Even if you have been living with type 2 diabetes for years, it’s normal to feel emotionally drained sometimes.1 This newsletter will focus on helping you to understand how diabetes can affect your mental health, and how you can learn to cope with some of the daily challenges of diabetes, allowing you to take control and live a healthier life.
Living with diabetes can take a toll on your mental health and it’s normal to sometimes feel overwhelmed or tired of dealing with daily diabetes care. This is known as diabetes distress and can cause unhealthy habits, reduced checking of blood glucose levels, or even skipped appointments – all of which can be damaging to your physical and mental wellbeing.2
The good news is that you can take steps to improve your mental health and make your diabetes journey easier. Read more to find out how!
Living with diabetes isn’t just about managing the physical symptoms of the condition. In the same way that you can take medication to control your blood glucose levels, there are a number of coping skills and applications that you discuss with your healthcare provider and can use to improve your mental health and reduce diabetes distress:3
Find support from the diabetes community: sometimes it might feel like you’re the only one in the world with diabetes. However, many people share your feelings of frustration and isolation.4 Ask your healthcare professional about diabetes patient networks or online communities that you could join to seek out support, such as https://www.diabetes.org.uk/guide-to-diabetes/emotions
Take time out for yourself: focus on one thing at a time, pace yourself with daily tasks and take time to do the things you enjoy - this can include going for a walk, meditating or starting a new hobby!
Create a schedule that suits you: think about scenarios that you might find stressful and develop problem-solving strategies to help keep stress at bay.5 For example, if you are afraid of your blood glucose levels dipping at night, check your blood glucose before going to sleep. Or if you get distracted and often miss taking your insulin, organise your insulin supplies in one place so you have everything you need.
Take back more control: when tackling the daily challenges of diabetes, there are simple steps you can use to help you feel more in control:6
1. Describe the problem you are facing
2. Make a list of practical solutions
3. Choose a solution, try it, and see how it works out
4. If it doesn’t work, choose another solution from the list until you find what works for you
Speak to your doctor about strategies to best support your mental health, particularly if you answered yes to the following questions:
We hope that you have found this newsletter helpful and informative.
Stay tuned for our next update, which will be focused on sharing more information about the accuracy and precision of our CONTOUR®PLUS BLUE blood glucose monitoring system.
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The information brought to you by Ascensia Diabetes Care UK provides general information. It is not intended to be used as medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and should not replace the advice of your healthcare professional. Always speak to your healthcare professional prior to making changes to your diet, exercise or treatment.
1. American Diabetes Association. Understanding diabetes and mental health. https://www.diabetes.org/healthy-living/mental-health. Accessed February 2021.
2. Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Diabetes and Mental Health. https://www.cdc.gov/diabetes/managing/mental-health.html. Accessed February 2021.
3. Center for Disease Control and Prevention. 10 tips for Coping with Diabetes Distress. https://www.cdc.gov/diabetes/managing/diabetes-distress/ten-tips-coping-diabetes-distress.html. Accessed February 2021.
4. Patient Journey Market Research. Ascensia Diabetes Care, Bryter, April 2020
5. Hill-Briggs F. Problem solving. In: Mensing C, ed. The Art and Science of Diabetes Self-Management Education: A Desk Reference for Healthcare Professionals. Chicago, IL: American Association of Diabetes Educators; 2006:733.
6. AADE7 Self-Care Behaviors® PROBLEM SOLVING https://www.diabeteseducator.org/docs/default-source/living-with-diabetes/tip-sheets/aade7/aade7_problem_solving.pdf?sfvrsn=12. Accessed February 2021.