There’s no way around it. Getting a diabetes diagnosis is always a blow. You’ve learned news that will dramatically affect your life and the lives of your loved ones. You may feel guilt about past decisions or anxiety for the future. Perhaps the worst thing is the perceived loss of control. Considering the next steps you can take forward is a great way to regain that sense of control.
How to Deal with Diabetes
1. Tell your loved ones
It might be tempting to put off telling your loved one’s about your diagnosis, or to try to keep it a secret from them entirely. However, this isn’t a helpful strategy. It takes courage, but telling your friends and family will allow them to give you the support you need in this troubling time in your life.
2. Do your research
Educating yourself on diabetes will not only get you better equipped to face the challenges ahead, it will also offer you a greater sense of control over your situation. Like telling your loved ones, this step may appear anxiety-inducing at first, but knowing more will bring you more comfort, not less.
You can easily start your research online—try to learn more about your specific type of diabetes, what steps you can take to manage it, and more.
3. Pick trusted professionals
As you do your independent research, you’ll also need to talk to the experts. You should put together a team of professionals who can help you manage your condition. It’s all right to shop around a little too. Talk to multiple physicians about their knowledge and approach before settling on one. Of course, we’d love for you to come into our clinic and see if we’re the right fit for you.
4. Come up with a plan
Once you’ve picked a physician, come up with a plan with them that will help you manage your diabetes and stay healthy. While you’re planning, remember that it’s important to set realistic goals. Choose targets on a day-to-day and month-to-month basis so that you can build good habits.
5. Ask for help
Stress only makes diabetes worse. As you work on your plan, you may want to consider professional counseling to help you manage any guilt, anxiety, or shame you might feel. If formal counseling seems too serious or expensive, you can also call the American Diabetes Associates hotline for advice or just for someone to chat with someone about your condition. To reach the ADA National Call Center, call 1-800-DIABETES (1-800-342-2383) or email AskADA@diabetes.org.
6. Find support
It’s important to remember you’re not alone. There are millions of people in the world who share your condition. Try reaching out to them for support, validation, and advice. You can look for a local support group for your condition, or join an online community. Visit the ADA’s website to find a support group near you.
7. Stay positive
Diabetes is serious, but it doesn’t have to overturn your whole life. We live in a world of remarkable knowledge and technological advances—which means managing your diabetes is completely possible. Keeping that in mind brings a lot of comfort as you face challenges and overcome them.