Know Some Tips to Improve the Mental Health in Diabetes
The mind and body connection helps one understand how certain changes in the physical body can in turn affect and trigger the mental health of an individual. A person diagnosed with diabetes which in itself is a life-altering event undergoes several mental and emotional changes as well. Managing and living with diabetes not only takes a toll on one’s health but also throws a range of challenges at the patient. You may be instructed to shift to newer eating patterns, follow a routine, go for regular checkups or even limit your activities on medical grounds. The number of people encountering diabetes is rising each day and even children of ages 1 or 2 years are in the clutches of this medical condition.
Diabetes and mental health:
Diabetes is a chronic metabolic disorder that significantly impacts your physical, social, and mental health. It is a condition where your body is not able to produce adequate levels of insulin or is unable to appropriately use the produced insulin or both. Addressing the psychological aspects like cognition, emotions or behavioral patterns of diabetes is as important as dealing with its medical aspects. People with diabetes are prone to experiencing depressive episodes, anxiety and constant mood swings. Researches highlight that patients living with diabetes are 2-3 times more vulnerable to suffering from depression than the general population. Also, those with diabetes undergo greater amounts of stress due to the changing glucose levels in the body. These people also have to deal with some or the other kind of eating disorders. Women with type 1 diabetes generally develop bulimia nervosa or binge eating and then forcefully purging to avoid weight gain whereas women with type 2 diabetes are likely to indulge in binging. Diabetic patients face diabetic burnout as they are witnessed with excessive worry as a result of the strict routine, they have to stick to in order to take their insulin dosages.
How to manage mental health and diabetes?
The following simple ways could be effective to keep your brain health in check along with your diabetes:
- Therapy: Undertaking therapy can to a great extent help you manage your rapid mood fluctuations, fatigue, and stress. It can help you adapt to the lifestyle modifications necessary to manage diabetes and teach you self-care techniques.
Apart from the widely known Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) or talk therapy the Dialectical Behavioural Therapy (DBT) focuses on mindfulness, distress tolerance, emotional regulation, and interpersonal effectiveness could also prove to be beneficial.
- Setting small goals: Focusing on small tasks at hand makes one bring out more fruitful results than having a long list of to-do tasks. Also, a short and numbered list makes it easier to achieve goals and makes you feel empowered.
- Journalling: Developing the habit of journaling or simply writing down your feelings can work wonders in dealing with emotions.
- Support: Having strong support from family and friends helps you win half your battle with diabetes. You can not only share your joy and happiness with them but also confide in them with respect to your insecurities.
- Relaxation techniques: Learning a number of relaxation techniques like yoga, meditation, and art among others can help you to positively channel your energies and keeps you optimistic in life.
- Interactive groups: Familiarizing yourself with support groups is a way to interact with people who are dealing with similar issues as you and it encourages you to share and adapt new coping strategies.
- Professional guidance: Seeking help from a psychologist or psychiatrist to handle your stress and emotional well-being is also an effective way to maintain sound physical health.
Note: Mental stress leads to the release of higher amounts of glucose affecting hormones that tend to negatively affect a person’s diabetes management. Keeping track on your triggers can however help you practice stress-reduction techniques that may alleviate one’s adverse symptoms. As diabetes is a chronic condition, resorting to mental health treatment is crucial as it may to a large degree lower the chances of further escalation of the condition and allow you to lead a fulfilling life.
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