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Mental health and Type 1 Diabetes

Edited: 17.04.2024

Nashy Saeng-Xuto

HelloType 1 Freelance Translator and Reviewer

1. The relationship between mental health and diabetes

Managing life with Type 1 Diabetes can be more difficult than it already is. The chronic nature of this condition needs regular self-care. This can easily lead to stress.

However, being stressed out all the time is not only bad for your mental health, it also worsens your physical health.
When you are stressed, your body releases stress hormones, which make the liver release glucose. If you have Type 1 Diabetes, having extra blood glucose means you need more insulin to deal with the higher blood glucose level. You might end up in a downward cycle where your mental health impacts your physical health, which in turn impacts your mental health.

In this piece, you will learn about the effects of mental health and diabetes, along with ways to break out of this circle of stress.

2. What can stress you out?

Let's explore the different psychological parts that people with diabetes experience.Many people who have diabetes may worry about how to best manage their condition and avoid complications.Having to constantly monitor and adjust one's blood glucose levels through insulin injections and careful meal planning can be stressful for anyone.

Denying what's going on, feeling bad, or even getting mad at yourself for what you're going through will only make you more stressed. Negative emotions like not accepting ourselves, blaming others, and worrying can drain our energy in meaningless ways, which can lead to diabetes burnout or even other mental health problems.

Researchers talked about how diabetes burnout can be bad because people with Type 1 Diabetes may not take as much care of their physical, social, mental, and emotional health. And diabetes never stops, at all times. Caring for and liking oneself can be harder for people with Type 1 Diabetes who have a negative view of themselves. Connecting with others, living well, and talking to your healthcare team may not be possible.

3. 8 practical mental health and diabetes tips to make you feel better

  • Take a break. Although you can’t ignore your condition, sometimes you deserve a break to spend a little less energy on yourself.

  • Focus on Self Care. Allow yourself time to enjoy activities that you enjoy. This will help you give space to free your mind about your health worries.

  • Check more for better blood glucose awareness. The more data we have, whether our blood glucose is in the low, mid, or high range, this can give us better blood glucose awareness. If this is making you feel stressed, you might want to talk to your healthcare team for options to lighten the load. The simple act of talking to someone can really help with your mental health problems.

  • Get in touch. Talking it out and admitting to your family and friends that you are stressed out can help you feel better about your mental health and diabetes. This helps your loved ones figure out how they can support you and your Type 1 Diabetes better.
    Other people living with Type 1 Diabetes ask help from their loved ones in reminding them to take their insulin shots and eating on time. Another option is to set manual reminders on your phone if you don't always want to rely on others.

  • Make Small Changes. You can let your doctors and nurses know how they can help you make small changes to your daily life. If they can suggest other choices, like Type 1 Diabetes technology (like the use of insulin pumps or Continuous Glucose Monitoring Systems) to make it less stressful, that would be great.

  • Change Your Point of View. You might have to give up some things if you have Type 1 Diabetes. There are times, though, when the things we have given up can turn out to be little wins and joys.
    For example, if you want to have little snack or sweet treats just to make yourself feel better, you can take them.Just remember to check your blood glucose, get your insulin shots as needed, and do some light exercise.

  • Reach out. Finding communities or online forums with similar people living with Type 1 Diabetes will help you feel less alone, teach you new things, give you a sense of support, and give you the strength to keep going. Talking to people can help you better cope with your mental health and diabetes.

  • Get Help with Therapy. If things are still too much for you to handle, it's always a good idea to talk to a doctor, psychologist, psychiatrist, counselor, social worker, or therapist. They would best be able to help you out with mental health problems.They will be able to help you get through this rough patch and give you good ways to deal with your diabetes. Taking on life's stresses head-on could mean having to come across problems that are much stronger than anything you have ever faced before. The most challenging yet the best thing to do is to accept and love your diabetes.

4. It is not easy, but believe in yourself!

People who have successfully managed type 1 diabetes may see it as something that makes them strong, persistent, and determined to get through tough times and failures.

It might not be easy to do this. You may need to take time, effort, and, most importantly, acceptance and understanding of your condition for you to succeed. Being stressed out over and over again can be tough and exhausting, but it is also possible to recharge and feel better.

We will have a great time riding out our highs and lows when we accept that we have type 1 diabetes.

We can learn how to handle stressful events better if we know when they are going to happen. It is possible to strive for growth and achieve success. You'll get there soon enough! You will succeed! Believe in yourself.

Icon Disclaimer:

You are not alone!

There are many people who have the condition.

on the Type 1 Facebook community.