Diabetes and Your Emotions: Staying Positive

By GabbyPA Latest Reply 2012-10-14 23:52:31 -0500
Started 2012-10-10 09:23:27 -0500

By Everyday Health: http://www.everydayhealth.com/health-report/t...

Learning you have diabetes can lead to a flood of emotions, both when you’re first diagnosed and as you manage your condition over time — all of which can lead to diabetes burnout — unless you have the right outlook and strong diabetes support.

Denial is a common reaction to being diagnosed with diabetes, explains Barbara Borcik, RD, LDN, CDE, of the Diabetes & Nutrition Center at Northwest Hospital in Randallstown, Md. “You might think of a host of reasons why the test results can’t be accurate," she says. The problem with denial, Borcik says, is that it can get in the way of taking care of yourself. When test results show you have diabetes, your doctor may perform a second test on a different day to confirm. If the results are the same, she notes, “you may be a little more accepting and start to change how you take care of yourself."

Guilt is another common reaction. “You might say to yourself, ‘If I hadn’t had a soda every day or a candy bar every afternoon, I wouldn’t have diabetes’” Borcik says. The truth is, diet isn’t the only risk factor, and feeling guilty shouldn’t be part of your get-better equation. You need to stay positive and face living with diabetes with an “I can do this” attitude.

Living With Diabetes: Building Diabetes Support
Read More: http://www.everydayhealth.com/health-report/t...

3 replies

Leslie S
Leslie S 2012-10-14 23:52:31 -0500 Report

Thanks gabby. I actually posted a blog about this very subject. I was diagnosed a little over a year ago. My a1c has gone from 8.4 to 6.5. In the beginning I didn't want to screw anything up. I was scared. Then I started feeling great. Then came the denial that I was fine — I stopped taking my meds, and concentrated more on diet and exercise.

I'm jumping back in with both feet. Getting more education than I got before - searching for an endocrinologist, etc.


Just Joyce
Just Joyce 2012-10-11 10:32:33 -0500 Report

Very good post Gabby. When it comes to emotions, people tend to let their emotions run away with them. They don't realize that it isn't their fault they are diabetic and the answer to "Why Me" may never be found. Learn to separate your emotions. Stop taking everything someone says to you or about you as a personal attack. People who know that you anger easily or that you cry about everything will do things to you or say things to your or about you that they know will set you off. The key is to stop letting others control you and your emotions. Why buy into another persons drama or maddness? It is never going to benefit you. Let family, and friends and grown children live their lives. If you interfere in their lives they will resent you and you will become an emotional wreck. I have a friend who can't see her oldest grandchild because she hates his mother and to keep peace the mother refuses to allow her child to be around his grandmother until he is old enough to say he wants to visit her. Her youngest son moved across country because of meddling in his life and her oldest son is divorced because she tormented her daughter in law to the point she gave up trying to be friends. She had an affair just to get her husband out of her life. So her son is back with her and she told me she finally got rid of the daughter in law. She is a very miserable person these days because her son said he should have listened to his wife.

Those who go into denial will finally face the truth when they end up in the hospital from complications diabetes because they failed to face reality. Frustration and anger causes the same problem. Some people who are angry or frustrated tend to not take proper care of themselves because they give up and start and stop care.

Support is a two way street and can get tiresome for families and friends. If the person continuously seek support from family members and fail to be supportive of the same family members can find a lack of support. If a person is constantly focused on their diabetes and conversations tend to begin or end with talk of how they are effected, their numbers, foods they have to eat, over time the family gets tired of listening and back off. Family members uneducated about diabetes may not be concerned. Family members who are not diabetic may be totally supportive or not supportive at all. Friends who are or aren't diabetic may get to the point of being tired of listening to every aspect of your diabetes.

Support systems works best if you don't become dependent on them. You have to face reality and learn to be self supporting. What happens if your support people are not available. To be self supporting you have to communicate with your medical team. Learn what to do about highs and lows and take care of them on your own. Ask for medical advice from your medical team not your support system. What each individual does medically for them may not work at all for you and can cause you harm.

All of this can lead to stress which can have an adverse affect on diabetics or anyone with a chronic disease. The fact of the matter is people have to learn how to let go of the bad things in life and focus on the good. A positive attitude can work wonders.

My support system works because my family members and friends who are diabetics do not talk about being diabetic unless we have a problem. Our lives are filled with so many wonderful things we enjoy doing. My cousin who is diabetic and her husband who has Parkinsons Disease left for a cruise Sunday. Another cousin who is a breast cancer survivor and her husband left on the same ship on Sunday. When my cousin returned Sunday called me Monday we talked about everything but diabetes.

Just because you are diabetic doesn't mean you can't enjoy life. The choice is up to each individual. I learned to be self sufficient at a young age. I am self sufficient today and I don't use my support system unless I really need it. This is why it works. I don't burden family and friends with constant problems I solve them myself. Life is short and you can either sit back and waste time worrying about being diabetic and not having a life or be a diabetic with a full life being all you can be.

GabbyPA 2012-10-10 09:24:42 -0500 Report

This is a great article that touches on all kinds of ways to be proactive in the management of your diabetes. Positive attitude and activism will take you far. Follow these steps and you will be well on your way.