"I had no idea my Diabetes could affect my mood so much"

12th June 2019

As part of Diabetes Awareness Week (10-16 June) we are calling on people living with diabetes in Sheffield who are struggling with their mental health to access the free support on offer.

People living with diabetes are twice as likely to have depression, and yet research carried out by Diabetes UK found that less than a quarter of people living with diabetes get the support they need with their mental health.

Sheffield is fortunate to be one of the first areas in the country to offer specific mental health support for people living with diabetes through our Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) service. They offer free support to anyone living or working in Sheffield ranging from group sessions and online therapy, to one-to-one appointments.

Denise was diagnosed with diabetes back in 2014 and had been trying to control it through her diet.

“I’d been struggling with how I was feeling for a long time, but I put it down to other things. I found out about the diabetes course from my GP and thought what have I got to lose, I’ll give it a try. I rang up and got a place on the course straight away.”

Denise attended the five week long ‘Living Well with Diabetes’ IAPT course and took part in group sessions with other people who were living with diabetes.

“Speaking to other people and sharing how I was feeling really helped. I realised I wasn’t the only person feeling like this. We all learned from each other’s experiences and it really helped knowing I wasn’t on my own.

“I had no idea it was my diabetes affecting my mood. Since I’ve been to the course I now know how to better manage my physical symptoms, and in turn that has really helped my mood.”

Dr Catherine Wright, Clinical Psychologist in the Sheffield IAPT service, said: “Managing your diabetes takes a lot of effort, you’ve got to worry about your lifestyle, diet, medication or injections and you don’t get a day off from it – it’s not surprising that people with diabetes can feel stressed or down.

“The Sheffield IAPT service works with people to learn new skills to cope with the demands of living with diabetes and better understand their symptoms. We’ve found that the support has made a real difference. Most people coming to the service have told us they feel more confident about managing their health, their mood has improved and they’ve taken fewer days off work.”

To find out more about the free support on offer from IAPT, or to book onto a course visit www.iaptsheffield.nhs.uk or call 0114 2716568.