GETTING THE NEWS
The first reaction is often denial. You may not notice it in the doctor’s office, or when the nurse is explaining self-care of diabetes – it’s often later.
It’s that little voice that repeats -
- I’m tired, watching tv is ok even if I haven’t had any exercise today
- I can't ask my family to change what they eat
- There's no place to buy healthy food where I work
- It's too hard to bring my lunch
Denial can sometimes be a valuable tool. It can be a good way to cope with negative feelings about diabetes, especially when you are first diagnosed or when the condition is feeling out of control. But denial becomes a problem when it is your only way of coping.
Depression is also often not recognised because symptoms may not be obvious. If you are feeling down or hopeless about life, have lost your “get up and go”, or have less interest or pleasure from the things you used to enjoy, then talk to your doctor as soon as possible.
Ask a family member, whānau, or friend to go with you to the appointment. It’s helpful to have someone to support you and remember what was agreed.
For information about depression see www.depression.org.nz
Depression Helpline 0800 111 757
GIVE YOURSELF CREDIT FOR ALL OF YOUR POSITIVE EFFORTS
You are not a bad person because you developed diabetes. It is not your fault.
Instead of criticising yourself for the occasional lapse, give yourself credit for all of your positive efforts to manage diabetes. Everyone needs a pat on the back, and you deserve one too!
SHARE YOUR CONCERNS
Diabetes is easier to manage when you have people in your life who are cheering for you. When you feel alone with diabetes, it is harder to handle.
Ask for the help you need Many of your loved ones want to support your efforts, especially when you are trying to change habits, but they may not know how to in a manner that fits your needs and respects your independence. Perhaps think of a small, specific way in which a friend or family member can be helpful, then ask for that help.
Sometimes it can be difficult to talk with family or even old friends. Try making some new friends who can understand what it is like living with diabetes. Talking to other people with diabetes can help you feel less alone.
You can also contact Diabetes New Zealand for local branches in your area. www.diabetes.org.nz or phone toll free 0800 342 238