Facing life with diabetes

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Research shows that the diagnosis of diabetes can come as a shock, and initial emotional reactions can include disbelief, anger, self-blame and anxiety. It may also come with a sense of relief after a period of unexplained symptoms.

Dr Adriana Ventura, Research Fellow at the Australian Centre for Behavioural Research in Diabetes (ACBRD) and registered psychologist, says life with diabetes is different for everyone and reactions to a diagnosis will vary, but most people with diabetes will need support from their healthcare professionals, families and peers at some point.

“How a person responds to diabetes is influenced by individual characteristics, such as age, gender, social and cultural background, their life stage and experiences, as well as competing priorities,” said Dr Ventura.

A resource from the National Diabetes Services Scheme (NDSS) highlights the emotional impact of living with and managing diabetes. The resource, which was developed by the ACBRD in collaboration with Diabetes Australia, is titled: Diabetes and emotional health: A handbook for health professionals supporting adults with type 1 or type 2 diabetes.

The Facing life with diabetes chapter in the handbook provides healthcare professionals with practical information and tools to help people with diabetes adjust to their diagnosis, and start a life-long relationship with their healthcare professionals.

Electronic copies of the Diabetes and Emotional Health handbook and toolkit for health professionals are free and can be accessed here: www.ndss.com.au/online-resources-for-health-professionals.

Related video: Dr Adriana Ventura on supporting people with diabetes

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