Recognising & Coping with Diabetes Distress

woman outside looking anxious

Living with diabetes can be incredibly demanding. The constant vigilance required for blood sugar management can take an emotional toll. This emotional burden is known as diabetes distress, and it’s crucial to recognise and address it effectively.

Understanding Diabetes Distress

Diabetes distress is more than just feeling stressed or overwhelmed. It’s a complex interplay of emotions encompassing:

  • Chronic worry: The constant concern about managing blood sugar levels, potential complications arising from the disease, and even the fear of judgment from others regarding food choices or adherence to treatment.
  • Fear: The anxiety of experiencing hypoglycaemia (low blood sugar), failing to meet treatment goals, or facing the long-term consequences of uncontrolled diabetes.
  • Frustration: The daily struggles with managing limitations imposed by the condition, the constant need for meal planning, and navigating social situations that may involve food or social pressures.
  • Feelings of isolation: The difficulty of connecting with others who may not fully understand the daily realities of living with diabetes and the specific challenges it presents.


What Causes Diabetes Distress?

Several factors contribute to the development of diabetes distress, including:

  • The demanding nature of self-management: The constant vigilance required for monitoring blood sugar, and making dietary adjustments can be overwhelming.
  • The fear of complications: The potential for long-term consequences can be a significant source of anxiety.
  • Psychological factors: Individuals with a pre-existing vulnerability to anxiety or depression are more susceptible to developing diabetes distress.
  • Lack of social support: Feeling alone in managing the condition can exacerbate emotional difficulties.

It’s important to remember that while experiencing occasional stress or frustration related to diabetes management is normal, when these emotions become persistent, it is crucial to address them effectively through various coping mechanisms, and professional diabetes counselling.

Diabetes Counselling in Norwich

At Angsana Psychology, we offer specialised diabetes counselling in Norwich, for those struggling at any point. Our experienced psychologist Dr Jinnie Ooi can help you understand and manage the emotional aspects of living with diabetes. Contact us today to schedule an initial appointment, to learn how to effectively manage diabetes distress and live a fulfilling life.

Book a 15-Minute Consultation