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Diabetes and depression: Coping with the two conditionsBy Mayo Clinic staff
Original Article: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/diabetes-and-depression/AN02011
- With Mayo Clinic endocrinologist
Maria Collazo-Clavell, M.D.read biographyclose window
Maria Collazo-Clavell, M.D.Maria Collazo-Clavell, M.D.
Dr. Maria Collazo-Clavell is board certified in internal medicine, endocrinology, diabetes and metabolism. She's a consultant in the Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes, Metabolism & Nutrition at Mayo Clinic and an associate professor at College of Medicine, Mayo Clinic.
The Aibonito, Puerto Rico, native has been with Mayo Clinic since 1994.
She's a member of the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists, the American College of Endocrinology, the American Diabetes Association and The Endocrine Society.
Dr. Collazo-Clavell is medical editor of diabetes content on Mayo's health information website and for "Mayo Clinic The Essential Diabetes Book." Her clinical interests include management of type 1 and type 2 diabetes, obesity and nutritional disorders.
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Diabetes and depression: Coping with the two conditions
What's the connection between diabetes and depression? How can I cope if I have both?
from Maria Collazo-Clavell, M.D.
If you have diabetes, you have an increased risk of developing depression. And if you have depression, you have a greater chance of developing type 2 diabetes. The good news is that diabetes and depression can be treated together. And effectively managing one can have a positive outcome on the other.
How they're related
Though the relationship between diabetes and depression isn't fully understood:
- The rigors of managing diabetes can be stressful and lead to symptoms of depression.
- Diabetes can cause complications and health problems that may worsen symptoms of depression.
- Depression can lead to poor lifestyle decisions, such as unhealthy eating, less exercise, smoking and weight gain — all of which are risk factors for diabetes.
- Depression affects your ability to perform tasks, communicate and think clearly. This can interfere with your ability to successfully manage diabetes.
Managing the two conditions together
- Diabetes self-management programs. Diabetes programs that focus on behavior have been successful in helping people improve their metabolic control, increase fitness levels, and manage weight loss and other cardiovascular disease risk factors. They can also help improve your sense of well-being and quality of life.
- Psychotherapy. Similarly, participants in psychotherapy, particularly cognitive behavioral therapy, have reported improvements in depression, which has resulted in better diabetes management.
- Medications and lifestyle changes. Medications — for both diabetes and depression — and lifestyle changes, including different types of therapy coupled with regular exercise, can improve both conditions.
If you have diabetes, watch for signs and symptoms of depression, such as loss of interest in normal activities, feelings of sadness or hopelessness, and unexplained physical problems like back pain or headaches.
If you think you might be depressed, seek help right away. Your doctor or diabetes educator can refer you to a mental health professional.Next question
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- Depression. American Diabetes Association. https://www.diabetes.org/type-2-diabetes/depression.jsp. Accessed July 21, 2011.
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- What I need to know about physical activity and diabetes. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. http://diabetes.niddk.nih.gov/dm/pubs/physical_ez/physactivity.pdf. Accessed July 21, 2011.
- Van Steenbergen-Weijenburg KM, et al. More co-morbid depression in patients with type-2 diabetes with multiple complications. An observational study at a specialized outpatient clinic. Diabetic Medicine. 2011;28:86.
- Fisher EB, et al. Behavior matters. American Journal of Preventive Medicine. 2011;40:e15.
- Van der Feltz-Cornelis CM, et al. Effect of interventions for major depressive disorder and significant depressive symptoms in patients with diabetes mellitus: A systematic review and meta-analysis. General Hospital Psychiatry. 2010;32:380.