Almost 10 percent of the U.S. population currently suffers from some form of diabetes. If you have the illness, you’re probably acutely aware of what can happen when you don’t keep your blood sugar under control. Unfortunately, managing diabetes and preventing complications like kidney failure, blindness and diabetic neuropathy is easier said than done. Only about half of diabetic patients reach and maintain their A1C goals.
Beyond the Test Strip: Emotional and Mental Challenges of Diabetes
Keeping your blood sugar in a healthy range isn’t as simple as taking a pill or a shot every day. It’s a lifelong trial-and-error process. You must often juggle food intake, exercise and reactions to your medications on an hour-by-hour basis to maintain control. Managing diabetes can interfere with social events, travel, work and school. It requires knowledge, patience and persistence, and it can be frustrating and disheartening when it forces you to give up the foods you love or the freedoms you once had.
The challenges of dealing with diabetes can cause depression in people of any age. In fact, depression is twice as common in diabetics as in the general population. If you have a family history of the disease, and you’ve witnessed loved ones die or suffer serious complications, failing in your struggle to manage diabetes can be also terrifying and cause a great deal of stress and anxiety.
Can Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Conquer the Lure of Cupcakes?
Cognitive behavioral therapy is an effective and proven type of psychotherapy. It works by revealing thought patterns that lead to irrational fears, destructive behaviors, anxiety, depression and other mental or emotional problems and replacing them with positive alternatives; this approach encourages healthier reactions and enables coping mechanisms.
New evidence reveals that cognitive behavioral therapy may be useful in helping diabetes patients combat depression and manage their disease more effectively. One example is a recent study conducted by Massachusetts General Hospital involving 45 diabetic participants. The patients received nine to 12 weeks of cognitive behavioral therapy sessions in addition to standard diabetes counseling from dietitians and medical personnel. The results revealed that patients who received the additional therapy were more successful in adhering to their prescribed medical recommendations and glucose testing routines. They also had better overall glucose control; the effects were compared to the addition of a mild glucose-lowering medication.
We Can Help Struggling Diabetics Gain Control
Managing a chronic disease is difficult for anyone, but when the frustration leads to depression or apathy, maintaining control can seem impossible. At Comprehensive Consultation Psychological Services, P.C., we offer diagnostic and treatment services including cognitive behavioral therapy to help you cope with the challenges of managing a chronic illness and the depression that may accompany it. Contact us today to book an appointment.