Diabetes Counseling and Treatment
Diabetes is an ongoing lifelong condition for people who suffer and it is a life-changing diagnosis to receive. Diabetes is a metabolic disease and causes changes in the way the body uses food for energy and growth. Although it is common and many treatment options do exist to support you in your journey. There are two main types of diabetes that will be explored during this article.
Online therapy will support you in your mental health journey through the first steps to coping with diabetes in a way that works for you. 7 Cups is an on-demand emotional support platform and a caring and thriving community of people that support one another. The 7 Cups Community has helped over 60 million people in emotional distress since 2013. The community is available globally in 189 countries and 140 languages. We provide 1:1 free support sessions with a trained listener, personalized growth paths to help you feel better and online therapy with licensed therapists.
What Causes It?
The exact causes are not properly understood but there is many risk factors. Type 1 diabetes is caused when your immune system attacks and destroys your insulin levels. It is believed to be caused by genetic and environmental factors. We all need insulin to live as glucose levels are usually too high with diabetes and it means an individual cannot make enough insulin.
Type 2 diabetes is caused by lifestyle factors such as an unhealthy diet and obesity research suggests including excess amount of sugar leading to an unhealthy lifestyle according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
Mental Weight: How To Cope with the Diagnosis
When you are diagnosed with diabetes it can bring on such a deep sense of loss and it can also be a huge shock to your system when you first hear the diagnosis. It’s important to know that whatever you may be feeling that you’re not alone. There may be new changes in your life such as diet or even medication schedules and routines. All of the fears you are facing are normal. Many resources are available to help you feel more prepared and to manage your blood glucose levels on a daily basis. You may also be prescribed a prescription of medication to help you including insulin and visits to the doctor to manage the condition where you can discuss any concerns with a physician.
There are many ways that you can begin to come to terms with being diagnosed with diabetes including:
- Gradually coming to terms with your diagnosis, perhaps journaling may help you to monitor your moods and acceptance levels.
- Evaluate your current lifestyle and make changes where necessary.
- Stress management is a useful idea as it can help you best manage your condition.
- Join a support network including an online support group like one of our 7 Cups communities.
- Ask your doctor or nurse for local opportunities to reach out for support.
The Physical Symptoms
The symptoms vary from individual to individual and by type suffering from diabetes and can impact your life in varied ways including your day to day life, your career and studies and also the thoughts you may have surrounding your future.
Type 1: Symptoms and Treatments
The symptoms of type 1 diabetes include:
- Extreme thirst
- Urinating more often
- Weight loss
- Skin changes
- Blurred vision
- Cuts and wounds that struggle to heal
Type 2: Symptoms and Treatments
The same symptoms occur with type 2 diabetes but they may also be more severe including causing serious problems with your eyes, heart and nerves. The management of type will vary from each type as will the recommendations for you to feel like you are coping with the diagnosis.
Not all medications work for all and they vary especially in the management of chronic conditions such as diabetes. Some of the diabetes medications include:
- Metformin - this drug is used when your body cannot manage glucose levels independently.
- Drugs to stimulate the pancreas to make more insulin.
- Medication to stimulate insulin production after eating meals.
- Appetite suppressants helping you to manage your insulin levels.
- Insulin pumps to help you manage your blood sugar levels and provide diabetes care and control
Staying Positive: Ways to Be Positive
Living with diabetes is incredibly tough and usually means lots of life changes which can feel uncertain and overwhelming. Meal planning and glucose management can get in the way of living life to the fullest! Emotional support for a diagnosis of diabetes is one piece of the puzzle for managing diabetes. Learn ways of coping which are healthy and also recognise unhealthy coping skills such as self-doubt and self-blame which may be holding you back.
You may want to start walking or to focus on healthy eating. Perhaps it is socializing more and increasing your happiness levels through exercise. Whatever works for you is most important and the goal should be realistic and challenge you just enough so you are able to achieve it. After receiving results that you are diabetic you may struggle to come to terms with the diagnosis and need more support and services to help you manage the diagnosis, this is very normal and a healthy way of coping.
Dealing with Diabetes Through Counseling
A psychotherapist will work with you as part of your treatment plan to feel better. You will work on goals together and share your experiences of your diagnosis including your emotional and physical reactions and also what your family and friends have shared. You may explore further information, your wider support network and begin to work on coping skills such as mindfulness, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), and acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) as part of your program to feel better. You may have many questions when you are first diagnosed and this is normal. Your therapist will work with you on what matters the most to you. At 7 Cups, you may work with a licensed therapist including a social worker, counselor or psychologist. Whatever happens in your journey, you are not alone at 7 Cups.