For many, learning about the diagnosis of diabetes in their life is a serious blow. Does this life-changing disease really make life difficult? No. Not really. If one knows the right ways to cope with the diagnosis of diabetes, life soon gets normal. HealthHearty talks about easy ways to deal with this bitter facet of one’s life.
Life is not over because you have diabetes. Make the most of what you have, be grateful.” – Dale Evans
I have known people around, who have had a difficult time dealing with the diagnosis of diabetes. Some were prepared for it, while some had the biggest shock of their lives. And so, I can say, it is absolutely not so easy to cope and accept a life overshadowed with diabetes. Being diagnosed with this disease comes as a bitter truth with overwhelming emotions. Most people express reactions, like those of anxiety, fear, guilt, and denial. Another common feeling which is of depression is also seen in most cases of people diagnosed with diabetes (which is quite a normal reaction). There is a whole surging pile of instructions, medications, and the fear of the future waiting for them.
However, having said all this, one thing to be understood is that even if diabetes is hyped to be a major disorder, it is not the end of the world. It is certainly not among the life-threatening diseases.
What you should remember is, it does not change the kind of person you are or disturb your life drastically. With proper medication and healthy lifestyle, this can be tamed. You can get control on your life and bounce back with confidence again. Below is a short and soothing guide to help you mold a healthy life, even after diabetes makes you a companion!
How to Deal with Diagnosis of Diabetes
Initially, the news of being diagnosed with diabetes sounds scary. It would not be fair if I say, it does not change your life at all. But, with a few alterations in your lifestyle, everything will be just the way it was before. Don’t let negativity hamper your efforts to cope and come to terms with diabetes. Here is what you should do:
You just got your test results and are diagnosed with diabetes. But look carefully, has it really affected your life to the extent that you start turning it upside down? So relax and take things one by one to deal with. Remember, you are not the only one affected with diabetes, there are millions in this world tackling this condition.
Get Rid of the Guilt
Stop feeling guilty or blaming yourself. Sure, there was scope for you to alter your lifestyle in the past. But what is gone is gone and you cannot change that. Right now, you should be thinking about dealing with the present situation than frowning about the past. Stop asking yourself questions like “Why me?” Do not be harsh on yourself. Some people even get extreme emotions like mourning. Such intense emotions can be difficult to be dealt with. But, understand that these feelings will eventually pass.
Accept the Condition
Accept the situation; for that is the truth. There are many reported incidents of people diagnosed with diabetes living in denial. They simply imagine the reports to be unreal and pretend nothing is wrong. This should be avoided. Acceptance will take some time. People get extreme emotions and feelings as they near the mental state of acceptance. So, feeling guilty, angry, sorry, depressed, and frustrated is going to happen. Give it some time, but make sure you come out of it too. Love yourself even with the condition of diabetes.
Suppression of feelings and anger takes a toll on personal care leading to neglect, which is dangerous. Make sure you talk your feelings to someone close. We know it is easier said than done when we say, learn to accept your life with diabetes and love yourself. But the whole point is to get over it. Sadness, regret, rage, and guilt may be overwhelming, but let them out. Talk to your family or friends, cry them out, or even punch a pillow if that helps! Never ever resort to wrong means, like alcohol and smoking. There are better ways to deal with your emotions.
Beware of Social Withdrawal
In most cases, people isolate themselves from family and friends. In extreme cases, they do not even reveal their condition for a long time. The sudden isolation hampers an individual’s mental state, and it takes him down. Keep your social life the same way that it was before. You could also join a circle or a diabetes support group. This way, you will also be assured that you are not alone.
Taming the Disease – Plan of Action
Diabetes is not a disorder beyond control. The good news is that, if you follow your medications, proper lifestyle, eat right, and stay fit, life will be just as normal as it would be without the diabetes in it! When you make a plan for managing diabetes, follow it religiously. This condition may look like a life changer, but it sure can be controlled.
Perhaps you have heard this suggestion a number of times and from everyone. But, that only proves it to be more important. Diet is the first and most crucial aspect of diabetes. Make sure you have a good diet plan, and also make sure you stick to it.
Exercise and Lifestyle
Include healthy habits, quit smoking, and pledge to exercise regularly. Even if you are following a healthy diet plan, exercise is very important for controlling blood sugar levels and any complications that may occur in diabetes.
Keep in Loop
Call your insurance provider. Discuss your condition with them. Know what all gets insurance cover and in what situations. You should inform close family and friends about your condition. Also, keep them informed about what needs to be done in an emergency. Keep at least one close family member and friend informed about your medications and other health check-up procedures.
Tab the Blood Sugar Levels
It is always safe to keep a check of your blood sugar levels several times in a day; at least in the initial days or months after you get diagnosed. Taking a test before and after a meal is advised. Keep records of the readings; they may help understand if your current treatment is effective enough and best for you.
Ask for Help and Guidance
When we say taming the disorder, it does not mean you have to do it all by yourself. Know that you have many options to handle this condition the correct way. Your health care expert will guide you through all that you need to know about dealing with diabetes, like future complications, if any. You could consult him/her on certain lifestyle changes. A good dietitian will arrange a diet plan for you to follow. Plus, you always have friends and family who are ready to help whenever you need them.
Know the Disease
Educating oneself about diabetes is a very convenient way to overcome the fear and depression that grips a person. The more you know about diabetes, the more comfortable you will be in accepting it. With acceptance will come the strength to fight against it. It was found that people who read, attended groups, and spoke to their health care providers about diabetes, easily took a healthier way of fighting it. Discuss, ask questions, and learn all that you can about this condition. Knowledge about diabetes will help you a long way in dealing with it.
Give it Time
Once the diagnosis is done, it is almost like a nightmare, and as discussed above, acceptance comes slowly. You may be uncomfortable with the sudden change in lifestyle, food habits, medicines, and insulin shots., etc. It may be a big deal in the beginning, but with time, all this will become routine, and one fine day, you will be proud of managing your life with diabetes, get back your confidence, and deal with it all by yourself. Give yourself a chance to learn and grow out of this situation towards well-being. So, give it a try, and you will get through the learning curve in no time!
Different people react and respond differently to the diagnosis of diabetes. Some may take time to come out of the shock and depression. Giving some time for these things to subside is advised; however, if the patient takes too long (more than a year) to accept or get back to normalcy, you might want to take psychiatric help. Research finds that more than a third of people diagnosed with diabetes suffer from depression at some point in time. So watch for those signs of depression. They may not be too obvious, but if you feel tired all the time, have sudden weight loss or gain, insomnia, or loss of interest in otherwise enjoyable activities, talk to an expert regarding this condition.
People diagnosed with diabetes need to know that you are not alone; there is help out there. Helplines, forums, websites, message boards, and other foundations are all available whenever you need help. Don’t let diabetes take control of your life or deplete the sweetness in it! Take care!