Diabetes and Mental Health


Anxiety and Diabetes

Some people with diabetes are likely to experience increased depression. Others are more likely to experience symptoms of anxiety.

As with depression, knowing the symptoms of anxiety gives you the ability to recognize these issues in yourself before they grow out of control. Symptoms of anxiety include:

  • Increased worry about aspects of your life. The worry might be related to a specific activity, item or situation or it could be widespread to all aspects of your life.
  • Problems paying attention and concentrating. Feeling that your mind is blank.
  • Feeling tense and restless.
  • Feeling more irritable and having a shorter temper.
  • Being fatigued with less energy.
  • Problems falling asleep or staying asleep.

Like with depression, what you say to yourself can highly influence what you feel. People that lean towards depression are more likely to think negative and pessimistic notions while people that are anxious will be overly fearful of real or imagined stressors.

Anxious self-talk is problematic because it is faster and more repetitive than depressed self-talk.

A cornerstone of anxious self-talk is the question “What if..?” When anxiety begins, you make ask yourself “What if my diabetes gets worse?” or “What if I misjudged what I ate and how much insulin I need?”

These questions are natural but anxiety begins to speed them up and repeat them endlessly. Then, the questions mutate to become less rational and more fear-based. Your body becomes tense, and you become more irritable.

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Next page: tips for reducing stress.

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