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3 in 5 Diabetes Patients Struggle With Mental Health

Health Research
Last Updated Aug 12, 2020

A study by Diabetes UK found that three in five people with diabetes also experience emotional or mental health issues.

The study of 8,500 people revealed 64% of diabetes patience "often or sometimes feel down because of their diabetes." Also, one in three (33%) said diabetes got in the way of them or a family member doing the things they wanted to do.

The findings echo a 2011 Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) study that found 41.6% of Australian adults report medium, high, or very high levels of psychological distress.

This is often referred to as 'diabetes distress'. As PHN (Primary Healthy Network) South Western Sydney reports, "Depression can increase the likelihood of developing diabetes complications. People with depression may find it harder to deal with everyday tasks.

"Over time, managing diabetes (regular blood glucose testing, taking medication, following a healthy eating plan and regular physical activity) can take its toll. This may increase a person's risk of depression, which may in turn lead to their usual diabetes care being neglected."

Support for people with diabetes

Both Diabetes UK and PHN South Western Sydney say people with diabetes often need the support of a counsellor, psychologist or other healthcare provider to help manage their mental health.

In the UK, one in five people living with diabetes had used a counselling service to manage their diabetes and mental health. Yet only three in 10 people said they felt in control of their diabetes.

"This new research brings to light the isolation that can come from managing an invisible condition, and how detrimental living with diabetes can be to a person's emotional wellbeing without the right support," said Chris Askew, CEO of Diabetes UK.

If you have diabetes and are finding it hard to cope, speak with a trusted health advisor or contact Diabetes Australia. It's also National Diabetes Week from July 8-14.

Originally published on Jul 12, 2018

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Wellness inspiration of the week

People look for retreats for themselves, in the country, by the coast, or in the hills… There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind… So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself. — MARCUS AURELIUS