Your emotional health

The demands of managing type 2 diabetes are considerable and living up to certain expectations can at times seem overwhelming. Diabetes burn-out, diabetes distress and diabetes depression are very real and recognisable problems.

A moderate level of distress, which is short-lived, is not always a problem and may motivate you to achieve your goals. There are also times when it is normal to have strong emotional responses such as fear, anger, denial and sadness; for example, when you first find out you have diabetes.

Too much, too intense and prolonged distress, however, is not healthy. It can affect your psychological wellbeing and make it harder for you to manage your diabetes (stress often causes blood glucose levels to go up), and negatively affect your physical health.

Look
after
your
emotional
health

Diabetes burn-out, diabetes distress and
diabetes depression are very real!

The challenge

The challenge for people living with diabetes is walking the fine line between the stress and worry of managing diabetes and feeling comfortable about where it sits in your life. Try to set realistic expectations and practical strategies for dealing with the thoughts, feelings and emotions associated with diabetes. Try to keep some perspective about your goals and what you can realistically manage at the moment, and remember to appreciate what you do achieve. Accept that you can’t control everything and look for support from family, friends or others that can relate.

If you find that you can’t shake off feelings such as depression, anger, sadness, loneliness and guilt it is important to seek help. There is nothing wrong with seeking help to get your life back on track and treatment delivered by a professional can be very effective.

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Help with looking after your emotional wellbeing

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Diabetes NSW, in conjunction with Mend Psychology, have produced the following information sheets. They contain easy to follow tips and ideas to cope with stress, depression, eating problems and how to build happiness and wellbeing.

Building happiness and wellbeing
Diabetes and depression
Diabetes and stigma
Food and eating
Diabetes related stress and distress