- Relief that your symptoms are not due to a more serious condition.
- Anxiety about future health complications.
- Early lack of concern, followed by anger or resentment when you realise you might need to make important lifestyle changes.
- Demands for detailed information about the next move.
- Self-blame regarding bodyweight or lifestyle.
- Anger about your health condition or the impact diabetes will have on your lifestyle.
- Confusion or bewilderment about the lifestyle changes that you might need to make.
If you have a strong emotional reaction to your diagnosis, it is important that you are given time to adjust before you start to learn to manage your diabetes properly. You may already have some knowledge about diabetes. What you already know might have been learned from a friend or family member who also has the condition. Your perception of diabetes could be distorted or old-fashioned. When you feel ready, discuss what you know about diabetes with your healthcare team, so they can give you reliable information about the condition.
Your family may also have a strong emotional reaction to your diagnosis and need time to accept your condition. You may make life easier for the people close to you if you talk to them about how you are feeling and share with them the information you learn about your diabetes. It may be a good idea for everyone, if your family join you at your clinic appointments. It is important that family, friends and work colleagues know about your diabetes so they understand how you feel and are able to help you if you are unwell.
Getting the emotional support
You should be able to explore your feelings about your diabetes and get emotional support from your healthcare team. You do not need to address all your concerns at your first appointment. As time goes by, you may find it easier to share your emotions with your healthcare team at future consultations. If you are unable to accept your diagnosis or feel depressed or anxious, it is important that you tell a healthcare professional as they can organise specialised psychological help for you if it is required.
The most effective and least complicated form of emotional support is likely to come from other people with Type 2 diabetes. There may be a member of your family or a friend with the condition who can offer you advice and guide you through to a better understanding of diabetes. It can also be helpful to join a support group, organised either by someone in your community or your healthcare team. Try your best to remain positive. As time passes, it is likely that you will come to terms with having Type 2 diabetes and find it easier to manage.