Your emotional wellbeing
A diabetes diagnosis can come as a shock or at least as an unwelcome surprise. It’s important to take care of your mental health and wellbeing. You may experience many emotions, and it’s normal to experience feelings such as anger, sadness, grief, denial, loss or fear. If these emotions become too difficult to deal with, it’s important to seek professional assistance.
The pressure of monitoring and managing diabetes can be stressful – and stress can cause fluctuations in blood glucose levels, as well as having an impact on your overall mental health.
Manage your expectations
Try to set realistic expectations and practical strategies for dealing with the thoughts, feelings and emotions associated with diabetes. Try, too, 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 who can relate.
People with diabetes can also be at risk of developing ‘diabetes burnout’. This is when someone with diabetes grows tired of managing their condition and feels like they want to ignore it altogether. Diabetes burnout can be a temporary feeling that comes and goes. It can last for days or weeks.
Speak to your healthcare team if you need support to manage the emotional impact of living with diabetes. Often we’re reluctant to reach out, but help from a professional can provide the support and strategies to move forward and live well with diabetes.
You can read more about diabetes and distress here.
Relationships and emotional wellbeing
Being diagnosed with a chronic condition can be challenging, and it’s not only you who may need time to adjust to the diagnosis. Your family and friends may also need help to adjust to the news.
Family and friends are an important part of all our lives, offering comfort and support. But if you’ve been diagnosed with diabetes that encouragement and support can become vital.
- Take time to discuss your feelings with your family and friends
- Listen to your loved ones’ concerns
What you can do
Here are some other ways to help keep your mental health on track:
- Join a diabetes support group.
- Seek professional counselling if you feel overwhelmed. Diabetes NSW & ACT offers a free Diabetes Counselling Service to help you develop strategies for managing your diabetes and get you back to a happy fulfilling life. To access this service, call our Helpline on 1300 342 238 to make an appointment.
- Make healthy lifestyle choices, including a balanced diet and regular exercise.
- Do something you enjoy every day.
For guidance and support, call Diabetes NSW & ACT on 1300 342 238 or visit a diabetes educator, your GP or your local community health centre.
Watch this video to learn some simple tips on how to improve your emotional wellbeing and thrive.