It does not matter which of these you try first. What matters is that you reach out to ask for help.If you or someone you love is depressed but not in immediate danger, for example if you are having trouble fulfilling basic responsibilities and enjoying life, then finding treatment for the depression is a high priority. In general, both antidepressant medication and talk therapy (such as cognitive- behavioral therapy) are effective treatments for depression. Furthermore, research has shown that the combination of medication and talk therapy is much
more effective together than you would expect by just adding their effects. It’s as if 1+1=3 or 4. So it’s worth the effort of finding ways to get both kinds of treatment. A good place to begin looking for help, as mentioned above, is to talk with your doctor. Most doctors have many patients who have needed help with depression. Your doctor can probably refer you to a mental health professional, or your diabetes educator, home care nurse, other health care professionals or a clergy member can also refer you for help. You can also talk with others who have struggled with depression. If you don’t know anyone, consider going to a meeting of your local chapter of the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill. There you will not only find people who can tell you about your local mental health services, but you will also find a rich resource for support and information. To find your local chapter, you can either go to , or call 1-800-920-NAMI (1-800-950- 6264). We don’t know everything about diabetes or depression, but we do know one thing: both can be treated. You may be surprised at how much better you feel. Am I Depressed? According to the U.S. National Institutes of Mental Health, depression is usually diagnosed when a person has four or more of the following symptoms lasting two weeks or more: • Ongoing sad, anxious or empty feelings • Feelings of hopelessness • Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, or helplessness • Feeling irritable or restless • Loss of interest in activities or hobbies that were once enjoyable, including sex • Feeling tired all the time • Difficulty concentrating, remembering details, or makingdecisions • Unable either to go to sleep or to stay asleep (insomnia), may wake in the middle of the night; or may sleep all the time • Either overeating or loss of appetite • Thoughts of suicide or making suicide attempts • Ongoing aches and pains, headaches, cramps or digestive problems that do not go away and do not have a diagnosable cause
If the person is thinking about suicide, treatment is considered a medical emergency. About the Author Ann S. Williams is an RN, with a PhD in Psychology, and has worked as a diabetes educator for 20 years. She has specialized in teaching independent diabetes self-management for blind people and writes and speaks frequently on this topic for other health care professionals. She was the founder and past chair of the Disabilities Specialty Practice Group of the American Association of Diabetes Educators, and remains an active member of that group.
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- Fall '19
- Diabetes, Blood sugar, NFB, Insulin pump