Diabetes Agent > Common Concerns & Issues about Diabetes

Maintaining Mental Health - Diabetes Agent

There’s no doubt about it – diabetes can be very stressful to live with and manage. You might find that you’re more anxious or afraid now, or you might find your closest and most important relationships being affected negatively by the issues caused by diabetes. Diabetes can be difficult enough – having depression or other mental health issues on top of this can make it even harder to take care of yourself and manage your diabetes.

First, the bad news: if you have diabetes, you are at a higher risk for depression. 1 in 4 people with diabetes will experience depression at some time in their lifetime. People with both of these conditions tend to have more severe symptoms of both illnesses. Despite this relationship, depression does not have to come with diabetes.

The great news is that, often, by treating one of these conditions, you can positively affect both of them to improve your well-being overall.

Maintaining your mental health will positively affect every other action you take to manage your diabetes. If you feel supported, encouraged, powerful, and positive, taking care of yourself will be much easier and pleasurable. If you feel isolated, discouraged, powerless, and depleted, you may feel like managing your diabetes is impossible, and you might be tempted just to give up.

Explore this content for helpful ways to maintain your mental health.


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Videos

Amber’s Book

Amber describes and reads an excerpt from her book, “My New Normal.”

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Amber’s Song

Amber sings her song, “It’s Alright,” which she wrote to inspire others with diabetes.

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Luke’s Concerns for the Future

Luke discusses the challenges of a positive attitude and dating with diabetes.

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Sarah Engaging in Exercise

Sarah H. has to slow down on her Roller Derby commitments and finds other ways to be physically active.

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Amber’s Concerns for the Future

Amber discusses chasing blood sugar perfection and how she handles specific fears about her future.

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Diabetic Duo

The two Sarah’s discuss both how diabetes affects their relationship They establish health partner care.

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Gene Engaging in Exercise

Gene discusses changing his habits and using housework as opportunities for activity.

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Sarah Coping with Diagnosis

Sarah H. discusses being previously healthy and mourning the loss of her life as she knew it before.

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Jessica Engaging in Exercise

Jessica talks about how it’s worth getting over the resistance to exercise.

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Dave’s Support Systems & Social Issues

Dave talks about the mixed responses from his friends and family.

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Priscilla’s Support Systems and Social Issues

Pricilla’s daughter is her biggest support outlet. She feels sometimes judged by her friends and expresses concerns over her lack of support.

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Elizabeth Support System and Social Issues

Elizabeth feels that she can discuss diabetes with her patients in a new light.

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Sarah’s Support Systems and Social Issues

Sarah B. gives Sarah H. her own space to figure it out on her own.

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Zac’s Support Systems and Social Issues

Zac talks about being a teenager with diabetes.

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Amber’s Support Systems & Social Issues

Amber talks about the benefits of having a brother with diabetes in her support system.

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Gene’s Support Systems and Social Issues

Gene tells the story of the “fifty year contract” with his wife.

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Carlos’s Support Systems and Social Issues

Carlos talks about the ways that his wife is his number one support.

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Jessica Support Systems and Social Issues

Jessica discusses the supportive men in her life, including her father and son.

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Donald’s Support Systems & Social Issues

Donald expresses gratitude for the great support from his family.

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Luke’s Support Systems and Social Issues

Luke talks about how his family has dealt with diabetes and the changes in his family’s life.

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Tools & Resources

I’ve been so thirsty lately and my friend said I might have diabetes. Could she be right?

Your friend’s hunch may be correct; increased thirst is one of the most common symptoms, along with frequent urination, fatigue and blurred vision. Also, if you have an infection that takes a long time to clear up (especially bladder and vaginal infections in women) or dark patches on the folds of your skin, like the […]

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Where can I get a medical ID for my child?

A number of companies make medical alert IDs and products specifically marketed toward children with type 1 diabetes. The Children with Diabetes website has a comprehensive listing of medical ID products.

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I have type 1 diabetes and need help finding life insurance.

People with T1D may encounter difficulties obtaining life insurance. It may be necessary to do some individual research to find a company that will provide you with a policy. While JDRF does not keep lists of companies that offer life insurance to people with type 1 diabetes, we can offer some direction to help you […]

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Social Support Handout

Supportive friends, family, and health care providers can make an enormous difference when dealing with a diabetes diagnosis. Here are some frequently asked questions about social supports.

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Doctor Discussion Reminder

Doctor Discussion Reminder

A card to take to the doctor or nurse to remind her/him to (re)fill a prescription.

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Can diabetes cause erectile dysfunction?

Up to 75% of men with diabetes experience some type of difficulty achieving or maintaining an erection. Erection is a cooperative effort between nerves and blood vessels. Uncontrolled diabetes can cause damage to nerves (peripheral neuropathy) and blood vessels, impairing their ability to work together. The key to managing erectile dysfunction related to diabetes is […]

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Fast Food Diabetic

As a Type 2 diabetic, you’re going to struggle with food choices pretty much non-stop. When you are first diagnosed, it feels like you can’t eat anything! Unless you are taking insulin, you’re going to have to watch what you eat closely. “Eating by your meter” is what a lot of Type 2′s call it. […]

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How do I know whether I or my child is getting the best medical care available? Is there a list of recommended doctors and health care experts I can check?

Ultimately only you can determine whether or not you or your child is seeing the right doctor, but we will attempt to provide general guidelines to help you make that determination. On your next visit to your doctor, you may want to ask some or all of the following questions, in order to determine his […]

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Where can I find health insurance for myself or my child with type 1 diabetes?

The federal government’s new site, Healthcare.gov, has information about health insurance options as well as an easy-to-use guide to help you find out which private insurance plans, public programs and community services are available to you. Also, the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) has a publication entitled “Financial Help for […]

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Diabetes Medical Alerts

Without question, Type 1 Diabetics should wear some sort of medical alert bracelet or necklace at all times. Type 2′s on insulin should as well. The dangers of going low, or hypo, are just too great and you see news stories all the time of hypo diabetics being confused for a drunk and not given […]

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I need financial assistance for type 1 diabetes supplies and/or healthcare.

There are pharmaceutical assistance programs offered directly by some drug companies for people with type 1 diabetes who have little or no insurance to help offset the cost of supplies or prescription medications. The Partnership for Prescription Assistance (888-477-2669) offers a point of access to hundreds of assistance programs that have joined together to provide […]

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What foods should a person with type 1 diabetes eat/avoid?

People with type 1 diabetes should discuss their individual dietary needs with their doctor. Individualized meal planning is an integral part of every diabetes care plan. The key to every plan is balancing diet, exercise, and insulin intake to achieve blood sugar levels as close to normal as possible. It’s important that anyone new to […]

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Is type 1 diabetes hereditary?

Researchers are still trying to get a clear picture about how genes and environmental factors interact to determine a person’s risk of developing type 1 diabetes. Forty percent of everyone in the United States carries one or more of the HLA genes (human leukocyte antigen) which lead to increased risk of type 1 diabetes. To […]

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How do I find a support group near where I live that can help me learn to manage my disease?

Many hospitals offer diabetes support groups, which are good sources of diabetes information. Check your local newspaper, hospital or health department for support group locations and meeting dates. Endocrinologists (physicians who specialize in diabetes) may also offer support groups that are open to all type 2 diabetes patients. Check the yellow pages for “Endocrinologists” and […]

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How does smoking affect my diabetes?

It is commonly known that smoking has many negative effects on the body, including, but not limited to: lung disease, premature infant births with low body weight, damage to the circulatory system, high blood pressure, and cancers of the mouth and respiratory tract. Effects on the circulatory system include constriction of the blood vessels in […]

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What do I need to know about type 1 diabetes in school?

School presents a host of challenging issues for children with T1D, and it’s important to know how to work with the school to ensure the best care for your child. JDRF’s School Advisory Toolkit is a comprehensive resource for parents, teachers, nurses, and everyone who provides care for a child with type 1 diabetes in […]

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My mom was diagnosed with diabetes. Does that mean I’ll get it too?

A family history of diabetes puts you at increased risk, but so does just being over age 45. The disease is also more common among Alaska natives, Asian-Americans, Pacific Islanders, Hispanics/Latinos, Native Americans and African-Americans. Even if you’re in one of these high-risk groups, you can protect yourself by striving for a healthy lifestyle and […]

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How long will my child have type 1 diabetes? Can you outgrow it?

At this point, type 1 diabetes is a chronic disease, meaning you never outgrow it. However, JDRF is doing everything in its power to find a cure and also produce treatments that improve people’s lives as soon as possible. We were founded in 1970 by parents of children with type 1 diabetes, who made a […]

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So I have diabetes. It’s not a big deal. After all, there’s medicine to treat it now.

Would you say the same thing about asthma? Epilepsy? Osteoporosis? No! Like these conditions, diabetes is a chronic disease that you will have for the rest of your life. How you choose to treat your diabetes (or not) has a vital impact on how long that life will be. While there are medications to help […]

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It’s difficult to eat right when I travel. Do you have any suggestions?

If you take oral medications and/or insulin, you should always carry a simple form of carbohydrate such as juice, glucose tablets, candy or regular soda in case of hypoglycemia. Maintaining a diabetic diet can be challenging, especially at airports, highway rest stops or food courts in shopping malls. Look for regular- or junior-sized meals or […]

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Diabetes and Sex: What’s the 411?

Good, juicy question! First, the good news: many, many people with diabetes enjoy a healthy sex life with their partners, despite the challenges caused by the disease. Like any other complication, sexual issues require awareness, communication with your doctor, and a good plan to lower their incidence. Sex is an important part of life and […]

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How did my child get type 1 diabetes? We have no family history.

Research has shown that at most, only 15 percent of people with type 1 diabetes have an affected first-degree relative – a sibling, parent, or offspring. Research suggests that genes account for less than half the risk of developing type 1 diabetes. These findings suggest that there may be environmental factors that influence the development […]

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Can women with diabetes breastfeed their babies?

Unless your health care team advises you otherwise, yes. Breast milk provides the best nutrition for babies and breastfeeding is recommended for all mothers with either preexisting diabetes or gestational diabetes.

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What are the symptoms of type 1 diabetes (T1D)?

The symptoms may occur suddenly, and include one or more of the following: Extreme thirst Frequent urination Drowsiness, lethargy Sugar in urine Sudden vision changes Increased appetite Sudden weight loss Fruity, sweet, or wine-like odor on breath Heavy, labored breathing Stupor, unconsciousness If you think you or your child has diabetes, call a doctor immediately, […]

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What are some of the symptoms of women’s sexual health issues related to diabetes?

Lack of interest in sex (libido), pain or discomfort during intercourse, and decreased production of vaginal lubrication, to name a few.

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Who Develops Type 2 Diabetes?

Age, sex, weight, physical activity, diet, lifestyle, and family health history all affect someone’s chances of developing type 2 diabetes. The chances that someone will develop diabetes increase if the person’s parents or siblings have the disease. Experts now know that diabetes is more common in African Americans, Hispanics, Native Americans, and Native Hawaiians than […]

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Does having diabetes affect your interest in sex?

Yes, diabetes can impact the sex drive and performance of both men and women. Erectile dysfunction (ED; also known as impotence) may occur as a result of nerve or blood vessel damage associated with diabetes. In addition, emotional factors such as depression and stress that can be associated with diabetes may affect libido.

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News

Poor glycemic control tied to symptoms of depression

There has been a lot of buzz in diabetes research lately about the connection between diabetes and depression. Multiple studies have shown that people with diabetes are more likely to suffer from depression than those without diabetes; now researchers are focusing on the specifics of the connection so that they can design better treatments for […]

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Type 2 Diabetes and the Blame Game

A recent editorial in Diabetes Health hit me hard – the article described one woman’s experience with confronting feelings that she was being blamed for her diabetes (you can read her article at the link below). One of my good friends received a diagnosis of Type 2 Diabetes recently, after having been prediabetic for many […]

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Type 2 Diabetes and the Blame Game

A recent editorial in Diabetes Health hit me hard – the article described one woman’s experience with confronting feelings that she was being blamed for her diabetes (you can read her article at the link below). One of my good friends received a diagnosis of Type 2 Diabetes recently, after having been prediabetic for many […]

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Traveling by air? Here’s what you need to know.

Traveling by air can be a hassle for anyone these days, and if you are living with diabetes, there are additional challenges – making sure you have enough of your medications, figuring out where to eat, keeping to your monitoring routine (help with those below the jump) – all on top of sometimes frustrating screening […]

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Sneaky Bad Habits – Have any of these crept into your self-management?

There’s no way around the fact that no matter your prescribed treatment, managing a chronic illness such as diabetes is a lot of work. It’s a 24 hours a day, 365 (or 366) days per year occupation. Sometimes, the with the amount of attention diabetes requires, bad habits and shortcuts might start drifting in to […]

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Diabetes self-managment – a family affair?

Having the support of family and friends can make just about anything a little easier to deal with, but the reverse is also true. Not having that support when you really need it can make things that much more difficult, and a recent study performed by researchers at Vanderbilt University demonstrated just how problematic the […]

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The key to raising low testosterone levels may begin with a “kiss!”

Testosterone is a very important hormone, and it gets a lot of press.  It’s often known as the male hormone, and the majority of the hormone in men is produced in the testes.  Testosterone has some important functions in women as well, but recent health research has largely focused on men, and a recent publication […]

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Are teens getting the lifestyle message?

According to recent research, more than half of them are not. The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) just released information collected from 6,911 girls and 6,970 boys between the ages of 11 and 17, showing that less of half of these teens were advised by their doctor to eat healthily and get plenty […]

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Legislating for better diabetes care

Legislators in Washington, D.C. have introduced a bill that, if passed, will create the National Diabetes Clinical Care Commission: an organization that would aim to address the diabetes epidemic by coordinating and concentrating national efforts to research, understand, prevent, and treat the condition.

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Diabetes in the bedroom

Sex and sexual difficulties are tough to approach. Bringing intimate matters out for frank, clinical discussion can make a lot of people uncomfortable, whether the discussion is with a partner or a member of their health care team. But when these discussions are avoided, there’s no way to learn about treatments that can help. It’s […]

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