Question: I have diabetes and sometimes feel hopeless and fatigued from all the issues involved with it. How can I feel better about myself?

I am sorry to hear about your issues. Diabetes is a horrible disease and has many implications on your health. Depressive symptoms and diabetic symptoms can go hand in hand. Diabetics feel fatigued, canít sleep, have migrating pain syndromes, have no interest in hobbies sometimes and feel hopeless. Those are symptoms of depression as well.

A recent journal article from the Archives of General Psychiatry reports that women who suffer from both diabetes and depression are twice as likely to die. Talk about implications ó these two together increase your mortality substantially. In fact, many diabetics are probably not diagnosed as having depression.

Diabetes brings people down because it makes it difficult to care for themselves and difficult to manage the disease. This can lead to complications. I always try to get a sense of how a diabetic patient is feeling and how their energy, their sleep, their interest levels and their feelings of hope are to make sure Iím not missing a depressed diabetic.

It is essential to discuss any symptoms of depression with your doctor. It is possible to manage the symptoms, therefore increasing your quality of life.

We can effectively treat depression and diabetes together. Most people have a stigma against depression and they shouldnít. It is a real disease with real implications. It is simply an unbalance of chemicals in your brain and that balance is a physical manifestation of your emotional state. We can fix that imbalance and, therefore, help fix your emotions.

Dr. Justus Turner Peters, a family physician at Glen Rose Medical Center's Pecan Plantation clinic, received his medical school training at Creighton University School of Medicine in Nebraska and completed his family medicine residency at John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth. Board-certified in family medicine, Dr. Peters' practice encompasses the care of infants and children as well as adults of all ages. He also conducts ongoing research in the areas of childhood obesity and lower extremity injuries.