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Diabetes mellitus is a metabolic disorder resulting in characteristic rise in plasma blood glucose. There is also a cascade of hormonal disturbance as the body try to compensate for this disorder.
The first time a person is diagnosed with diabetes, there seems to be a weight of emotions tied to that person. There is confusion as to what to eat, how to leave and loads of many questions like ‘why me’, ‘what will people say’ amongst others.
The initial reaction or response to this early stage goes a long way to tell how someone copes with diabetes later in life. The early stage of diagnosis if not properly managed by the doctor and relations, then depression automatically finds a root.
Depression could result if one no longer take interest or pleasure in things you used to enjoy doing, you have trouble falling asleep, wake often during the night, or want to sleep a lot more than usual, you wake up earlier than usual and cannot get back to sleep, you eat more or less than you used to, you quickly gain or lose weight. Feeling down once in awhile is normal. But feeling really sad and hopeless for 2 weeks or more might be a sign of serious depression.
Research has shown that depression mostly arises in persons diagnosed with diabetes following periods of denial, anger and frustration.
Diabetes clinics cannot do without the services of Diabetes Educators who are crucial in handling the initial stage of diagnosis and the period of living with the condition.
It is important to make the patient realize that diabetes is not a death sentence, people can have a full and normal life even with diabetes. Relations of people with diabetes must be made to know their responsibilities of care and support. Diabetes must be handled as a team, where the person with the condition is the team leader who takes decision in other for the goal to be attained.
Relations must be on the watch for signs of depression and inform the physician or any member of the diabetes care team promptly.
The following are useful tips on detecting depression:
• You have trouble concentrating, other thoughts or feelings distract you, you have no energy, you feel tired all the time, you are so anxious or nervous, you can’t sit still, you cry often, you feel you never do anything right and are a burden to others, you are less interested in sex, you sad or worse in the morning than you do the rest of the day, you feel you want to die or are thinking of ways to hurt yourself etc.
If someone Notice these sign in oneself or a relation or loved one call for urgent attention.
Some researchers are looking at the bidirectional tendency of depression and diabetes. Some school of taught suggest that people with depression if unattended to could develop type 2 diabetes but the mechanism is still hypothetical but one could infer that insulin resistance might be responsible.
Living with diabetes is not easy, considering the daily challenge of what to eat, what the blood glucose level is and the cost of medications.
Diabetes therefore should be seen as a journey not a destination, hence persons with diabetes requires a lot of support, encouragement and goodwill to make the journey without wearing the clothes of depression.