Links between diabetes and depression and how to cope with them

26 May 2020

Depression and diabetes are perhaps some of the most severe illnesses that start with the letter D. But now, some studies are saying that there may be something other than the letter D that links these two illnesses. These studies have demonstrated that having diabetes can lead to an increased risk of developing depression.

While we aren't yet sure of why this is so, some scientists claim that it could be because of the metabolic effects that diabetes has on the brain. It could also be because of the toll that managing diabetes can take on mental health.

The reverse could also be true, some studies argue. It could be that people with depression are disproportionately dealing with diabetes. That's why some doctors are recommending that people with a history of depression be tested for diabetes.

Of course, nothing is conclusive yet. One interesting theory being put forward is that alterations in brain chemistry caused by diabetes may be a factor that increases the likelihood of diabetes in patients. A good example of some of these changes is the damage that results from diabetic neuropathy.

However, it's also equally important to note that changes in the brain due to depression can lead to increased complications from diabetes. Basically, we know that there's a connection between both illnesses, but we don't know which causes which.

The Symptoms Of Depression For People With Diabetes

Managing diabetes can be a depressing experience for some. If you experience this and do not feel your mood lifting in a few weeks, then you should probably see a doctor. However, on the whole, the symptoms of depression for people with diabetes is mostly the same with others. Some of these symptoms include

  • Feeling insomnia or sleeping way too much
  • feeling lethargic
  • Inability to focus
  • Feeling of "morning sadness"
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Self-harm

If you're experiencing these symptoms, conduct your doctor right away.

What Can Cause Depression In People With Diabetes

While it is possible that having diabetes and managing it may lead to depression, it's also important to note that these two illness do not always have a connection. However, it's most likely that diabetes and depression are caused by much of the same factors.

These include;

  • obesity,
  • hypertension,
  • inactivity
  • and family history.

How To Cope With Depression

There are three major ways to deal with depression.


There are many kinds of antidepressant medication you can take if you're clinically depressed. These medications can have a positive effect on your mental health within a very short period. However, you must note that these drugs can only be prescribed. Your doctor knows which treatment is best for you, so you should speak to them concerning your options.

Lifestyle Change

Studies have shown that obesity is one of the leading causes of depression. To snap out of this, you have to make a conscious effort to live an healthier life. This includes eating healthy food and exercising regularly. If you feel exercising takes up too much time, then you should probably buy a desk bike like the Deskbike V9 from Flexispot. With the desk, you can workout even while working. See? No more excuse.

Exercising doesn't only help you to get into proper shape, it also releases tonnes of serotonin in your brain. A lifestyle change doesn't only mean exercising. It also means getting close to friends and family, building a support system, and generally avoiding stressful and anxiety-inducing situations.


Psychotherapy can be really great if you plan on reducing the symptoms of your depression. Taking with a therapist can help you come to terms with your life, and can help set you on the right path for the future. Since therapy helps you understand yourself better, you'll come out knowing what triggers your depression, and you'll be armed with the techniques that would help you deal with it.