Burnout is something that many people with chronic illness deal with — from arthritis to MS to diabetes. In this week's Twitter chat, we discussed the signs of burnout, how it affects our relationships and our diabetes care, and how to cope with these feelings.
We were honored to have Eliot LeBow, LCSW, CDE, (@DiabeticTalks) as our special guest. Eliot, a type 1 diabetic himself, is a psychotherapist specializing in helping diabetics improve their management through physical and mental health. To learn some of his effective tips for coping with burnout, check out his article "How to Understand, Identify and Resolve Diabetes Burnout."
We also welcomed Jewels Doskicz, RN, (@She_Sugar) back as our facilitator. Jewels has type 1 diabetes and so does her daughter, so she certainly had some thoughts to contribute about overcoming burnout.
We began with some introductions so all participants could get acquainted.
We then launched into our first question:
Our diabetes burnout expert Eliot contributed right away:
Others agreed with him:
But, Jewels noted that most of the time, our burnout passes:
We then asked "What kind of mental health support were you given at diagnosis? (for you or for a loved one)?"
Many said that they received no mental health support at the time they were diagnosed and noted that mental health continues to be under-emphasized in diabetes care:
A participant @Rosie_Tomato said that she sought therapy on her own after her diagnosis, college and depression became too much for her to handle. She then shared some eye-opening thoughts about what's it's like to live with type 2 diabetes:
Other participants offered @Rosie_Tomato understanding about dealing with type 2 diabetes:
We then transitioned into the question:
Many who were diagnosed in earlier decades resonated with this tweet:
A large amount of our participants agreed that endocrinologists and other healthcare professionals are not versed in helping diabetics manage stress:
@SweetInked then told us that she joined online support groups on Facebook and uses our weekly Twitter chats as a source of support.
Eliot recommends psychotherapy for managing diabetes stress:
We followed by asking "How does the emotional strain of living with diabetes impact your life/relationships?"
Eliot stressed communication:
Some expressed fear when opening themselves to relationships:
@MissTrendShe then said she would look for a romantic partner who would accept all of her, including her diabetes.
Others found managing diabetes and relationships to require effort, but to be worth it:
We then talked about the emotional and physical affects of diabetes burnout, starting off with the question
Many concurred that burnout is both emotional and physical:
Others found it to be purely emotional:
We then discussed strategies for eliminating stress and burnout and began with this question:
Some said to just let it go and focus on small goals:
@AmyFord311 even suggests treating yourself every now and again:
Eliot recommends focusing on improving your blood sugar control:
Many of our participants stressed focusing on the positive to keep burnout at bay.
This was a very successful Twitter chat with some great insights! Make sure to tune in next week for another Twitter chat on Tuesday, February 10 at 9:00 p.m. ET, #DCDE.