Diabetes Health Psychology
Psychologists have increasingly become a part of a diabetes management team due to the knowledge that psychological, behavioral and social factors can greatly impact diabetes outcomes. It can be overwhelming to stay on top of all the behaviors needed to stay healthy. Psychologists can help you develop plans to achieve goals such as monitoring blood sugars, making diet changes, staying active, quitting smoking, and maintaining a good support network.
Many people with diabetes also recognize that stress impacts their diabetes. Studies have shown that effectively managing stress can be a tool in controlling blood sugars. Unfortunately, individuals with diabetes are twice as likely to suffer from depression, yet depression is recognized and treated appropriately in fewer than 25% of depressed diabetic patients. Depression has been associated with higher HbA1C levels, lower adherence to diet, exercise, and medication, and higher rates of diabetes complications. Anxiety is also common, such as fear of hypoglycemia impacting good blood sugar control. We can help you develop effective strategies to reduce depression and anxiety.
The goal of psychological treatment of diabetes is to problem solve ways to improve self-care and to help individuals feel empowered to manage their health.