Managing diabetes: Emotions

Updated On Jan 12, 2022

Diabetes patients are twice as likely to suffer from depression as those  without diabetes. Only 25 to 50% of diabetics with depression are  diagnosed and treated.

Symptoms of depression vary from mild to severe, and include:

  • Feeling sad or empty
  • Losing interest in favorite activities
  • Overeating or not wanting to eat at all
  • Not being able to sleep or sleeping too much
  • Having trouble concentrating or making decisions
  • Fatigue 
  • Feeling hopeless, irritable, anxious, or guilty
  • Having aches or pains, headaches, cramps, or digestive problems
  • Suicidal thoughts 
  • Anger
  • Frustration 
  • Hopelessness 
  • Fear
  • Guilt and shame 

Negative impact

Stress may make it harder for you to take good care of yourself. Stress hormones can cause your blood sugar levels to fluctuate, and being sick or injured can cause your blood sugar to rise. Stress can lead to other health problems or make them worse if it continues for a long period of time.

Managing emotions 

Stress and anxiety can also be reduced by:

  • Getting active: Walking can be calming, and the effects can last  for hours.
  • Practicing relaxation exercises, like yoga or meditation.
  • Text or call a friend who understands you (not someone who is causing you stress).
  • Taking some “you” time. If you’re working on something, take a break. Take a walk, read something fun-whatever helps you recharge.
  • Get enough sleep, limit alcohol and caffeine, and eat healthy food.
  • Mindfulness meditation 

Training in mindfulness has been shown to address depression, stress, anxiety, and chronic pain, all of which have been implemented with better glycaemic control, diabetes management, and increased quality of life

Low blood sugar can feel like anxiety, and vice versa. If you don’t recognize which one it is and don’t treat it properly, it may be difficult for you. Test your blood sugar if you’re feeling anxious. If it’s low, take medication to raise it.


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