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If You’re Type 2, Remind Your Doctor to Check You for Symptoms of Depression

A recent study from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, Maryland, said that patients with type 2 diabetes run a 52 percent higher risk of suffering depression than nondiabetics.

The study also suggested that because depression is so closely associated with diabetes, nondiabetics who have been diagnosed with depression should ask their doctors to check them for diabetes. 

Type 2s who are depressed run a higher risk of noncompliance with the regimen of diet, exercise, and medication that is typically prescribed after a diagnosis of diabetes.

The researchers said they were not certain if the link between depression and diabetes was a chicken and egg thing:  Does having type 2 diabetes contribute to depression, or is depression one factor that leads to acquiring type 2?

The study, which was published in the June 18 edition of The Journal of the American Medical Association, said that no other studies have shown a bi-directional connection between diabetes and depression. 

Assess Your Emotional Well-Being

In related news, Friday, October 10, 2008, is the 18th annual National Depression Screening Day, and this year’s program is focusing on diabetes and depression. 

What: On October 10, members of the public will have the opportunity to take a brief written or online questionnaire to see if their stress, sadness, or anxiety could be the result of depression or a related disorder. Thousands of organizations nationwide will host events during which interested citizens can assess their risk for depression, learn what to do about it, and talk to a mental health professional about their personal situation. The program is free and anonymous.

Why: Because depression affects 19 million Americans each year, and those with diabetes may be at increased risk according to a recent study. Mood disorders like depression are common and treatable, but often go undiagnosed.

Where:  Thousands of sites across the United States. Visit MentalHealthScreening. to locate a site near you (beginning September 1, 2008).

When: Friday, October 10, 2008, during Mental Illness Awareness Week.

Who: A program of the nonprofit Screening for Mental Health, Inc., and thousands of partner health and advocacy organizations.

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