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Diabetics Suffer Higher Rate Of Depression

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LITTLETON, Colo (CBS4) The American Diabetes Association wrapped up its 74th Scientific Sessions in San Francisco this week. At the conference, researchers presented results from a study that shows the importance of treating depression in type 1 diabetics because those with the severest symptoms run the risk of an early death.

“There are folks that just say, ‘I’m just tired. I know what I have to do, I’ve been impeccable with my care, and now I’m just tired because I have to be on it all the time.’,” said Bob Mines, a psychologist with Mines & Associates.

Becky Salas know all too well the complications of taking care of diabetes. She was diagnosed with type 1 when she was 27.

“I felt like I had a sign over my head that said, ‘Diseased’. I had to work through that,” Salas told CBS4.

Salas struggled to learn how to manage the disease and still juggles exercise, eating and insulin every day.

“I can do everything perfect and not have perfect numbers. I had to learn over the years that perfect is not my goal, but managing is better,” Salas said.

“You never get a break. Burnout can happen with it,” Mines added.

Support is an important part of keeping depression at bay. Becky Salas has become a strong support for her daughter, Shealy, who was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes 3 years ago.

“She has walked with me and has seen how I react,” Salas says of her daughter.

The 16-year-old relies on her mother and other supporters as she learns the new normal of living with diabetes.

“If you control this disease, it does not have to control you. And so I think that’s pretty much the motto I live by regarding diabetes,” Shealy told CBS4.

The American Diabetes Association is hosting Tour de Cure on Aug. 16. The bike tour has 20K, 50K, 100K, and 100 mile routes, and the money raised goes to support research and services for people with diabetes. Tour de Cure is a CBS4 Sponsored Event.

–Written for CBSDenver.com by Special Projects Producer Libby Smith

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