Healthy Living

Managing the Mental and Emotional Toll of Diabetes

Managing the Mental and Emotional Toll of Diabetes

The emotional toll of people living with diabetes and those who are just diagnosed with the disease is not often brought to the public's attention. Over the recent years, the amount of awareness for diabetes has increased, but the focus of most medical studies has solely been on the physical aspects.

Most researchers concentrate on finding the best treatment to manage the serious complications that a patient with diabetes goes through and the possibility of using new treatment to cure the disease. Meanwhile, little, or no attention, is given to the mental and emotional struggle that a patient goes through.

Specialists reportedly do not help the mental and emotional distress that people with diabetes suffer. Patients who looked for support from their physician were typically disappointed because they aren't offered any help or guidance. Some were even made to feel that their mental and emotional struggle is not valid.

Last November 14, Diabetes UK published the Future of Diabetes, a book report containing the gathered data of their latest online survey comprised of 8,500 people on the annual celebration of the World Diabetes Day. Hopefully, the Future of Diabetes will help researchers and specialists to take the patient’s mental and emotional struggle into account and give the support they need.

The voice of diabetes patients in the UK

The book report contains the responses of the people who took the online survey. Their responses offer researchers and specialists the insight into their inner turmoil. The patients share how their disease has affected their studies, work, and relationships.

What can specialists do to help?

People with diabetes shared how isolating the disease have made them feel. They shared that the only other people who get what they are going through are those who also suffer from the disease. Twenty-five percent of the respondents were interested in joining a local support group and 15 percent were interested in an online one. On the other hand, 64 percent shared that they felt depressed because of the disease, and 28 percent of the respondents shared that they have problems in getting their medications. All of the respondents agree that they need support to manage their disease. Respondents shared how careless and unsupportive physicians were during their diagnosis. One-third of the respondents also shared that they would be interested in having a trained healthcare professional to counsel them.

Based on the responses of the patients, it is concluded that physicians should be trained on how to support the mental and emotional health of their patients and recommend psychological specialists, if necessary. There is also a need to create a platform for people with diabetes to get together and help each other put things in perspective.