Comorbidity of Depression and Diabetes: In a Nutshell


Depression and diabetes mellitus (DM) have existed since ages. Yet, the etiologies of both diseases are unclear till date. However, the effects resulting from these diseases are well documented. Comorbidity of both disorders leads to increase disability and mortality rates. Besides presenting the epidemiological status of depression in DM, this review aims to highlight the different hypotheses governing the association of depression in DM and summarize the current trend in detection and management of depression. A high index of suspicion is required to detect depression in diabetic patients. There seems to be higher prevalence of depression in type 2 diabetes than in type 1 diabetes. Treatment should be tailored as per the individual needs and presence of comorbidity. Though there is no gold standard treatment for depressive diabetics, combinations of both pharmacological and non-pharmacological interventions are likely to improve outcomes. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and selective norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs) are preferred to conventional antidepressants. Collaborative care, psychoeducation and behavioral interventions are helpful in motivating patients to maintain treatment and improve psychological well-being and quality of life. Untreated depression in diabetics is costly to the health care and economic system as there is an increase in functional impairment and mortality rate. More efforts need to be made to effectively screen, diagnose and treat patients with comorbidity of diabetes and depression.

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Heeramun-Aubeeluck, A. , Lu, Z. & Luo, Y. (2012). Comorbidity of Depression and Diabetes: In a Nutshell. Psychology, 3, 787-794. doi: 10.4236/psych.2012.329119.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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