As someone who has been diagnosed with T2D, I was wondering whether anxiety is more common in PWD (people with diabetes). ADA website quotes a large nationwide study of over 200,000 adult participants, some with diabetes and some without. The researchers concluded that PWD were about 20% more likely to have anxiety problems. The study however had limitations as it was based on the participants answers to the survey questions; these may or may not be accurate. Also, quite predictably, the researchers had difficulty finding out which one developed first, the diabetes or the anxiety. This sounds similar to what I blogged about earlier, in my post about Diabetes and Depression. You never know which one came first.
Everyone can occasionally get nervous or anxious in certain circumstances; we’ve all been there. Anxiety is a normal response to certain life events, such as for example, speaking in front of an audience or taking a test. I for once always get anxious when seeing a dentist; last time he made the following comment, “Here’s our brave patient.” I am like, “Nooo, this is a mistaken identity. I am actually the apprehensive one.” He knows that.
Anxiety is a part of our body’s fight-or-flight response that when activated, prepares us to act quickly in the face of danger. It was first described by Walter Cannon back in the 1920s. While we all experience anxiety from time to time, we usually bounce back.
However, anxiety disorder is different from a normal anxiety. The anxiety disorder is much more intense to the point of affecting the way we function and may feel like it’s taking our life over. It becomes a constant worry that causes significant distress, disturbs our social life, and interferes with classes and work. Avoidance is a common response; we simply avoid certain situations for fear of being embarrassed or humiliated. For example, I’ve always had a fear of heights that sometimes doesn’t make sense to me. Nevertheless, I just plain avoid situations where I would experience this fear, and the problem solved.
You aren’t alone in this. More than 40 million people in the U.S. are diagnosed every year. Anxiety can begin at any age and is more common in women than in men. I am not in the stats as I was never formally diagnosed; wouldn’t even think of bringing this up when seeing my doctor for diabetes.
Anxiety disorder comes in many different forms that I will cover in my next post.
You can read about Diabetes and Depression over here.
Everybody, thanks for reading this, I really appreciate it. See you later.