Diabetes and Depression: Symptoms, Treatments, & Information

So you have diabetes. You may feel stressed or overwhelmed about it, but these reactions are different from being depressed. Learn about the symptoms of depression and find out how to treat it.


Stress is a normal reaction to something happening in your life, either good or bad.

Feeling overwhelmed is a type of stress and not unusual for people with diabetes (PWDs). In fact, Richard Rubin, Ph.D., CDE, professor of medicine and pediatrics at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, calls it "diabetes overwhelmus" -- being overwhelmed by the demands of day-to-day diabetes care.

Depression is not simply stress. Depression is a defined disease. People who have diabetes are at risk for and more likely to have depression. In fact, some research questions whether depression or diabetes comes first.

There are different types of depression, but in most cases it impairs your ability to eat, sleep, function at work, and enjoy other people and/or activities that were once pleasurable to you. It also causes you to think about yourself and the world around you in negative ways.

The good news is that you can manage diabetes and depression. You or your loved ones don't need to be depressed forever. Let's see what the experts say.