The psychological impact of diabetes on mental health
By Cathy Lloyd, Professor of Health Studies in the School of Health, Wellbeing and Social Care at the Open University.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help
Asking for help with psychological problems can be difficult. Mental health problems still carry a stigma which can influence whether or not symptoms are expressed.
The language used within clinical settings can also influence the discussions. Using words such as ‘adherence’ or ‘compliance’ with treatment can have serious negative effects. Conversely, using non-discriminatory words can open up conversations and help identify the particular needs of the person with diabetes.
More support is needed
In summary, diabetes can have a serious psychological and emotional impact, and can affect self-management as well as the individual’s quality of life. A range of psychological problems can occur including depression, anxiety and diabetes-related distress.
Diabetes care service providers have acknowledged the extent of this problem and advocate a holistic approach to care which includes consideration of both physical and mental health.
It is recommended that psychological well-being is addressed in clinical consultations so that the most appropriate and person-centred care is provided, however there remains a shortage of specialist support.
The above is a sample article from a recent Diabetes Wellness News – it was originally published in the March 2019 issue of Diabetes Wellness News (reviewed within 18 months from publication date). Source references are available on request.
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