetes. Also, the strategies for screening and treating diabetic patients who suffer from mental health issues.
How are diabetes and mental health connected?
Over the last two decades, understanding the biological basis of the connection between depression and diabetes has developed. Research shows that depression and type 2 diabetes intertwine. One increases the risk of the other’s onset, in that, severe depression raises the chances of type 2 diabetes developing.
There is evidence that diabetes distress is a distinct condition from major depression. People with diabetes experience difficulty because all their care involves self-management behavior. Therefore, they need to balance a wide range of behavioral obligations with their families.
In treating type 1 diabetes, self-examination is essential. It involves monitoring blood glucose levels and making adjustments to the daily insulin doses. In avoiding hypoglycemia, it’s important to make essential food and exercise choices. It helps maintain healthy blood glucose levels.
Living with diabetes comes with a wide range of diabetes-related distresses. An Example such as feeling overwhelmed by the diabetes routine. Also, diabetic patients often feel guilty when treatment is failing.
The medical burden and mental suffering experienced by patients with type 1 or 2 diabetes may not be severe enough to warrant a diagnosis of depression or anxiety. Even though it still leads to non-compliance with treatment and worse outcomes. Examples such as blood sugar fluctuations, kidney and eye problems.
How to deal with depression in people with diabetes
In managing diabetes-related psychological disorders, research supports the use of therapies. Examples like motivational interviewing and cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT). Psychological therapies show to improve patients’ glycemic control and improve their psychological well-being.
Psychotherapy and antidepressant medication efficacy trials have revealed moderate impacts on depression. For example, the collaborative care model has undergone efficacy testing.
The clinical trials included diabetes and depression patients in primary care. The tests showed significant improvements in depression, glucose control, and also medical cost reductions.
Why Testing for Diabetes-Related Mental Health Problems is essential
Diabetes is a widespread health issue that goes hand in hand with mental health problems. Clinicians aware of a patient’s mental health should support them in improving and to cope with diabetes complications. Certain “red flags” that show a high risk of linked mental health problems are simple to recognize and treat at an early stage.
In a diabetes mental health condition, it is critical to include a psychiatric perspective. At the very least, a psychiatrist will consider the psychological process that can work. Specialized psychiatric or psychological involvement is essential for some patients.
Including basic psychological strategies can help certain patients overcome their resistance to change. The methods are effective when added to psychiatry consultations.
It should be a priority to identify and address mental health issues in diabetic patients. It is because of the many transitions diabetic patients make in life. Often by change of location, socioeconomic status, or between pediatric and adult healthcare.
Adults with diabetes are more likely to experience mental health issues than the general population. The reason is they miss crucial medical appointments and that can have a negative outcome on their healthcare.
There is a significant possibility to incorporate mental health screening. It is also possible to include treatment in multidisciplinary diabetes care. Because it will improve diabetes mental health issues for patients, the general population and help cut healthcare costs.