Some people just don't believe they have diabetes. They don't see why they need to follow a diabetes care plan. Other people understand in their minds that they have diabetes, but still do not follow their care plans. These are forms of denial. It can take time to overcome denial, but the sooner you accept your diagnosis and begin learning about your diabetes, the sooner you'll achieve independence and good health under your care plan.
Most people diagnosed with diabetes experience anger. It is perfectly normal to feel this way at times, but you won't help yourself by remaining angry and hostile all the time. Try talking to family members, friends, or others with diabetes to get these feelings out. And consider directing the energy you're using on anger to something positive by volunteering or fund raising for diabetes organizations.
Maybe you feel guilty that something you did caused your diabetes. Was it all the candy you ate? All that binge eating? Are you being punished for something bad you did?
None of these things cause diabetes. If they did, almost everyone would have it. Whenever you feel that diabetes is a punishment for something you did, review the Causes of Diabetes in Chapter 1 to remind yourself that diabetes can happen to anyone.
Depression can be a serious problem for people with diabetes. Symptoms of depression include feelings of helplessness or hopelessness, loneliness, lack of self-esteem, fatigue, irritability, and changes in sleep patterns or eating habits. If you experience any of these symptoms, get help. Your doctor or diabetes educator can refer you to counselors with experience in helping people with diabetes.
Many people with diabetes will go through a time of grieving . It is normal to grieve over the loss of your healthy self when first diagnosed with diabetes or when a complication occurs. With time and support from family, health-care providers, religious leaders, and friends, you will be able to resolve your grief.
One of the most difficult things you have to face is the knowledge that even if you follow your diabetes care plan to the letter, you may not achieve perfect control. There is no guarantee that following your regimen will keep you healthy forever. Then why bother? Because working at good control will make you feel better, both physically and emotionally. You'll feel better when you know you're doing everything you can to stay well. And the only way to reduce your risk of complications is to stay in good control of your diabetes.
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