Psychological aspects of diabetes

The psychological aspects of diabetes have long been ignored. Stress, distress and even depression are disorders of a higher incidence in the part of the population with this disease. In recent years, however, thanks to a multidisciplinary approach to intervention, there has been an increasing emphasis on these factors that are so relevant in a patient ‘s life.

This series of metabolic changes that mediate diabetes mellitus completely changes a person’s daily life. Thus, the close relationship between type 1 and type 2 diabetes and mental health problems is sometimes a neglected fact. It is estimated that almost 50% of people with this disease will have a psychological disorder at some point. Moreover, the likelihood of depression, as various shows studies, twice in these patients.

There is evidence that the risk of depression increases directly in diabetic patients

The psychological aspects are there, they are obvious and cannot be neglected. Ignoring the psychosocial context of people with diabetes does not guarantee the best care for the needs of all diabetics and their families.. Proximity, empathy and adequate training of professionals who work with diabetes on a daily basis require that psychological intervention must improve the quality of life of these people.

Living with a chronic illness is not easy for anyone. Habits change, the way we treat our environment changes, and even the way we see ourselves changes. Diabetes mellitus is probably the most common condition but at the same time one of the most altering the daily reality of those who suffer from it.

Although type 1 diabetes usually begins in childhood, type 2 is the most common type of diabetes worldwide and accounts for 90-95% of cases. It starts as an adult, and is, in most cases, associated with poor eating and living habits, where insulin is no longer produced so that the body can use glucose as an energy source.

Aside from the causes of this common metabolic disorder, there are other realities that we need to keep in mind. It takes a holistic approach to this disease. Many doctors focus their attention (no doubt essential) on the physical-organic changes that diabetes can generate.: visual problems, kidneys, cardiovascular… All of this is important, but there is always an area that is neglected. An equally essential reality for that patient who has been diagnosed with diabetes. We talk, of course, about mental health.

a child with his mother representing the psychological aspects of diabetes

A major autoimmune disease for many patients

The psychological aspects of diabetes show, first and foremost, high blood pressure, fear and stress. We are facing a condition where the person and not the doctor is in charge of taking care of themselves every day. It is the patient who must exercise control, demonstrate glucose and make a decision. Outside of the dot, there is constant pressure to manage the disease itself. And it’s not an easy thing to do, it’s not easy for a child or an adult.

A) Yes, due to ongoing self-control of diabetes many people experience certain negative feelings about self-efficacy. Emotional distress is often present, and is sometimes compounded by other factors, such as eating problems, and even a certain feeling of helplessness at school or work.

The psychological aspects of diabetes are clear and very important. These show high pressure, fear and stress in the first place.

Diabetes and mental health

Prevalence rates of depression, as various reveal studies clinically, they are up to three times higher in patients with type 1 diabetes and twice as high in people with type 2 diabetes compared to the general population. Similarly, and for anxiety disorders, the incidence is equally striking. Diabetic patients are up to 40% more likely to suffer from this problem in relation to others.

As these studies reveal, rather than the strain of the disease itself, there are metabolic changes. The IS studies suggest that the inflammatory responses associated with diabetes itself may be involved in the development of depression. It has been found, for example, that pro-inflammatory cytokines interact with many of these brain regions and with the neurotransmitters that mediate this disorder.

swollen brain showing the psychological aspects of diabetes

The psychological aspects of diabetes, as we shall see, are clear and very important. A person who is psychologically ill will not be able to adequately manage their own illness. Therefore we need to apply that word which is so fashionable but which really offers huge utility in the treatment of disease.

We talk about a “holistic” approach where doctors, psychologists, nutritionists and social workers work with the person.. Diabetes does not have to limit a person’s quality of life. It is not even though we have adequate resources, support and training in all those areas that are related to the very good condition that affects us.

We will achieve it day by day, the first steps are already visible.

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