mental health

Encouraging Resources for May - Diabetes & Mental Health

We are nearing the end of Mental Health Awareness Month, but we couldn't have missed this important topic! From small, day-to-day stressors and burdens to larger scale, chronic mental health issues, everyone needs to create their own path to balance and stability. Type 1 and type 2 diabetes bring additional challenges to already complicated lives, but in the midst of this we can strive to find moments of peace, glimmers of light, and hope through connection.

At some point, you may find some encouragement in these resources:

ADA's Mental Health Provider Directory
(Mental health professionals who specialize in diabetes)

Beyond Type 1 Mental Health Resources Page
(Articles on Stress, Diabetes & Type 1, Diabetes Burnout, Diabulimia, Caregiver Burnout, Eating Disorders, Anxiety & Diabetes, Self-Care, and more)

NAMI: National Alliance on Mental Illness
(For a deeper dive on mental health issues and concerns)

Part 1: Shining a Light on SAD – Shorter Days & the Winter Blues

Winters can be long and dark, and for some people, the impact can be very intense. Up to a third of people in the United States experience a decrease in mood and energy during the winter. Scientific research has established that changes in light (shorter days, less intense sunlight, and later dawns) are the main cause of the winter blues. This can be called seasonal affective disorder (SAD) – a subtype of major depression that comes and goes based on seasons. SAD symptoms usually appear during late fall or early winter and stay until sunnier days come back, in the spring and summer. Symptoms can start out mild and become worse as the winter season progresses.

Our bodily processes rely in a large part on cues from visual light. Ideally, the sun alerts us to wake up, and nighttime darkness prepares us to retreat for sleep. The changes in quantity and schedule of light, including less winter light exposure, can throw the body’s internal rhythms out of whack, negatively affecting mood, energy, appetite, and mental acuity – creating the ‘blues.’

Melatonin plays a big part in controlling the body’s internal clock. A hormone that regulates sleep and wake cycles, melatonin is made from the same molecule that produces serotonin, an important neurotransmitter that helps create feelings of well-being. In the winter, longer nights cause the brain to produce and release more melatonin — at the expense of serotonin production. Without as much serotonin, people often end up feeling more down.

Follow our blog over the next week and a half to learn more about seasonal affective disorder, including:

  • How it relates to diabetes
  • Symptoms
  • Treatments and small changes to lessen the impact

Resources:

https://www.diabetesselfmanagement.com/managing-diabetes/emotional-health/beating-the-winter-blues/

http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/seasonal-affective-disorder/basics/definition/con-20021047

https://experiencelife.com/article/beating-the-winter-blues/

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Growing with Support – Diabetes & Mental Health

At this holiday time of year, stress and busyness can emphasize feelings and emotions and bring them to the surface more quickly. These are the times when support from a doctor, therapist, or support group pays off. Finding good mental health care that matches a patient’s needs and personal preferences can be a challenge.

Mental health is often forgotten in discussions about wellness for people with diabetes. Beyond Type 1 has pinpointed this need and put together an amazing resource about mental health for Type 1 diabetes patients. On a larger scale, Beyond Type 1 creates and funds a portfolio of programs, technologies and innovations that those living with Type 1 diabetes need to manage, live, and thrive. 

Providers

On the Mental Health page of the Beyond Type 1 site, you can share your positive experiences by suggesting a mental health provider, search for and find a provider, and access information to help your mental health provider understand the cross-section of diabetes and mental health. The T1D Guide for Mental Health Providers explains the various emotional impacts and potential mental health outcomes for those living with Type 1 diabetes.

Library of Mental Health Resources

In the Beyond Type 1 library, you can find articles with clinical information, including topics like:

·       Stress – Why and How You Should Reduce It

·       Diabetes Burnout

·       The Truth About Diabulimia

·       Depression and Its Relationship to Type 1

There are also almost 20 personal stories on the site about subjects including:

·       How to Survive a Health Crisis with Your Spirit Intact

·       Bouncing Back and Moving Forward – Diabetes Burnout

·       What Is Diabetes Distress?

·       Body Image and the Pitfalls of Perfectionism

·       The 5 Go-To Yoga Practices That Saved My Life

Check out this resource! It is a great collection of information tailored specifically for patients living with Type 1 diabetes.

WE LOVE TO HELP.

  • Reach us through online chat at myhlms.com.

  • Call us @ (866)779-8512 or text us @ (248)577-9903.

  • Sign up for the Healthy Living blog at myhlms.com/subscribe.

  • Check out our online store at myhlms.com/shop for accessories and over-the-counter medications.

  • Visit myhlms.com/providers to electronically complete and sign prescriptions for patients.