Diabetes and Mental Health

Maybe it was a sunny, summer day when you found out. Maybe it felt like everyone around you was having the best day ever, while you sat in a chair that was much too hard and a room that was far too cold. Or maybe it was miserable outside. The weather, a reflection of the inner turmoil you felt upon hearing the news. Whatever the weather was that day, the reality is that there is never a “good time” to find out you have diabetes.  Finding out you have diabetes is a life changing experience.  Over 422 million people worldwide have had to face this moment. However, despite the number of people with diabetes growing more and more each day, it is a condition that can leave people feeling isolated and alone.  

According to the Canadian Journal of Diabetes, a wide range of psychiatric disorders are more common in people with diabetes than compared with the rest of the population. With a higher risk of developing a psychiatric disorder, it is crucial to find ways to ease the stress associated with having to manage a full-time condition. Read on to learn about how you can take care of your mental health while living with diabetes.

  1. Accept your diagnosis

This may seem obvious to some, but accepting your diagnosis is the first step in taking care of your mental health. In an article written on the Loop blog, dealing with your diabetes is equated to going through the five stages of grief. Whereas you might first experience denial, then anger, then bargaining, and then depression, the important thing is to hold out until you reach the final stage is acceptance. It can seem unfair that life has doled out this “sentence,” but by learning to accept your diabetes you can begin to find ways to manage it and your feelings towards it. It is okay to feel angry wondering “why me?” but try to remind yourself that doing so will only result in many questions going unanswered.  Bargaining will yield similar results and will only leave you feeling defeated. Once the depression passes, know that acceptance is on its way. While you will cycle through various emotions throughout your lifetime with diabetes, know that there are people who understand what you’re going through and are there to help. At DMP, users can reach out to other people living with diabetes and learn about how they finally came to terms with their diagnosis.

  • Don’t be afraid to ask others for help

It can be scary to ask for help. Asking for help is not a sign of weakness but a sign of strength.  With the rise of technology, help is more readily available now than ever. A simple Google search can yield hundreds of results and places where people living with diabetes can chat with others like them to get advice and community support. It may seem like no one else in the world knows what you are going through, but with millions of people across the world with diabetes, so many people understand exactly what you are dealing with. Human beings are social creatures and it is important to connect with others and express what you are feeling.

  • Make a list of resources

Create a game plan for when you are feeling down. By having this plan written out, you can easily access it during times of need. Your game plan can include things like taking a walk, writing your feelings in a journal, reaching out to loved ones, meditating, listening to music, or practicing deep breathing techniques. It is scientifically proven that music can help lift your mood. Whether you enjoy listening to classical music or prefer rock and roll, music has a variety of benefits that can help you manage your diabetes. While activities like journaling can help you keep track of your emotions and confront them while working through them.  Exercising whether it is taking a walk or doing a high-intensity workout can be beneficial not only by maintaining your sugar levels but by boosting your mood through the release of endorphins. Whatever your game plan is, the purpose of it is to help deal with your emotions in a way that allows you to work through them and release some of those negative feelings.  

  • Educate yourself

The saying that knowledge is power has never been truer. When one is first diagnosed with diabetes, it can be hard knowing where to turn to. With the confusing clutter of the web and misinformation, trying to find accurate information can be difficult. When looking for reliable resources, resources such as DMP, Diabetes UK, American Diabetes Association, JDRF, and Integrated Diabetes Services are a great start. These sources provide access to accurate information to help you learn about diabetes and manage it. With DMP specifically, users can talk to professionals in real time through various livestreams to get the help they need, when they need it. Educating yourself is the first step in taking care of your mental health, as doing so helps ease the worries associated with complications and helps you realize that diabetes can be managed.

  • Reach out to trained professionals

As mentioned, it’s okay to ask for help. However, when the help of friends or loved ones is not sufficient, do not be afraid to reach out to a counsellor or psychiatrist. People in these professions are trained to understand mental illness and are there to help you process your emotions. As we move further into the 21st century, therapy is slowly being normalized as it should be. In the same way that you would go to the doctor to manage the physical effects of your diabetes, you should feel comfortable going to someone to manage the mental effects diabetes has on you. These professionals can help provide you with tools and guides to deal with your emotional struggles while giving you a safe space to express your emotions.

When it comes to diabetes and mental health it all comes down to a few things: accepting your diagnosis, asking for help whether it be from friends or professionals, educating yourself, and prepping yourself with resources to deal with emotions. By keeping these things in mind, diabetes doesn’t have to control your life. DMP is a diabetes community based app where people with diabetes can get community support and professional advice all in one place. Recently, we raised over $26,335 through a crowdfunding campaignto develop a new and improved app. We want to make living with diabetes easier and by raising these funds we are in the process of doing just that. It has been proven that community support results in better management of diabetes. By providing a platform for this communication, we hope to help those with diabetes better manage their diabetes. Before diabetes, you were your own person; you are still that person now with just an added responsibility on your shoulders. With millions of people across the globe diagnosed with diabetes, it may be as simple as downloading DMP to find your community. DMP is available for free on the App Store and Google Play. Click the appropriate link below to find your community today!

iOS: https://apps.apple.com/us/app/id1522262547

Android: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=uk.co.disciplemedia.dmp

The Last Corner

­­­­This post has been written by DMP (Diabetes Management Platform). DMP is a diabetes community app dedicated to providing diabetics with resources and support to help with the management of their diabetes. Typically underserved on the internet and social media platforms, diabetics deserve a tailored environment to discuss, interact, and explore their specific areas of needs and interests.

To learn more about DMP click here – https://thediabetesapp.com/

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