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Loneliness – Another “Complication” of Diabetes

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 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 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 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.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.


  • parodoxi
    2 years ago

    My family is my support. However, I feel that my Doctor could have provided more information when I was first diagnosed. Such as a dietician to help me work thru meal planning and understanding carb counting. I’ve had to learn most of this thru research, but it would have been nice to have someone who really understands help me get thru the struggles of trying to figure out how to really understand what I need to do so that I don’t “fall off the wagon”…which happened. It’s been a struggle getting back on the wagon – when I think I’m on, I slip up again. If there’s something out there to help get motivated again, I’d love to know!!!

  • Margot moderator
    2 years ago

    Hi parodoxi,

    Thanks so much for commenting here. That makes total sense – please know you are not alone; many have shared that they wish they had more information upon diagnosis. It sounds like you are doing a lot to make sure you have all of the information, which is great to hear! These articles may help with motivation and getting back on track:

    Feel free to reach out at any time with any questions for the input of advocates and community members here as well —

    Thinking of you!

    Margot, Team Member

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