More than half of diabetics have been treated for mental health problems

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The dark side of diabetes: More than half of people living with diabetes have been treated for mental health problems, according to a new study by leading mental health provider.

An independent study of people living with type 1 and 2 diabetes, by Censuswide, commissioned by Ieso Digital Health, the UK’s leading provider of online therapy highlights the scale of mental health problems affecting those living with this chronic condition.

• Around 700 people get diagnosed with diabetes every day in the UK. That’s the equivalent of one person every two minutes[i].

• Three quarters (75%) of young adults (16-34) believe that their mental health has been negatively affected by their diabetes.

• Almost half (46%) say that more awareness of diabetes-specific mental health issues would help prevent high levels of stress, anxiety and depression and other mental health problems, associated with having diabetes.

• 43% say mental health education and assessment should be integrated into on-going diabetes health care.

This study, compiled by Ieso Digital Health, the UK’s largest provider of online CBT, shows that people living with diabetes are more likely to experience mental health problems compared with the general population. About one in four adults in the UK will suffer from a mental health condition each year ii; however, the Ieso study found that over half of patients with diabetes (51%) have sought treatment for stress, anxiety, depression or other mental health problems. Three quarters (75%) of young adults (16-34) believe their mental health has been negatively affected by their diabetes.

According to Sarah Bateup, Chief Clinical Officer, Ieso Digital Health “Mental health should be considered an integral part of on-going diabetes care.  We need to ensure a multifaceted approach including comprehensive assessment for mental health problems, educating patients to recognise stress and mental health problems and encouraging self‐care. Providing effective mental health interventions such as cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) can help patients to address the emotional and behavioural aspects of living with a life-long condition such as diabetes.”

Mental health issues can make it more difficult for diabetes sufferers to alter their diet and lifestyle to comply with medical treatment programmes.

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