According to Diabetes Canada, people with diabetes are 30% more likely to have depression than those without diabetes. These numbers are rather alarming, but also quite understandable. Diabetes is a 24/7 job with no breaks or paid lunches. Rather, it makes us think about it morning, noon, and night, and it doesn’t take much for our hard work to come crumbling down. It’s easy to think “why bother?”.
Diabetes distress and diabetes burnout are two terms that are discussed frequently, but what exactly do they mean? Fisher, Hessler, Polonsky, & Mullan (2012) define diabetes-related distress as “the unique, often hidden, emotional burdens and worries that are part of the spectrum of patient experience when managing a severe, demanding chronic disease like diabetes.” This distress is typically understood as relating to 4 interconnected domains: (1) the emotional impact of living with a chronic health condition; (2) the stress associated with diabetes management; (3) the pressures associated with managing social relationships while living with diabetes; and (4) the stress associated with managing relationships with healthcare professionals treating your diabetes.
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Sometimes dealing with a mental health issue feels too big to do on your own or with the help of friends, family, and your usual support network. You might feel that it is time to start exploring community programs and public mental health supports to help you manage, but it can be difficult to know where to begin.
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There is a dominant narrative that the period from your late teens to early twenties is simply about being carefree, trying new things, and finding your place in the world. This account is not entirely wrong, but it is quite often incomplete. Early adulthood might be filled with new and exciting experiences, but it is also an anxiety provoking time for a lot of people. Figuring out who you are as an individual, while also trying to fit in with your peer groups can be stressful; getting lost in the sudden lack of daily routine found in a lot of college and university timetables can be unsettling; while, uncertainty about your future education and career path can be overwhelming.
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Diabetes can present as an incredible burden on those who live with it. There is a lot of social stigma felt by people with diabetes and those who care for them, which can lead to feelings of difference, isolation, and personal failure. The daily regiment of management is demanding and can be overwhelming. And the ups and downs of blood glucose levels can be exhausting and traumatic. All of these factors combined often lead people with diabetes to judge themselves harshly.
Tags: diabetes meditation, mindfulness, diabetes control, managing diabetes, life with diabetes, diabetes and mental health, handling the stress of diabetes care, diabetes burnout, diabetes and depression, mental health, type 1 diabetes
Those that live with diabetes, either themselves or have a loved one with the condition, know why worry can go hand in hand with having diabetes. Managing diabetes is something that seems to be on our minds all the time, even when not in the forefront of our thoughts. There are so many factors that can affect blood glucose levels that, even when you seem to have everything under control, levels can change quickly and drastically. And these ups and downs are not inconsequential—they interact with every area of our lives and sometimes in quite detrimental ways. This combination of unpredictability and the potential severity of consequences lays a ripe breeding ground for worries to grow.
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The term ‘self-care’ has become a somewhat of a buzzword these days. There are plenty of articles, memes, and graphics describing simple steps you can take for yourself to find a break from your hectic daily schedule—take a bubble bath, enjoy a piece of chocolate, create a daily gratitude journal. All of those things are nice, and potentially helpful, but they talk about self-care in terms that don’t take into account the reality of living with a chronic illness.
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Mindfulness is the practice of purposefully focusing one’s awareness on the present moment without judgement. It can help you manage pain, lower stress, connect to those around you, and focus your mind—all of which can help you in managing your diabetes.
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Searching for someone to help support you through your difficulties with diabetes or other challenges can be a daunting task. There are many mental health providers out there, each with different perspectives, ways of working and experience. This quick guide will provide you with some key steps to help you get started in looking for a therapist.
Tags: diabetes counselling, diabetes and depression, mental health, anxiety, diabetes burnout, handling the stress of diabetes care, diabetes stress, diabetes, finding a therapist, diabetes and mental health
Everyone here at insulinpumps.ca has a personal connection to diabetes. We understand the importance of having people who "get it" in your life. It helps to be able to talk to other people who understand what life with diabetes is really like. It can make diabetes feel lighter. That's why we are partnering with Virtue Bajurny, BSW, MSW, RSW to provide you with ongoing support!