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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