I work in a in a goverment run outpatient mental health facility. I work in direct service with clients, nurses, psychiatrists, therapists and social workers. In order to help clients receive the medication they need for their mental health management, I must know there medical history.
I have noticed a high incidence of diabetes, co-occuring with other health disorders such as metabolic syndrome, hypothyroidism, high blood pressure and heart disease. Our clients deal with serious depression, biploar disorder, schizophrenia, psychosis and dementia. The medications these people must take in order to manage their symptoms often exacerbate their other medical conditions by slowing their metabolism, causing weight gain, and making them feel unwell, due to side effects. Lethargy causes them to remain sedentary.
Some psychotropic medications raise blood sugars, and cause people to become diabetic.Often, they become so affected by the medications and coping with the symptoms of their mental health disorders, that they don't have the capacity to manage the other aspects of their health. They often have no support systems in place, have limited social skills, and must face this all alone. Many do not have a source of income, some are homeless and have been abandoned by their families. The free clinics that handle thier diabetes are inadequate and clients have difficulty going to appointments due to lack of transportation. They often ignore their physical diseases because they are just too consumed by all these issues and do not have adequate coping skills.
I have noticed many references to the the complications of diabetes such as gastroparisis, neuropathy, retinopathy, loss of limbs, renal failure, and to heart disease and thyroid disorders, but little or no reference to the connection between diabetes and mental disorders.I am not good at referencing medical studies and research but I read that mental disorders are three times higher in the diabetic population in comparision to the non-diabetic population.
I would like to know if you think diabetes causes depresssion or is a complication of diabetes,or whether you think that it is a weakness of character. How do you feel it should be treated if it occurs? Do you think that a person's attitude toward how they take steps to control their diabetes has anything to do with mental stress? Also, do you think that the stigma attached to mental disorders makes it hard to talk about depression as being something that many diabetics experience?
Links to studies and references to this subject would be greatly appreciated, as is any information pertaining to this topic. Comment from the diabetic community relating to this subject is important to me, as helping my clients live better lives is very dear to my heart. Thanks.