Nearly 30 million people in America had diabetes in 2012. The rate of diagnosis continues to increase. The majority of people with this condition have type 2, whereas around 1.25 million children and adults are affected by type 1. The former occurs when the body cannot properly process insulin and the latter when the body doesn’t make any insulin. Both of these situations are particularly disheartening since they both require structured lifestyle changes that can be difficult to adjust to. Few people understand the struggles of living with diabetes if they haven’t been through it themselves.
What the Future Holds
Many people with diabetes live in a state of paralysis and fear that the future will only bring them poor health. They’ve heard enough stories about diabetes gone wrong to make their head spin and they keep praying they will amount to more than just another story people tell. Yes, diabetes can affect your health drastically. It can cause kidney failure and death. That’s scary, but it’s not a reason in and of itself to sit around waiting for it to happen to you. With the right management, your situation never needs to get so out of hand that the doctors are talking dialysis.
This kind of fear and anxiety can be well managed through behavioral therapy that is assisted by a licensed psychologist. Therapy can teach you how to approach this disease so that negative side effects that impact your health are minimal, and so that you know how to handle anxiety over your illness when it arises. It does not have to consume you.
In addition, mindfulness meditation and exercise are wonderful tools that you can use to your benefit. Not only will they assist you in keeping your worries at bay, but they can also reduce the risk of negative side effects to your health stemming from diabetes. Meditation practices are proven to provide relief where anxiety is concerned by helping to calm the mind and thereby calm the body. Exercise helps to boost serotonin levels, which can combat depression brought on by diabetes. It also releases feel-good endorphins in the body!
Having diabetes doesn’t mean you can’t live a healthy, long life. It just means it’s less likely that you’ll do it alone. Who wants to do that anyway, right? You’re going to need a little help along the way, and that’s okay. Enlisting an army of buddies via a support group is one way to meet the emotional challenges that diabetes presents and tackle them head on.
If baring your soul to a room full of strangers isn’t your thing, you might want to try it out from the safety of your own home behind a computer screen or phone. Support groups are popping up all over the Web now where you can create a username that completely masks who you really are and find all the empathy and compassion you need right at your fingertips.