Depression and anxiety are twice as more prevalent in patients with Type II diabetes than in healthy people, says a study published in the Indian Journal of Endocrinology and Metabolism on World Diabetes Day (November 14). The study was conducted by doctors at Pandit Bhagwat Dayal Sharma Post Graduate Institute of Medical Sciences (PGIMS) in Rohtak.
“As soon as a person knows his / her diabetic, anxiety sets in. They start worrying about their future as diabetes is a longstanding condition. They start seeing themselves to be sick,” said Dr Hozefa Bhinderwala, psychiatrist at Global hospital.
The PGIMS study said adherence to a complex set of treatment regimens including daily multiple insulin injections, monitoring blood glucose level, adherence to specific dietary guidelines, and attending regular medical check-ups can be a reason behind high depression rate among diabetic patients. It further said number of risk factors like family dysfunction, gender can also increase depression rate in these patients.
Dr Sagar Karia, psychiatrist at Lokmanya Tilak Municipal General Hospital (Sion Hospital), Mumbai, and joint secretary of Bombay Psychiatric Society (BPS), said diabetes and depression have overlapping symptoms.
“Stress can lead to diabetes and diabetes can lead to stress. It is a vicious cycle. Difficulty in adhering to diet, exercise and poor compliance with prescribed medications by diabetic patients lead to development and progression of both microvascular and macrovascular complications and increase depression,” said Karia.
The study also revealed that diabetic women are more prone to suffering from depression compared to diabetic men. It said gender-specific issues such as pregnancy, menstrual cycle changes, postpartum, and stresses such as responsibilities at work and home, caring for children and aging parents can be reasons behind high depression rate in diabetic women.
Psychiatrists say while three out of four diabetes patients will suffer from depression and anxiety, only one third take psychiatric help. “There is poor awareness among people about depression in diabetic people. Many endocrinologists / physicians fail to pick up signs of depression in diabetes patients. Psychiatric treatment can improve quality of life of diabetic patient and also improve compliance rate of the treatment,” said Dr Harish Shetty, psychiatrist, Dr LH Hiranandani hospital.
Related link : A guide on how to speak to a diabetic