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Diabetes and Mental Health: The Importance of Emotional Well-being

Samantha Green

Diabetes imposes a huge challenge on a person’s emotional and mental well-being. The condition of diabetes gives rise to multiple issues that exert pressure on health as well as emotional well-being. There are numerous medical instances where patients suffer from anxiety and depression after the detection of diabetes. Read more…

Introduction

Rohan, a 43-year-old man was showing symptoms of frequent urination while working in the office. He felt thirsty all the time. His work efficiency was reduced. Sitting in front of the computer for eight-nine hours was making him fall sick. He was frequently taking leaves due to fatigue.

Rohan discussed the situation with one of his friends, Aman. Aman suggested Rohan visit a doctor. After a series of medical tests, Rohan was detected with Diabetes. The doctor gave him a meal plan.  His favorite foods were not on the list. The restrictions on his diet and medicines started disturbing his mental peace.

He said to Aman, “I will never be able to lead a normal life again.”

Such thoughts were overwhelming. Instead of recovering, Rohan was becoming sicker. He remained depressed all the time. The active boy at work, now hardly interacted with anyone. Diabetes had taken a toll on his health as well as his emotional well-being.

Aman understood the condition of his friend. He took Rohan to a mental health specialist. Rohan went to visit the mental health specialist frequently. He slowly started understanding that Diabetes is not as complex a disease as it seems. Even Aman started educating his friend on the disease. Rohan then spoke to other patients who were also suffering from Diabetes. Slowly he started understanding the condition.

Communication was eradicating his fear and anxiety. With the help of his physician, mental health specialist, friend Aman, and the support group, he gained confidence and returned to his everyday life.

Finally, one day he said to Aman, “There is nothing to worry about. I will follow the diet plan, take medicines on time and visit my physicians regularly. Very soon, I will start leading a completely normal life again. “

Diabetes and complex Mental Health- How are they related?

Diabetes imposes a huge challenge on a person’s emotional and mental well-being. The condition of diabetes gives rise to multiple issues that exert pressure on health as well as emotional well-being. There are numerous medical instances where patients suffer from anxiety and depression after the detection of diabetes.

Recovery from any disease needs a stable emotional condition. A mentally strong patient recovers more quickly than a person suffering from emotional turmoil. A complex mental state combined with a health condition like diabetes intensifies the disease and slows down the rate of recovery. Stable mental health requires a regulated lifestyle, proper medicines, and daily exercise. The impact on mental health can hurt the body if not treated on time. In this article, we will focus on the importance of emotional well-being while fighting Diabetes and Consult with Best Diabetologist in Bangalore.

Linking Diabetes and Mental Health

  • Based on the research, medical experts have found that diabetic patients suffer from eating disorders, mental pressure, and anxiety.
  • Individuals with Diabetes suffer from chronic conditions. Taking self-care leads to frustration, lack of motivation, and increased stress.
  • One of the crucial steps in maintaining levels of blood sugar in the body is dietary regulation. Modification in meal plans takes a toll on an individual’s health leading to complex mental health conditions.
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Impact of Diabetes on Mental Health

Diabetes leads to various stressful conditions. The occurrence of mental health issues has devastating impacts on individuals and their family members. The impacts are-

  • Depression– Modern life is already stressful. The condition of Diabetes worsens it. Diabetic patients face challenging situations like regular intake of medicines and proper food. This might lead the patients to have adverse mental conditions. Patients will be constantly under pressure to take medicines on time and act according to the advice of the specialist. This leads to depression in patients undergoing Diabetic treatment.
  • Distress– A diabetic patient will continuously worry about his health. The thought of increasing complexities may be harmful to health. Fear related to the occurrence of hypoglycemia might create unnecessary stress on the patient. The fear that –
  • What if, I forget to take timely medicines?
  • What if, I am not taking care of myself properly?
  • What if, the food I am taking is not beneficial for my health?

             creates worry and distress among the patients.

  • Eating disorders– A Diabetic patient has to change food habits to lead a healthy life. Healthcare specialists suggest food items and prepare diet plans according to the needs of the individual. However, such restrictions have a reverse effect on individuals. They indulge in binge eating.  Some individuals end up having unhealthy food that worsens their condition. After consuming restricted food, the individuals start panicking about their health. Such disorders in meal planning have adverse effects on the diabetic state and mental health of the patient.
  • Anxiety– Living with Diabetes might lead to anxiety among patients. Anxiety is the cause of numerous questions, like-
  • Is my level of blood sugar under control?
  • Are lifestyle modifications helping me?
  • What are the possible complications that can rise due to Diabetes?

Trying to find answers to such questions will create anxiety. And, anxiety leads to restlessness, lack of sleep, or constant feelings of irritation which will complicate the condition of the Diabetic patient.

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How to enhance emotional well-being in Diabetic management?

Enhancing emotional well-being requires the following-

  1. Communication is the key– False notions create negative impacts on the minds of the Diabetic patient. Often people suffering from Diabetes do not have adequate knowledge about the disease. Such a situation creates confusion. So, the patients must communicate with their near and dear ones regarding their present condition.

Useful information from support groups, or a therapist will have a positive effect on the minds of the patients. A healthcare specialist also plays a crucial role in such a situation. Direct communication with experts or people suffering from Diabetes will result in a positive impact on the mental state of the patient.

  • Understanding of Diabetes– It is a known concept that education eradicates fear and leads toward enlightenment. Educating Diabetes patients about their condition and the treatment will help the patients to have a better understanding of their condition. It will lead to a stronger mental state and help patients to accept challenges more effectively.
  • Importance of a support group– Support groups may include people suffering from Diabetes or have dealt with a patient suffering from Diabetes. An individual suffering from Diabetes will have a better knowledge and understanding if he talks to patients who are undergoing similar treatment.
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Also, there are many groups on social media. Such groups of people might be discussing the topic of Diabetes. Social media posts, comments, and discussions will generate more awareness and create a feeling of oneness among fellow Diabetic patients.

  • Knowing your condition– You know your health conditions like no one. You can best answer the questions like-
  • Are the medicines suiting you?
  • Are the foods making you feel unwell?
  • Is there any discomfort that you are feeling?
  • Is the advice of your doctor helping you?

Based on your feeling, you can make decisions. Also, you can give the correct information to your doctor. Based on your information, the Doctor can ensure diagnosis and treatment. By knowing your condition, you will also understand the needs and requirements of your body. You will feel mentally strong and happy because of your awareness.

  • Identifying mental distress– An individual suffering from Diabetes suffers from mental distress. Such emotional upheaval leads to a change in the patient’s behavior. Friends, relatives, and well-wishers can provide emotional support by communicating with them. If situations become worse, patients should be taken to Mental health specialists. Mental health specialists will help patients to release emotional stress and find a solution to their problems.
  • Managing stressful situations– Our goal should always be happiness. No matter how difficult the situation is, we should remember that we will overcome it. Diabetic patients must not take stress. Stress can lead to unstable mental conditions. Stress can be avoided by-
  • Deep breathing
  • Meditation
  • Listening to music
  • Reading books
  • Engaging in hobbies

If standard remedies are not working, individuals can take help from professionals to reduce complexities in mental and health conditions.

  • Lifestyle change– A systematic lifestyle can work wonders for everyone. It helps in maintaining a person’s emotional well-being. A regulated lifestyle includes-
  • Balanced diet- Intake of food in the required quantity is essential. Food products that have a high level of sugar content in them are not suitable for Diabetic patients. Eat fruits that you love. Prepare recipes including your favorite vegetables. Diabetic patients must take the advice of a specialist to maintain a balanced meal plan.
  • Proper sleep- Maintain a systematic sleep cycle. An undisturbed and peaceful sleep will allow Diabetic patients to lead a happy and fulfilling life.
  • Drinking adequate water – Treat your body as a place of worship. Drinking an adequate quantity of water is necessary for maintaining a disease-free life. Water regulates body metabolism. It helps the body to stay hydrated.
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A person who has Diabetes should also take medicines as prescribed by the Doctor and visit a specialist regularly to monitor the levels of blood sugar. A changed and modified lifestyle will help individuals to stay healthy. It will also ensure emotional well-being for the patients who have Diabetes.

  • Regular physical activities– Physical activities help in proper blood circulation. It helps the body to stay active. An active person can release stress and anxiety. A sedentary life leads to inactivity. Inactivity makes a person lose focus and agility. A Diabetic patient can take up any physical activity that he enjoys. Even a thirty-minute brisk work is effective for health. A Diabetic patient following a fitness regime will stay happy and active throughout the day.

Why multidisciplinary approach is essential for emotional well-being?

 Maintaining emotional well-being is crucial. A patient who has Diabetes goes through a lot of health and emotional upheaval. It is not the work of a single person to eradicate anxiety and depression in a person with Diabetes. The approach should come from everyone dealing with such health issues. The collaborative effort should come from-

  • All the specialists are dealing with Diabetic patients. From primary healthcare providers, Diabetes specialists, and dieticians to mental health specialists, all should join hands to begin the change.

We should remember that we are working as a team. The chain, once broken, will aggravate the problem. So, every individual must collaborate and help eradicate the fear of Diabetes from patients and their families.

  • A crucial part of the process is training and development. Systematic and practical training sessions will equip healthcare professionals with better knowledge and understanding. They will be able to understand the psychological problems that are crucial for mental and emotional well-being.
  • Diabetes patients undergo medical tests periodically to determine the levels of blood sugar. Screening of mental health should similarly take place. Every patient who has Diabetes must be aware of their emotional state. Identification and follow-up from patients with emotional stability can reduce the complexity of any situation.

Conclusion

Diabetes can have adverse effects on mental and emotional well-being. The identification of unstable mental conditions in Diabetic patients is crucial. A comprehensive study of the disease and its treatments will help the patients understand the situation’s complexity. Mental distress, depression, and anxiety can lead to severe consequences. Mental well-being is vital to achieving an optimum health condition. A Diabetic patient must follow the instructions of a healthcare specialist.

An individual suffering from Diabetes must lead a systematic lifestyle to avoid health and emotional complexities. Any one person will not be able to eradicate fear from the patient who has Diabetes. The healthcare unit should collaborate and take the initiative in reducing emotional distress. We must remember that sound knowledge, expert guidance, and emotional support can help a person emerge victorious against the battle called Diabetes.


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