Why Diabetics Don’t Take Better Care of Themselves
And What Can Be Done About It

By Devin Hastings, President of the MN. Institute of Advanced Communication Skills

A common complaint among all health care professionals who deal with diabetics is that many diabetics just don’t do the simple things that could improve their condition.

In fact, many people with diabetes almost seem to go out of their way to make their condition worse.

And it’s not just medical professionals who see this. Spouses and partners of diabetics often suffer great emotional distress because their loved ones don’t seem to care enough to make healthier choices or to at least not make harmful ones.

This is a tragically costly problem in so many ways. In 1997 the direct costs (1) of diabetes was 44 billion dollars (2) in the United States alone. By 2002 the direct cost of diabetes to America was estimated at 92 billion dollars.

But wait! There’s more. You see, there is something called “indirect costs” (3) that push the total bill in 2002 from 92 billion to 132 billion dollars.

And the financial cost is just the tip of the iceberg when you think about the emotional price of poorly controlled diabetes.

And the saddest fact of all is that a large part of this “diabetes epidemic” is preventable.
This is true because at least 90% of all persons with diabetes are diabetic because they are significantly overweight. (4)

Now here is the secret to why diabetics don’t get better and why the price being paid is truly so tragic: Depression and related emotional challenges (vs. mental illnesses) are conditions that are intimately involved with the worsening of diabetes
and even its onset (5), (6), (7), (8), (9)

Consider the words of Henry Maudsley: “The sorrow which has no vent in tears may make other organs weep.”

And, it is this “secret” that is also responsible for why a large majority of diabetics simply don’t have the emotional energy to take care of themselves; it’s not that they don’t want to, it’s that they can’t.

Depression is not an excuse—it is a reason and it is a condition that can be changed.

Now, what is also literally heartbreaking is that America is the world’s largest consumer of anti-depressant medications and, yet “the rate of depression in the U.S. is on the rise in every age group.” (10)

It seems that we are trying the same thing (using anti-depressant medications) over and over again hoping to achieve better results---and we’re not. And please don’t think I’m against using medications—I’m not. Medications can be life saving. It’s just that sometimes, and far more often than we think, there are much better answers.

So, my research has led me to the following 3 suggestions for dramatically reducing the incidence of diabetes, reducing the worsening of diabetes and for eliminating many cases of diabetes:

1) Use weight loss methods that work—not magical, quick fix pills, potions and patches. I have written an article titled “Doctor's Studies Confirm Drugless Method for Weight Loss Works” in which I have cited persuasive evidence that hypnosis can be make a very valuable contribution toward this goal. If you want to read it, go to the following URL to read that article and many more: http://www.weight-loss-answers.com/Hypnosis-for-weight-loss.htm

2) Consider using hypnosis to help reduce and possibly eliminate depression, anxiety and other emotional challenges that make diabetes worse (as well as cause it). I have written several articles dealing with the depression-diabetes connection. You can links to them on the home page of my website, www.MBH4U.com.

Also visit: www.Depression-Hypnosis.com for interesting information.

3) Also be sure to read books by Michael D. Yapko, PhD. His work is exceptional.

Now, let me be clear that if a person is under the care of a physician for depression, anxiety or any other diagnosed challenge, they must check with their doctor first before making any changes to their current health care regimen.

And understand that I am just as emphatic when I say this: There are literally thousands of well-documented case studies that attest to the effectiveness of hypnosis. So, if someone says something to the effect that hypnosis is useless, harmful or just silly hocus-pocus, they are speaking from an “educationally under funded” point of view.

The truth is that hypnosis is being used in hospitals and by doctors for many challenges and it is highly effective. It is only a matter of time before more understand how compassionate, cost-saving and powerful it is in helping people to improve their lives.

"Words are, of course, the most powerful drug used by mankind."
- Rudyard Kipling


(1) Direct costs of diabetes takes into account the following medical expenditures: Inpatient hospital care, nursing home care, diabetes-related hospitalizations and cardiovascular disease.

(2) Source: The American Diabetes Association website: http://www.diabetes.org/diabetes-statistics/cost-of-diabetes-in-us.jsp

(3) Indirect costs are: lost workdays, restricted activity days, mortality, and permanent disability due to diabetes totaled $40.8 billion.

(4) "Overeating and obesity trigger increased insulin secretion from the pancreas, resulting in the additional storage of fat in the tissues. As weight and insulin secretion go up, the body eventually develops a resistance to the effects of insulin, and diabetes occurs." Page 21 A Diabetic Doctor Looks at Diabetes: His and Yours by Peter A. Lodewick, M.D.

(5) “Symptoms of depression or psychological stress were associated with increased risk of type 2 diabetes in men, but not in women, Swedish researchers reported.

A team from Canada said surveillance data suggest that "people with diabetes had a higher prevalence of all mental illnesses compared with people without diabetes.”

In particular, they noted, the rate of affective and anxiety disorders was more than 30% higher in people with diabetes who were younger than 50 (P<0.05).

The studies, presented at the meeting of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes here, add to a growing body of evidence linking depression and other mental disorders to diabetes risk.”

Excerpted from European Association for the Study of Diabetes: Studies Link Depression and Type 2 Diabetes by Neil Osterweil, Senior Associate Editor, MedPage Today

Reviewed by Zalman S. Agus, MD; Emeritus Professor at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine.

September 21, 2007


(6) Psychological Stress May Induce Diabetes-Related Autoimmunity in Infancy --Anneli Sepa, PhD; Jeanette Wahlberg, MD; Outi Vaarala, MD, PHD; Ann Frodi, PhD; Johnny Ludvigsson, MD, PHD

(7) Hägglöf B, Blom L, Dahlquist G, Lönnberg G, Sahlin B: The Swedish childhood diabetes study: indications of severe psychological stress as a risk factor for type 1 (insulin-dependent) diabetes mellitus in childhood. Diabetologia 34:579-583, 1991

(8) Thernlund GM, Dahlquist G, Hansson K, Ivarsson SA, Ludvigsson J, Sjöblad S, Hägglöf B: Psychological stress and the onset of IDDM in children. Diabetes Care 18:1323-1329, 1995

(9) Ed. Note: It is fascinating to note that in 1684, English physician and anatomist, Thomas Willis wrote that diabetes was the result of "sadness, or long sorrow." Apparently like DaVinci, he was ahead of his time.

(10) Treating Depression With Hypnosis by Michael d. Yapko, PhD, page xvii.

Author's Bio: 

Devin is an author and international speaker who helps people to use the power of their minds to overcome challenges. As a person with diabetes, Devin has defeated decades of anxiety and depression and so, he is very familiar with those conditions as well as healing from them.