The dark side of diabetes: More than half of diabetics have been treated for mental health problems, according to a new study.
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.
Mental health issues linked to diabetes include feelings of loss, stress, anger, panic attacks, mood disorders, depression, anxiety and eating disordersi[ii]. A depressed person is less likely to adhere to their diabetes medication or monitoring regimens which are necessary for effective management of diabetes, resulting in poor glycaemic control. Phobic symptoms or anxieties related to self-injection of insulin and self-monitoring of blood glucose are common, resulting in further emotional distress. Stress and depression are known to elevate blood glucose levels, even if medication is taken regularly iv.
Diagnosed with diabetes? Call to treat the whole patient, not just the physical symptoms.
Almost half (46%) of people believe that better awareness would help detect stress and mental health issues, while 43% think discussions of mental health within diabetes-specific appointments would help and that clearer advice from medical bodies would help.
For more information visit www.iesohealth.com/en-gb
Diabetes Data and Scientific References
i. The NHS Information Centre for health and social care.
ii. McManus, S., Meltzer, H., Brugha, T. S., Bebbington, P. E., & Jenkins, R. (2009). Adult psychiatric morbidity in England, 2007: results of a household study.
iii. A Review of the Mental Health Issues of Diabetes, Lee Ducat et al, Diabetes Care 2015
iv. Depression Among Adults With Diabetes, Katon WJ et al, Diabetes Care 2010
About Ieso’s Study ‘A Darker Side to Diabetes’
This study was commissioned by Ieso in April 2018 and conducted by Censuswide, an independent research firm and member of Market Research Society. The study involved interviews from more than 500 people diagnosed with type 1 and type 2 diabetes, aged 16 years or older.
About Ieso Digital Health
Ieso is the leading provider of online mental healthcare in the UK. Ieso is redefining the way that mental healthcare is delivered by making high quality cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) accessible, accountable and affordable. Ieso’s unique modality has been clinically validated in a trial published in The Lancet in 2009. Online CBT mirrors face-to-face therapy and involves real-time personalised communication between therapist and patient in therapy sessions. Ieso is available through the NHS Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) programme. Ieso is a multi-award winning business and begins 2018 as one of UK’s fastest-growing technology companies, as lauded in the Deloitte Fast 50 competition. Ieso has also been recognised as one of the Sunday Times Disruptors to Watch and also was awarded the accolade of 2017 Digital Innovation of the Year. Launched into the US in 2017, the company is accelerating penetration there with a blue-chip management team with deep industry pedigree.