August’s Diabetes Late Nite podcast guest, Beverly S. Adler, PhD, CDE aka ‘Dr. Bev‘, who is a Clinical Psychologist and Certified Diabetes Educator shares this blog post about mental wellness and depression.:
When Max “Mr. Divabetic” Szadek ended August’s Diabetes Late Nite podcast discussion on the topic of diabetes and depression, he shared the idea that “When ‘I’ is replaced by ‘WE’, even illness becomes wellness,” I was inspired! According to the World Health Organization, mental wellness is defined as “a state of well-being in which the individual realizes his or her own abilities, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to his or her community.”
Diabetes and Emotional Wellness
You have an active role to play in managing your diabetes and emotional wellness.This is not to say that you should not develop close relationships with other people, and it is not to say that you should not allow other people to help you when you need it. Think of emotional wellness as the integration of you (taking care of yourself) along with the other people in your life (who are there to help and support you). In other words, the “I” and the“We” are working together with the same goal of emotional wellness.
Although you are the one who is responsible for the management of your diabetes self-care, you don’t have to do it all alone. Although you need to take your medication(s) in a timely manner, your social supports can give you reminders, if needed. Although you need to exercise regularly, your social supports can join you for your chosen activity. Although you need to eat a healthful diet, your social supports can benefit as well from eating in a healthful way with you.
Your loved ones have opportunities to really show how much they care about you. They can show their support by
- Getting an education in diabetes care
- Being supportive – but not being the “diabetes police”
- Being flexible about trying new eating and exercise habits
- Helping you to meet your goals – not their goals for you
- Being open to listening and sharing feelings
- Developing plans for emergencies
Life can be full of stresses either due to your diabetes or in addition to your diabetes management. If your stress is due to difficulty coping with the demands of living with diabetes, you might be feeling “diabetes distress.” Diabetes distress can be categorized into four areas related to living with diabetes. Emotional burden – feelings of frustration, anger, or anxiety about living with diabetes. Regimen distress – feelings of failure, inadequacy, or burnout related to keeping up with your treatment regimen. Interpersonal distress – not feeling supported by family or friends due to your diabetes. Physician-related distress – difficult relationships with heathcare providers. Feeling significant diabetes distress can make it difficult for you to feel motivated to follow your diabetes regimen, which could then negatively impact your A1C level.
But, you don’t have to struggle with your stresses by yourself. There’s help for you if you seek it. Reducing your diabetes distress can be achieved with the help of various trained professionals. Your Primary Care Physician/endocrinologist can make changes to your diabetes regimen to better manage it. A Certified Diabetes Educator (CDE) can help by providing additional education and guidance to encourage you how to reduce your feelings of distress. A psychologist/mental health professional who specializes with diabetes-focused therapy can help you to change your negative thoughts to a more positive attitude. If you are stressed, then often you have less time, energy and patience with health-related tasks. By challenging the negative thoughts you have about your diabetes stresses, a therapist can help you to change your thinking into more rational thoughts. If you are less stressed and feeling calm, then often you have more time, energy, and patience with health-related tasks. Ultimately, with the help of any of these healthcare providers, you can better manage your diabetes, reduce your stresses and improve your emotional wellness.
Other sources of advice and support, in addition healthcare professionals and loved ones, include diabetes support groups, the Diabetes Online Community (DOC), diabetes podcasts, and Twitter chats. When you allow others to share in the care of your diabetes illness, you can enjoy a state of diabetes wellness along with the ability to cope with all the stresses that may arise to live a healthy and positive life feeling confident and empowered.
BUY NOW: The Succeeding in Your First 30 Days with Type 2 Diabetes Guide contains a ton of concise easy-to-digest information provided by experts such as Dr. Beverly S. Adler PhD, CDE. The guide’s goal is to give you the tools you need to conquer your understanding of type 2 diabetes and how to successfully incorporate simple changes in your daily routine to improve your health.