Brookhaven Retreat Observes American Diabetes Month in November

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Brookhaven Retreat, a unique residential treatment facility exclusively for women with mental health and/or substance abuse issues, care for the emotional issues faced by women with diabetes.

Each year, November 1 is the start of American Diabetes Month. This is an annual campaign run by the American Diabetes Association to reduce the prevalence of diabetes. For women with depression and anxiety the effects of diabetes can become emotionally overwhelming.

Diabetes requires women to be constantly aware of their medical state. Potential side effects and the stress of daily management can cause feelings of anxiety, helplessness and fear. The National Institute of Mental Health states that those with diabetes are twice as likely to develop depression than those who do not have diabetes.

According to the American Diabetes Association, 26 million people in the U.S. have diabetes and another 79 million either have prediabetes, meaning they are at risk for developing type 2 diabetes. This represents a significant portion of the population at risk for mental health issues relating to the disease.

Learning to cope effectively with emotional distress is a decisive part of managing diabetes. A study done by the University of Florida found that anxiety and stress increase blood glucose levels; therefore women with diabetes must learn to manage their emotional health. When diabetes is accompanied by a constant feeling of sadness and anger, an inability to function day to day, or suicidal thoughts, it may be necessary to take time away to nurture and care for her mental health.

Brookhaven Retreat believes that self-care is a vital component of depression treatment. All women, and especially those with diabetes, must learn to manage their physical and mental health through diet, exercise and therapeutic skills. Brookhaven Retreat’s residential treatment facility combines individually tailored dietary, medical and therapeutic treatment approaches for women with diabetes.

Meeting with a registered dietitian enables women to adopt the nutritional habits that help manage their disease. An expert nursing team available 24/7 helps women manage and understand the effects each medication may have on their diabetes and mental health. Cognitive behavior therapy targets the negative thinking patterns associated with diabetes and replaces them with positive behaviors that support mental health.

Brookhaven Retreat acknowledges the close connection between the body and the mind. By treating the mental health effects of diabetes a woman benefits physically as she is better able to manage her disease. Rebuilding self-esteem and establishing healthy habits frees women to create lives of wellness and joy despite diabetes.

About Brookhaven Retreat
Brookhaven Retreat is a women's treatment center nestled on a naturally beautiful 48-acre site secluded in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains. It has helped hundreds of women across the United States overcome depression, trauma, anxiety, substance use and a range of other behavioral health challenges. Brookhaven’s Founder, Jacqueline Dawes, has predicated its gender-specific treatment on “healing emotional breakage” for women. In this way, she has established a sanctuary and a place where women can feel safe, secure and cared for by a staff of highly trained professionals.

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Jessica Wirth
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