Healthy Living

Managing the Mental and Emotional Toll of Diabetes

Managing the Mental and Emotional Toll of Diabetes

Recently awareness for diabetes has grown, but the focus of most medical studies has primarily on the physical. Most researchers concentrate on finding the best treatment to manage the serious complications that a patient with diabetes goes through. Meanwhile, little attention is given to the mental and emotional struggle facing patients. 

Specialists reportedly do not help the mental and emotional distress that people with diabetes are facing. Patients who look for support from their physician are typically disappointed because they aren't offered help or guidance. Some were even made to feel that their mental and emotional struggles weren't 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 World Diabetes Day. 

The voice of diabetes patients

The book report contains the responses of the people who took the online survey. Their responses offer researchers and specialists the insight into their emotional issues. The patients share how their disease has affected their education, career, and relationships.

What can specialists do to help?

People with diabetes shared how isolating the disease made them feel. They felt the only other people who understood what they were 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 35 percent were interested in an online group. 64 percent shared that they were dealing with depression. All of the respondents agreed they needed support to manage their disease. Respondents mentioned how little support they were receiving from physicians. 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.