Friday, April 22, 2016

Mental Health Support

I never realized how tied in mental health and diabetes is until I did some online research.  According to the Canadian Diabetes Association, 30% of people living with all forms of diabetes face some type of depressive symptoms. Even though I did not know this statistic before, I can see how it is relevant. When I think about my life with diabetes, I know that there are moments where I feel like I could crack.  It is almost a 'don't think about it too much or else you'll lose it' feeling and I can only assume that many others are feeling the same way.

October 25th 2015 - Aerial Yoga = good for my mental health
 The system isn't flawless. I have never been asked if I wanted to see the social worker at my clinic, in fact I have no idea who my social worker would be.  I am sure that if I asked to see one, I would be directed right away, but the issue is that there are people that do not want to ask, or do not realize they need someone to talk to.

From the Canadian Diabetes Association page on Clinical Practice Guidelines, they have outlined who is most at risk for mental health issues [of those that live with diabetes] see below:

Risk factors for developing depression in individuals with diabetes are as follows:
  • Female gender
  • Adolescents/young adults and older adults
  • Poverty
  • Few social supports
  • Stressful life events
  • Poor glycemic control, particularly with recurrent hypoglycemia
  • Longer duration of diabetes
  •  Presence of long-term complications 

All of this makes clear sense and while I am questioning why I have never been asked if I want someone to talk to, I do wonder what we can do as a community to help those that are suffering with mental illness and diabetes.  I know there isn't a quick fix for this and I am not suggesting that I have the answers. I just wish that there was more than could be done to prevent those living with diabetes from feeling hopeless or alone.   

From the guidelines, I think that I can contribute by trying to create more social supports for the people that I know with diabetes and while that may not prevent mental illness from appearing in patients with diabetes, possibly it could help in making those that are suffering feel stronger and united. 



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