Carefully taking care of diabetes every day can help you or your loved one live a full, active life. But paying attention to the details of treatment is not always easy. And beyond the basics of eating right and taking medicines properly, dealing with diabetes is often as much of an emotional struggle as it is a medical one.
Some people who have been living with type 1 diabetes for a long time may get what many diabetes specialists call "burnout."
Signs of diabetes burnout include:
- Feeling burdened by diabetes
- Feeling angry and filled with negative thoughts
- Feeling that diabetes controls your life
- Not following the diabetes care plan properly
Diabetes burnout is important to address because it tends to reduce energy and interest in taking care of yourself, or of your loved one with type 1 diabetes. Taking proper care of diabetes is important because it can reduce the risk of some long-term health problems such as eye, kidney, or heart disease. Some people may need help from a doctor, counselor, or therapist to deal with feelings of burnout. Talk with your or your loved one's diabetes care team about these feelings. If needed, they can provide referrals to other specialists.
Whether you are a person with type 1 diabetes or a care partner of someone with type 1 diabetes, there are 3 things you should know about feeling overwhelmed or burned out:
- You are not alone. Diabetes burnout is more common than you might think
- You shouldn’t feel guilty. If you’re living with diabetes, feeling pressured or stressed out sometimes is understandable
- You can get through it. It may be hard at times, but you and/or the person you take care of can turn things around. Burnout can be overcome
Sometimes changing how one reacts to the stresses of type 1 diabetes can help. For instance, let's say blood sugar went up unexpectedly, despite working really hard to control it. That can be disappointing. But instead of dwelling on the bad feelings this can trigger, one can use it to aspire to good actions. What can be done to bring those numbers back down again? What can be learned from this? It's not about blaming. It's about feeling it’s possible to make positive changes.
You'll find other tips on Cornerstones4Care.com that can help you, or the person you care for, cope with some common areas of diabetes burnout.
The diabetes care plan is the key to managing your, or your loved one's, diabetes. Becoming a master at this will greatly benefit diabetes management. And you can do it!