Being diagnosed with diabetes can seem overwhelming, raising several questions about how it will impact your health and your ability to perform your daily activities.
Here you can find some guidance on dealing with your diagnosis if you have been affected:
Feeling Anxious is Normal
It’s important to recognise that if you are feeling anxious or concerned, you are experiencing a normal reaction to your diagnosis.
Being diagnosed with any health condition can make us feel like we are not in control of our bodies and our lives. Feeling like we have less control over things can bring us uncertainty and make us feel less secure in ourselves.
We may worry about how we will respond to things in the future or how our lives will be affected in terms of our job, relationships or hobbies, for example.
Whats important to recognise is that you are not alone in reacting in this way if you are feeling anxious, and there are a number of organisations who offer help through this period of adjustment.
Many organisations, such as NHS and Diabetes UK for example, recognise that diabetes can have a significant effect on emotional well-being and is linked with conditions such as depression. You can find relevant support from these organisations to help you if you are feeling this way, through their websites.
Educating yourself about diabetes and your medication may allow you to understand your condition and manage your outcomes better. Gaining this understanding can reduce your worries, as you learn about processes and responses in your body and medicine (which may reduce your levels of uncertainty associated with your condition in turn).
By taking the time to read this, you are already being proactive about educating yourself and taking control over your condition – well done!
Planning and organising a routine to manage your medication may also benefit you in dealing with your condition. With your new responsibilities attached to managing your condition, you may feel more empowered about your role in managing your own health and taking control over your body!
Changing your Diet
Having to make changes to your diet can create feelings of frustration, loss or isolation from being unable to consume certain things. Asking family or friends to support you in your dietary changes, by cooking diabetic-friendly group meals may be one way of reducing feelings of isolation or frustration.
For those unsettled by eliminating certain foods from your diet, you can find a large selection of diabetic-friendly alternatives in supermarkets and there are an abundance of great recipes available online, which may allow you to appreciate the foods you enjoy!
Speaking with fellow diabetic-sufferer’s online discussion boards or through attending local support groups may also allow you to share recipes and discuss other aspects of your condition.
Starting a Conversation
Talking to others is important as it allows us to reflect and process our feelings better and can also allow us to understand the views of others around us (e.g. family and friends), who may have their own concerns.
Finding the time to talk to those around us can sometimes feel difficult, especially when we live busy lives or are feeling anxious about ‘burdening’ them with our concerns. However, dealing with issues alone can make us feel isolated and cause extra stress.
By simply talking to someone, you may find comfort in being open and upfront about how you are feeling. Your friends or family may be able to offer you support, even if they have not experienced diabetes themselves, and could help you to create positive solutions.
If you find it hard explaining your condition, it could be helpful to direct them to websites which provide information about your condition and give them a better understanding of what you are experiencing.
Speaking with medical professionals can also provide you with information about your condition and may reduce your concerns. There are number of support organisations who can also offer you advice and help in managing with your health condition.
If you are living alone, you may find it helpful to inform your neighbours about your condition, if you feel comfortable sharing this information. It can be worrying thinking about what may happen in the event of an emergency, if you don’t have people immediately around you.
Raising awareness to neighbours can allow them to keep eye out for your well-being and report any changes to your condition if it deteriorates, which can give you comfort.
Need further support?
If you feel worried about your diabetes diagnosis, you may find it beneficial to contact your local healthcare provider to seek further help from support group such as Diabetes UK, who organise local support events and operate a telephone helpline offering guidance.
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