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A one-two punch against diabetes and depression

Medical experts tell us that both depression and diabetes can be major issues that should be addressed by professionals. Either of the conditions can lead to a disability that prevents a person from working.

In many cases, the two conditions are combined in one person. Research shows us that the rate of depression is twice as high among diabetics as it is in the population at large. 

However, a new study reported on in Newark media suggests that cognitive behavioral therapy helps diabetes patients in a couple of ways. For many suffering with both Type II diabetes and depression, their self-care can be neglected or poorly administered. But researchers say the cognitive behavioral therapy can facilitate patients’ improvement of their control of blood sugar, which can also help elevate mood.

A researcher said, “In this study we adapted our approach that has improved treatment adherence among HIV/AIDS patients by addressing both depression and treatment self-management skills.”

Researchers took a group of 87 adults dealing with both Type II diabetes and depression and selected 45 of them at random. That subgroup was then given self-care counseling.

Members of the group sat down with nurse educators to set blood sugar monitoring goals, met with a dietician about diet and exercise targets and followed up with counselors on strategies for goal attainment.

Over the year-long study, they also received cognitive behavioral therapy focusing on depression, such as learning adaptive training skills, relaxation techniques and other therapeutic exercises.

After four months, the patients receiving the cognitive therapy were substantially more successful at monitoring blood sugar and taking their medications than the group receiving typical treatment. They also enjoyed swifter relief from symptoms of depression at the four-month, eight-month and 12-month points of the study.

The research provides hope that better treatment methods are available for those suffering from diabetes and depression.

For those prevented from working by these conditions or others, Social Security Disability offers a financial lifeline. However, a majority of first-time applications have their claims rejected and find that they face a daunting appeals process. The good news is that they can appeal with the assistance of an SSDI attorney who knows the law, the paperwork and the legal process.

Source: PsychCentral.com, "Cognitive Therapy Helps Depressed Diabetics Control Blood Sugar," Rick Nauert, Feb. 25, 2014

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