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Τhe influence of diabetes on the emergence of emotional disorders: a literature review

Rekleiti Maria, Saridi Maria

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

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Pages: 23-34


Introduction: People with diabetes mellitus are more likely to have emotional or behavioral problems than others without diabetes. Glycemic regulation aims at the prevention of complications. However, the manner in which people with diabetes take care of their disease varies substantially, and not all nonadherence reflects an underlying psychosocial problem.

Aim: The aim of this literature review was to research the recent bibliography about the association between depressive disorders and diabetes.

Methods: An extensive review in Greek and international literature was done in valid databases (PubMed, Cochrane Library, CINAHL, Science Direct) from 2000. The search was performed with the use of key‐words (MeSH terms) like: depressive symptoms, diabetes mellitus, diabetes complications, comorbidity.

Results: Diabetes is a major cause of mortality, physical disability, financial expenditure and low financial development. Complications are caused because smaller and bigger blood vessels are affected. Macroangiopathy leads to coronary disease, stroke and peripheral angiopathy. Microangiopathy may lead to retinopathy, kidney disease and polyneuropathy. Those complications may lead to higher morbidity and could lead to eye sight loss, end stage renal failure and lower extremity amputation. Depression is the most common mental disorder in the general population. One out of ten people will be affected by depression at some point. Today depressive disorder takes the fourth position and it has been estimated that it will take the second position by 2020. Depressive disorder can emerge at any point between childhood and old age but half the cases are people aged 20-50 years. Depression is 2 to 3 times more common in diabetic patients, reaching 10-20% of type 1 and 2 diabetics.

Conclusions: The strenuous daily efforts for diabetes management can create the opportunity for depression to emerge. Tertiary prevention programs can also limit the emergence of complications via early detection and treatment. Continuing education, through group or individual programs, can help with the management of diabetes and can also help with the psychosocial support of patients and families, by improving their quality of life and their mental and emotional state.

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