Young adults with type 2 diabetes experience similar anxiety symptoms and levels of depression as young adults with type 1 diabetes, a study released during Mental Health Week indicated.

The study, published in the Diabetic Medicine Journal, was carried out by The Australian Centre for Behavioural Research in Diabetes in partnership with Deakin University and Diabetes Australia – Vic.

“The continued rise in number of people diagnosed with type 2 diabetes at a young age prompts the need to consider the different kinds of psychological issues that may surface and ways to ensure access to the right kind of support is provided,” said Diabetes NSW Head of Health and Education Services Kristen Hazelwood.

“There are currently 32,000 Australians living with type 2 diabetes in the 21-39 year age range and with public perception of type 2 remaining very negative, the stigma associated with a type 2 diagnosis is a serious trigger for depression and anxiety,” Ms Hazelwood added.

Lead researcher and Research Fellow at Deakin University’s School of Psychology, Dr Jessica Browne said that people often perceive type 1 diabetes to be more serious and more demanding than type 2 diabetes.

“However, “the results of our study show that young adults with type 2 diabetes are as depressed and anxious as age-matched adults with type 1 diabetes,” suggesting that “in terms of their mental health, young adults with type 2 diabetes are more similar to young adults with type 1 diabetes than to older adults with type 2 diabetes.”