What Are Ways To Help You Cope With Type 2 Diabetes?
Even though type 2 diabetes is a medical condition, it can also impact your personal well-being. You may have heard the term psychosocial when discussing the impact of diabetes. This refers to the effect the disease can have on your psychological state and your social relationships.
Understandably, having diabetes can make you feel different. Everything from taking medicines, to not being able to eat some of the same foods as your friends, to looking and feeling different, can take a toll on your emotions.
Diabetes can also impact the lifestyle and emotions of your family. Your daily routine and that of your family may now revolve around your disease. Plus, you're spending a lot more time seeing doctors. You may be worried about hypoglycemia, checking your blood glucose levels regularly and eating the right foods. Maybe you feel ashamed or embarrassed about your diagnosis or you feel guilty because you don't always stick to your treatment plan. Having conflicting emotions is normal but they don't have to last forever. It's important to develop skills in how you and your family cope with the stress of diabetes management.
Here are some strategies to cope with these various emotions and to help you find ways to fit diabetes management into your life so that it doesn't get in the way of living.
- Get informed.
The more you know about diabetes and how to take care of it, the more you'll feel in control which will help you stay optimistic.
- Take charge.
Teens and even younger children can start actively managing diabetes. So take more responsibility. Establish a relationship with your doctor and diabetes team. Once you've got your management routine down, take the lead and let parents and health care providers know how to help you when you need it.
- Start tracking your progress.
Whether you use a digital device or a notepad, start logging what you eat, how much you exercise and when you take meds. This will help you get to know your body so you can avoid sugar highs and lows.
- Get a parent informed.
Talk to your diabetes team about getting your parent enrolled in a diabetes education class or a support program. These programs give parents strategies so they don't take out their worries on you. They can also learn how to introduce healthy habits for your whole family to follow.
- Talk to the school nurse.
You should have a diabetes management plan on file at school that you, your family and your doctor have approved. This plan will give you more confidence about managing diabetes in school.
- Get support from friends.
Tell your friends how they can support you – whether that means not tempting you with fast food or exercising with you after school.
- Join a diabetes support program.
Your local hospital or clinic may have a program where you can get support from new friends with diabetes, gain new management techniques and learn from the experiences of adult facilitators or mentors. You can also look for a friend at the Family Support Network.
- Get involved.
Maybe you want to involve others in raising awareness about diabetes. There are several organizations that host diabetes walks in local communities or have events to raise money for a cure for diabetes. Approach your local diabetes association or your clinic for ways to help yourself - and help others.
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Last Updated: Saturday April 20, 2013 13:31:34
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