You are not alone if you feel overwhelmed, if you are avoiding taking care of yourself, or you are just in denial. This is not just about the newly diagnosed, this type of emotional burden can live with you for years, if it is not addressed. You are in diabetes 'burnout'. Pretending it will go away, or it is not real, realizing it is still there, then ending up in a perpetual cycle of self emotional assault and stress. Talking about the emotional effects of type 2 diabetes often gets brushed over, because the focus in clinical settings is to deal with the blood work and complications. The link between depression and diabetes is well established, but diabetes distress is less well known. Diabetes 'burnout' has been defined as the often hidden, emotional burdens and worries that are part of the spectrum of your experience when managing your condition. This may come about from the factors relating to the demands of the regime, such as food choices, meter testing, shopping and eating out. There is also the range of interpersonal issues, such as the lack of support or lack of understanding between your closest family members. You may find dealing with doctors and nurses challenging, as they may lack compassion and empathy. Overall there is often a huge emotional burden, that is sometimes difficult to define. I like to refer to this as 'circumstantial distress', as it is not just particular to diabetes, but other conditions and certain challenging situations. You feel like you want to run away, but you can't run from yourself. So how do you recognize the signs of distress as opposed to being depressed? The tell tale signs can include: A sense of being overwhelmed and defeated by your diabetes; Anger about diabetes, feeling frustrated about the self-care regime and having strong negative feelings about diabetes; Feeling that diabetes is controlling your life; Worrying about not taking care of diabetes well enough, yet unable, unmotivated or unwilling to change; Avoiding diabetes related tasks that might give feedback about the consequences of poor control, such as blood glucose monitoring or attending medical appointments; Feeling that caregivers and health professionals are unable to truly understand; Feeling alone and isolated. Diabetes distress is conceptually different from depression. You have a rational, natural response to the demands of living with type 2 diabetes. It differs from depression in the fact that depression leads you to have negative thoughts about yourself and others and hopelessness about the future. Diabetes distress centres on feelings focused specifically on the diabetes and you wouldn't necessarily appear low in mood to the outside observer. Diabetes distress has consistently been demonstrated to be associated with significantly increased HbA1C. Support for diabetes distress is often very limited and provision for health care professionals in this sector is also restricted. In time limited settings, it can be very challenging for healthcare professionals to broach these concerns. So what can I do? Acknowledge - it is part of life to experience these feelings. Diabetes distress is not a diagnosed mental health condition, but a natural response to the daily demands that you face. Be open and honest - diabetes is difficult to live with, often those closest to us find it difficult to understand, as there is usually very little outward facing symptoms. Acknowledging this may relive some of the stress. Take control - avoidance of control just perpetuates the situation and you feel even more stressed, at your lack of ability to manage the situation. It is a vicious circle. Focus on you - self-management and a sense of control over your diabetes is a very important factor in reducing regime-related distress. Taking the steps to find out more about your condition and reaching out for support from others in the same boat, can often enhance your confidence. Most importantly you are not a 'bad' patient. Discussing emotional distress is a daunting prospect, but these are normalizing conversations, allowing you to voice your feelings and be heard, which is very therapeutic. These conversations are as meaningful as offering someone blood glucose medical advice. Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/9346962

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