New research from Diabetes UK finds that one in five people living with diabetes uses counselling from a trained professional to help them manage their diabetes and mental health.
In one of the largest surveys carried out by Diabetes UK, 8,500 people of different ages, ethnicities and backgrounds from across the UK shared their experiences living with diabetes today, and what their hopes and fears were for the future.
Participants told us that diabetes affects their emotional wellbeing, with three in five (64 per cent) saying that they often or sometimes feel down because of their diabetes. One in three (33 per cent) said that diabetes got in the way of them or a family member doing things they wanted to do. And only three in ten (30 per cent) said they definitely felt in control of their diabetes.
Diabetes UK have launched a new campaign calling on medical professionals to look at a person with Diabetes as a whole person and to address all areas of their well being, not just their Diabetes.
Up to 40% of people with Diabetes struggle with their mental health after being diagnosed. People with diabetes are twice as likely to experience depression. (Diabetes UK1). Many people reported that they were given no opportunity to talk about their mental well being in their diabetes appointments with the focus being on clinical outcomes and their control of the disease (Diabetes UK2). It seems the pressure to control their illness can often take a toll on people with Diabetes but the help for their emotional well being is not there.
It is not just depression that Diabetes can have an effect on. Many different mental health conditions can evolve from the diagnosis of Diabetes, both Type 1 and Type 2. Due to the nature of the condition, eating disorders can often become an issue for people with Diabetes. The pressure to monitor their food and specifically sugar intake has been seen to have an adverse effect on a person with Diabetes mental health and thoughts around food and their body. With such a focus on control, some people with diabetes can fall into disordered eating or even an eating disorder (Diabetes UK3). Diabulimia is an eating disorder that only effects people with Type 1 Diabetes. It is where a person with Type 1 Diabetes, reduces or stops taking their insulin in order to lose weight and can have life threatening consequences.
Not only does Diabetes have an effect on a person’s mental well being, but how they handle their emotional well being can have an effect on their diabetes care. When a person is experiencing a period of depression, they can lack motivation and can be easily distracted. This can have adverse affects on a person with Diabetes, where exercising and remembering to test their blood regularly is essential for good insulin control.
At The Eaves we have carefully selected body of counsellors and psychologists who are trained to help support your emotional well being when dealing with a chronic illness such as diabetes. For more information or to book an appointment, please call any of the numbers above and a member of our team will be happy to help you.