The Top Five Signs of Diabetes "Burnout" (and some solutions too)
Chances are that when you were diagnosed with type 2 diabetes you were advised to make some permanent changes to your lifestyle in order to manage your condition.
Why diabetes burnout is common
Adopting this new day-to-day lifestyle is, of course, in addition to new medications and all of the other confusing information you would have been flooded with. What? Add all of this to my already long list of things I need to do every day?
Unfortunately, yes. And, it’s because of these diabetes self-management demands that we all eventually experience “burnout” to some extent. Here are five signs of diabetes burnout and some solutions.
Signs of diabetes burnout
- Having negative feelings about diabetes or your management of diabetes.
- Experiencing thoughts of giving up.
- Decreasing your diabetes management efforts, such as decreasing the times you check your blood glucose, not counting carbohydrate, missing or not taking enough medication as prescribed, or not following through with daily care of your feet.
- Avoiding medical care appointments or discussions about diabetes.
- Denying that you have been diagnosed with diabetes, often giving excuses.
How to manage diabetes burnout
- Ask for support before your “burnout” is severe. Support can be from a spouse, family member, friend, support group (like type2diabetes.com) or professional counselor. Diabetes can be very overwhelming at times, and a little help from others certainly can help ease the burden you may be feeling. Even asking someone to help plan the meals or reorder your medications can be a little weight taken off your shoulders.
- It is what it is. Acceptance that you have a chronic disease is difficult, but also a good starting place to take charge of your health. You have the opportunity to be the “captain of your ship.” So, take a deep breath and start taking control – even consider the positive things that have happened because of your diagnosis with diabetes. A large percentage of people with diabetes are still undiagnosed, according to the American Diabetes Association – you now have the chance to intercede early, and make a real difference in the quality of your life.
- Take one day at a time. It is easier not to feel overwhelmed when we take diabetes management one day at a time instead of looking at it as a long list of things that should have been done yesterday. Managing diabetes is all about self- care. Taking care of yourself daily is something we have learned since childhood, right? There are some daily routines we need to follow to take care of our diabetes, but soon they will become a natural habit.
- No judgments. Be kind to yourself. Pay attention to the language you use when you speak about your diabetes management. For example, do you use words like “test my blood sugar” instead of “check my blood glucose”? Using the word “test” invites judging – pass or fail – versus checking to see where your blood glucose is so you can make an appropriate management decision.
When to seek professional help
“Burnout” is not the same as depressed, so if these simple solutions don’t work please get professional help. And, always focus on the positive – diabetes is a condition that you can make better by small decisions that can slowly move your average blood glucose levels into a healthier range.
Do you have a family history of diabetes?