DENVER (CBS4) – If having diabetes isn’t difficult enough — with the never-ending focus on exercise, healthy eating and insulin management — adding depression atop the disease can be overwhelming for some.

“I felt like I had a sign over my head that said ‘diseased,’ ” Becky Salas, who was diagnosed with type-1 diabetes at 27, told CBS4.

Diabetes patients run a higher risk of depression. That double-whammy was among the discussion at the American Diabetes Association’s conference in San Francisco last week.

“You never get a break. Burnout can happen,” Dr. Bob Mines, a psychologist who says the dual-treatment of diabetes and depression takes a toll on patients. “There are folks that just say, ‘I’m just tired. I know what I need 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.’ ”

Finding support is important. Salas said she still struggles managing her diabetes, but she’s found hope in her 16-year-old daughter, Shealy, who also is diabetic.

“If you control this disease, it does not have to control you,” Shealy Salas said. “I think that’s pretty much the motto I live by.”

It’s a lesson she learned from her mother.

“I can do everything perfect and not have perfect numbers. I’ve had to learn over the years perfection is not my goal,” Becky Salas said.

LINK: American Diabetes Association Tour de Cure, Aug. 16.


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