Loneliness – Another “Complication” of Diabetes
A 2012 Canadian Diabetes Association survey of a sample of Canadians with diabetes shed light on what we might call “frustrations” of diabetes and diabetes management, and we all know that frustration is a diabetes fact-of-life. I was particularly drawn to the elements of this survey, however, which addressed the emotional issues of living with diabetes.
Isolation and depression
When asked outright about “feeling alone when it comes to managing diabetes,” only 27% agreed. But, one-third wished they “had someone to talk to who understands,” and more than 45% said they “do not have emotional support in their life to help them manage diabetes.” More than 65% of respondents to a survey conducted right here at type2diabetes.com said they “do not have consistent active support.”
These responses show that one very common emotion associated with having diabetes is related to feelings of not having supportive connections with others, especially those who really understand the fears, confusion and frustrations. And, this isolation and/or loneliness can eventually contribute to genuine depression, a clinical condition which is all too common among people with diabetes too, and which clearly has a negative impact on self-care (diabetes management).
I believe some of the greatest benefits to belonging to the type2diabetes.com community are about the connections and exchanges you can have with fellow members, most of whom share the same fears, confusion and frustrations. But, we don’t have to stop there. The type2diabetes.com survey I mentioned earlier also found 87% of respondents have “never been part of a diabetes support group.” Personal connections are important too, and I hope many of those people – and you – have since found local diabetes support groups they can attend.
And why is this so important? Ultimately, anything that keeps us positive and motivated to take better care of ourselves is important. If you’re feeling lonely or isolated, talk to someone else with diabetes – they will almost certainly understand.
How stressed out do you feel today?