The diagnosis of diabetes and ongoing care can be a major stress in your life.
A Passing Phase...
How you adjust to having diabetes is a very personal thing, some people see it as a crisis, others as a challenge, some see it as a change.
Finding diabetes difficult to cope with does not mean that you are doing something wrong. Many people feel that they are not coping and feel alone.
No matter what you feel, your goal is to accept diabetes as being part of who you are and getting into a routine of managing your diabetes on a day to day basis.
Stages that Most People Go Through when Diagnosed With Diabetes
• Denial - I don’t have diabetes. High blood sugars won’t hurt me.
• Anger - Why me? It’s unfair.
• Sadness - I’m miserable. Life’s not worth it.
• Guilt - I did this to myself. I’m to blame.
• Acceptance - I can do this. Diabetes won’t stop me from doing what I want in life. I’m strong.
All of these feelings are normal. As long as they do not disrupt your life to the point that you feel you cannot cope, they will actually help you to accept changes in your life. You may find that these feelings come back – especially at times of stress in your life. For some people with diabetes these feelings can develop into depression.
The Symptoms of Depression Include:
• Feeling tired or having little energy.
• Feeling sad or crying all or some of the time.
• Lack of concentration.
• Not being able to sleep or over sleeping.
• Avoiding people, little interest in doing things.
• Finding it hard to function at work.
• Loss of appetite or eating too much.
• Physical aches and pains.
Depression is a serious condition and shouldn’t be ignored. It affects how you think and feel about things. It is not a sign of personal weakness or failure. Treatment can help.
Who should I talk to?
Your doctor can diagnose whether you are suffering from depression and can prescribe treatments that are suitable for you.
If you are worried about talking to your doctor about how you are feeling – write it down and take it with you. Your doctor will be able to refer you if necessary, to someone specially trained to help you.
Some people respond well to medication but ‘talking therapies’ can also be effective.
Diabetes Scotland Helpline
You might want to use the Helpline Scotland 0141 212 8710. This is staffed by trained counsellors, who can provide a listening ear and the time to talk. Lines open Monday to Friday 9am-7pm. Email firstname.lastname@example.org. If counsellors at Helpline Scotland are unavailable, calls will automatically be forwarded to the Helpline service in London.
What is the Treatment for Depression?
There are many different treatments available:
• Diet, physical activity, and relaxation
• Psychological support and counselling
• Medication for depression
Your healthcare team will help you to decide what is best for you.
“Don’t feel alone, embarrassed or guilty – depression is understood by health professionals and is treatable” - Person with diabetes
“Depression can take different forms and affect people in different ways - it's always best to get help.” - Person with diabetes