Topic: Diabetes and Mental Health

On September 16, 2010 by Cherise Shockley

September 15, 2010

Disclosure: tweets sent during #dsma are solely based on the participants life/experience w/diabetes. Consult w/ your HCP for med advice.

Topic: Diabetes and Mental Health

1. How has diabetes affected your emotions surrounding food & body image?

2. Do you feel you need help w/the mental health aspects of living w/diabetes?

3.What can a parent of a CWD do to help reduce the emotional impact of caring for diabetes?

3.5 What can a parent of an adult with diabetes do to help reduce the emotional impact of caring for diabetes?

4. What would you like to see change in diabetes care in regards to mental health?

Archive: Click here for this weeks archive.

A participants point of view: ┬áKim (@txtngmypancreas)the author of Texting My Pancreas wrote post titled “Twitter, Mental Health and Ponies”; it’s a great summary of the Diabetes and Mental health discussion.

Be Blessed

Cherise

2 Responses to “Topic: Diabetes and Mental Health”

  • Since I missed last night’s discussion..here are my answers :)

    1. How has diabetes affected your emotions surrounding food & body image?

    It hasn’t really, I was raised not to feel I was any different than the other kids when it came to food. I continued to eat oreos, get halloween candy, have slurpees in the summer..I just had to learn the appropriate time & blood sugar level for those things.
    As for body issues, since I was diagnosed so young, I don’t remember any changes in my body that happened once I started on insulin. I’ve never been overweight or obese, but I’ve always carried a few extra pounds that I probably don’t need to. I have never viewed that as something related to my diabetes, because I’m not different than most of the women in my family.

    2. Do you feel you need help w/the mental health aspects of living w/diabetes?

    Since I was diagnosed so young, the doctors told my mom I was lucky and you know what, I am. I never had to deal with the depression of having to adjust to life as a diabetic nor depression from I remembering my life before diabetes (as I was too young to remember).
    I know a lot of children/teens/adults who are diagnosed at an age where they can remember what it was like to not take shots(or use a pump), eat what they want without worrying about their BG, etc have a hard time and need help. I think those are the people who need counselling or at least someplace to vent(such as online communities, meet-up groups, etc) more than I need help. I think if there isn’t already, more support for people to find that help they need if the general diabetic community just isn’t enough (sometimes people need to talk to one person in private after all).

    3.What can a parent of a CWD do to help reduce the emotional impact of caring for diabetes?

    Remember that they are child. Your level of stress, your worry, your anger..it all effects them. If you show your stress, anger, whatever around them..they will start to feel like it’s their fault..which of course it isn’t. CWD are usually pretty sensitive to their parent’s reactions, especially if they are diagnosed at an older age when they can understand the finance and emotional stress this can put on their family.

    Rather than getting upset at a child for having a high blood sugar whether because they ate some candy without taking insulin, or forgot to take their shot at school for lunch..sit down and calmly talk to them about it. Don’t jump to getting upset with them, instead make them understand that you are on their side and you just want them to be as healthy as possible. That you aren’t angry at them for being high, but concerned as to why they didn’t take their shot or why they forgot (work out a plan to help them remember).

    You can stress and worry and be angry in private, you’re more than allowed to have those emotions..but remember that each reaction you have can be a negative impact on the CWD. If they are going to grow-up feeling like they aren’t at fault for having diabetes and aren’t any different than the other kids, you first need to look at how you approach every situation with them. If you need to, talk to your doctor or diabetic team about how to approach it before sitting down with the child.

    3.5 What can a parent of an adult with diabetes do to help reduce the emotional impact of caring for diabetes?

    The best thing a parent can do once their child is an adult, either after living with diabetes for many years or newly diagnosed, is to be there to listen and be there when they need help. While my mom helps me out a lot with booking appointments, looking at new technology and helping me get supplies..the most important thing she does is listen. When I need to vent, she’s there to listen; When I’m confused and need advice, she’s there; When I’m unable to pay my share of supplies after insurance, she’s there to help. Even with a community of diabetics, sometimes you just need your parent to be the one to listen and help out.

    4. What would you like to see change in diabetes care in regards to mental health?

    I’d like to see more advertisement of support services available in each community and financial assistance for those who might not be able to afford it. At the moment, that information doesn’t seem to be readily available to the public; I generally call the local diabetic clinic to find out if a service I’m looking for is available in the city or even exists! Our mental health is important in order for us to have overall good health, both in general and our diabetes.

    Cheers,

    Batts

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