The Relationship Between Type 1 Diabetes and Depression

The Relationship Between Type 1 Diabetes and Depression
Did you know that there is a relationship between Type 1 Diabetes and depression? 

Studies have shown that people with type 1 diabetes are more likely to experience depression than those without the disease. 

While the reason for this link is not completely known and research continues, it's important to be aware of the possibility and be on the lookout for signs of depression in people with type 1 diabetes.

If left untreated, depression can lead to poorer blood sugar control and other health problems.

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What is Type 1 Diabetes?

Type 1 diabetes is an illness that affects the way your body produces and uses insulin. 

The symptoms can be difficult to diagnose because they vary by person, but some general signs include excessive thirst (known as polydipsia), extreme hunger with stomach pain or nausea/vomiting when you eat food, and weight loss even while eating large amounts of carbohydrates such as fruit juices. 

There is currently no cure available for Type 1 Diabetes; however, research into a cure continues!

What Causes Depression in Someone with Type 1 Diabetes?

As many already know, a diagnosis of this condition can be very difficult to bear. 

The struggle with daily living that comes alongside it might make things seem even worse than they initially seemed and soon enough they will find themselves feeling down about everything.

The effects of Type 1 Diabetes on the brain are not fully understood, but it is believed that this condition cannot produce enough ketone bodies to sustain itself in people with Type 1 Diabetes. 

As a result, they may become depressed as their body tissues fail them and there are less for neurotransmitters like serotonin or dopamine which help regulate moods. 

Research has shown significant links between Type 1 Diabetes and depression due to long-term intensive needs such as daily insulin injections. 

What Are the Signs of Depression in Someone with Type 1 Diabetes?

Below are signs of depression in adults with Type 1 Diabetes:

  • Loss of interest in activities
  • Irritability
  • Changes in sleeping patterns
  • Changes in appetite
  • A decline in work performance
  • Lack of energy
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Suicidal thoughts

Children and adolescents with Type 1 diabetes can also show the below signs of depression: 

  • A decline in school performance
  • Refusing to go to school
  • Irritable or angry
  • Avoiding activities with friends
  • Changes in appetite
  • Being very sensitive
  • Being clingy

What Are Treatment Options for Someone With Type 1 Diabetes and Depression?


SSRIs can be a great option for people with Type 1 Diabetes and depression. 

They work by increasing the amount of serotonin in your brain, which helps regulate moods as well as other parts of mental health like anxiety or impulsivity.


People with Type 1 Diabetes and depression who are struggling emotionally can benefit from therapy treatments.

One such treatment that has been proven effective for those with Type 1 Diabetes and depression is Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy also known as CBT.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy helps individuals with Type 1 Diabetes and depression identify their negative thoughts and replace them with more productive ones through goal-setting exercises, recovered memory techniques, or coping strategies.

It grooms' patients' minds by teaching mindfulness skills like deep breathing while also providing education on managing stress points along the way.

Support Groups

There are many people with diabetes who have depression, but often it's difficult to talk about. 

We understand that you might not feel comfortable discussing your mental health or the risk factors for developing this condition. 

Support groups provide an opportunity for like-minded individuals in recovery from type 1 diabetes-related illness and distress through honest conversations on anything related: relationship troubles, at any time during our lives' course; work issues such as stress at home when juggling career demands alongside family commitments, dealing w/the physical symptoms of Type 1 Diabetes and depression, etc. 

The goal of support groups isn't just relief; they want people struggling emotionally or mentally to be able to remain active participants in their communities as well as maintain healthy living habits so that future episodes can be avoided.


Depression is a serious issue that should not be taken lightly. 

If you are struggling with depression and have type 1 diabetes, it is important to seek help from a professional. 

There are many treatment options available for those who suffer from both Type 1 Diabetes and depression. 

Leave a comment below if you would like to share your story or ask a question.

We would love to hear from you!


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