Most people think of diabetes as a physical condition, but its impact goes far beyond what’s felt in the body—it can affect your mental health in profound ways, too.
People with diabetes are two to three times more likely to have depression than people without diabetes. They're also 20% more likely to experience anxiety at some point in their lives. These facts aren’t surprising when you consider how stressful managing diabetes can be on a daily basis. From monitoring blood sugar to taking medications to maintaining a special diet, it’s a lot to handle.
If you’re living with diabetes and struggling with your mental health, we want to assure you that you’re not alone and you won’t feel like this forever.
Wherever you are on your journey and whatever you might be feeling today, you’ll find a diabetes and mental health resource that can help you on this page.
Investing in your mental health can improve your physical health and help you live a more peaceful, joyful life. The mind-body connection is powerful and we’ve spent years building up this library of diabetes and mental health resources to help you harness its power.
While One Drop coaches can support changes in your emotional well-being, they cannot diagnose and/or treat mental health conditions. If you or someone you know needs immediate help, please visit the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline, call 988, or text 741741.
People living with diabetes can make up to an astonishing 180 more decisions per day than someone who doesn’t live with the condition. This means you could be making a health-related decision every eight minutes. It’s a lot. Diabetes burnout happens when all this decision-making starts to feel futile and you fall into unhealthy habits. It’s a common—even normal—part of life with diabetes. But with the right tools and support, it’s possible to move through diabetes burnout and get back on steady ground.
Finding Peace In the Heat of Chronic Condition Burnout
Life Without Limits, Episode 1: Handling Diabetes Burnout with Dr. Harpreet Nagra
Diabetes Distress: How Diabetes and Mental Health Go Hand-in-Hand
4 Steps to Boosting Self-Compassion in Diabetes Management
3 Tips to Prevent Getting Stuck on the Blood Sugar Roller Coaster
High (And Low) Blood Sugars Are Not Forever
What is Ego Depletion and How is it Holding You Back in Managing Your Health?
Urge Surfing: How to Overcome Diabetes Setbacks
Learn How to Reframe Your Blood Sugar Results
Unhappy at Work? Overcome Burnout and Stay Motivated
How Does Diabetes Affect Your Mental Health?
Diabetes Education and Emotional Well-being
The Emotional Journey of a Diabetes Diagnosis
Self-care means making time to do the activities that help you improve your physical health, tend to your mental health, and nourish your spirit. In our busy modern lives, self-care often falls by the wayside. But prioritizing self-care isn’t selfish; it’s an act of love not only for yourself, but for your loved ones. When you take care of yourself, you can be more present for your family, friends, and colleagues. The resources in this section will inspire you to take a few moments for yourself to reset, relax, and recharge.
How to Calm Down Fast: 7 Unusual Science-Backed Tips
Why Handing Out More Meaningful Compliments is Good for Your Health
Seek Out Small Delights in Your Everyday
A Daily, Morning Practice to Improve Well-Being
Soak It Up: Benefits of a Warm Bath
Why You Should Take Time to Marvel at a Sunset
Give Yourself Permission to Mourn
The Power of Gratitude In Chronic Condition Management
Practice Gratitude to Change Your Life
Owning Your Health Story
Your health story is made up of all the milestones, triumphs, and challenges that you’ve experienced in your life until now. Often when we’re on a health journey, we get hung up on the latest setback and lose sight of the bigger picture. By defining your health story—including where you want it to end—you can take back your power and stay focused on your goals, letting the little bumps in the road stay little.
Life Without Limits Podcast, Episode 9: Owning Your Health Story
Shifting Perspective on Life With Diabetes
Redefining "Success" In Diabetes Management
Language Matters In Diabetes Management
Feeling the Diabetes Shame and Blame
Dr. Jessica Browne Talks About Stigma and Diabetes
Being Your Own Advocate in a World of Health Disparities
Julie Beck on Taking Charge of Her Diabetes
Changing the Narrative Around Type 2 Diabetes with Spoken-Word Poetry
The Doctor Will See You Now: 10 Tips for a Better Doctor's Visit
60+ Real Life Diabetes Success Stories
The key to making long-term changes for our health is forming healthy habits. Too often we rely on willpower alone to resist short-term temptations in favor of long-term goals, but willpower is a finite resource that gets depleted throughout the day. Habits can help us automate our behavior, so that when we’re faced with choosing between a five-minute social media scroll or a five-minute walk outside, it’s not really a choice at all—we just take the walk. In the following resources, we take a deep dive into the science of habit formation, giving you tips, tricks, and methods for creating long-lasting healthy habits.
How to Change Your Life When You Feel Stuck
How Celebration Leads to Change, According to a Health Coach
How to Maintain New Year’s Resolutions When Your Motivation Ebbs and Flows
How to Make Healthy Habits Stick
How to Start New Habits and Make Them Stick (Infographic)
40+ Ways to Reward Yourself (that Aren't Food)
Emotional Eating and Body Image
We’ve all been there—we’re feeling anxious or sad and start reaching for cookie after cookie to comfort ourselves. Using food to deal with our feelings is called emotional eating and when it’s done a lot, it can have a big impact on our physical and mental health. If you struggle with emotional eating or a negative body image, you’re not alone. Check out the following resources to understand the science behind emotional eating and get tips on developing a healthy relationship with food and your body.
3 Ways Intuitive Eating Can Take the Stress Out of Diabetes Management
How to Conquer Body Shame In Chronic Condition Management, According to a Lifestyle Coach
Getting Your Mind Summer-Ready
How to Manage Emotional Eating During COVID
One of the best actions you can take for your mental health is to seek the support of a licensed mental health professional. Different therapists use different techniques to help you through the ups and downs of diabetes, so having an idea of how a potential therapist would work with you can help you decide if they’re a good fit. Check out our articles on therapeutic approaches and connect with your One Drop clinical health coach for their thoughts on which approach might be best for you.
Prescribing Creative Arts Therapies for Mental Health
ACT: The 3-Letter Key to Improving Your Relationship with Your Diabetes
Life Without Limits Podcast, Episode 7: How Healing from Trauma Benefits Your Health
More than Numbers: Dr. Mary de Groot on Diabetes Psychosocial Care
When you live with diabetes, you may feel like you have to strive for perfection when managing your blood sugar, but this can take a toll on your mental health, leaving you feeling frustrated and defeated. The following resources explore the emotional impact of perfectionism and offer tips to help you break free from perfectionist thinking and find a more balanced way of approaching your health.
Checking Perfectionist Thinking In Chronic Condition Management
How a Health Coach's Struggle with Perfectionism Helps Her Lead with Empathy
Life Without Limits Podcast, Episode 14: Overcoming Perfectionism in Diabetes Management
If you’ve ever seen your blood sugar spike when you’re particularly stressed out, you’ve seen the mind-body connection firsthand. What we feel in our body can influence our thoughts, feelings, and beliefs, and what we think, feel, and believe also impacts our physical health. Mindfulness can help you notice your thoughts and beliefs without letting them take control. Our mindfulness resources will help you move through unpleasant feelings and come out stronger and more peaceful.
How to Bring Mindfulness Into Your Daily Life
A Health Coach Shares the Power of Mindfulness In Chronic Condition Management
Breathwork for Diabetes: Stop. Breathe. Think. Respond.
Life Without Limits Podcast, Episode 6: Relieving Stress with Mindfulness
How to Meditate: An Easy and Effective Guide for Beginners (Infographic)
Life Without Limits Podcast, Episode 13: Lowering Stress with Breathing and Guided Imagery
Meditate In Motion with a Tai Chi Practice
Relationships and Community
One of the scientifically proven ways to decrease emotional distress when you’re living with diabetes is to have plenty of social support. Feeling supported on your health journey can also help you stick with your treatment plan, which can lead to better overall health outcomes in the long run. Check out our resources on strengthening your community, how diabetes can affect relationships, and the power of support in chronic condition management.
Is Diabetes Affecting Your Love Life?
3 Tips for Navigating Diabetes in Marriage
Married Stanford Professors Dance with Diabetes at Work and at Home
Do's and Don'ts: How to Support Your Loved One with Diabetes
10 Times Your Best Friend Showed Up For You & Your Diabetes
How the DAWN2 Study Hits Home: Work and Life with Diabetes
This article has been clinically reviewed by Hanna Rifkin, RD, CDCES, clinical health coach at One Drop.