Health Library

Categories > Diabetes > Living with diabetes

A look at the diabetes-depression link

Diabetes and depression don’t seem to go hand-in-hand, but about one-third of people who have diabetes succumb to clinical depression, and women are especially vulnerable. Researchers aren’t sure why the conditions are linked, but there are many theories. For example, people who have diabetes may feel stressed and overwhelmed by their diagnosis or worry about their long-term health and risk of complications.

Research has shown that people who have diabetes and depression are more likely to exhibit more severe symptoms of both conditions. And people with type 2 diabetes who have major depression are more likely to develop life-threatening diabetes complications compared to type 2 diabetes patients who don’t have depression.

Talk with your healthcare provider if you can’t snap out of an unhappy mood after more than two weeks and you:

  • have lost interest in activities that normally bring pleasure
  • have different sleeping habits
  • have gained or lost a significant amount of weight without trying
  • cry more often than usual
  • feel nervous or agitated frequently
  • have difficulty making decisions that would normally come easily
  • feel tired or sluggish, as if you’re moving in slow motion
  • think about suicide or death frequently

Luckily, medication, therapy or both can help alleviate clinical depression, which can help you avoid diabetes-related complications.