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Coming to terms with a diabetes diagnosis

You’ve just received the news: you or your child have diabetes. After the initial shock, you’ll probably experience a whole range of emotions and have a ton of questions. It’s a normal process that’s unique to everyone, and it may include the following stages:

  • Denial. You don’t believe the diagnosis.
  • Anger. You feel a sense of injustice, or anxiety that turns into revolt.
  • Bargaining. You partially accept the situation, but question some aspects of it (the proposed treatment, the severity of the disease, etc.).
  • Sadness. You feel like your life will be dominated by diabetes and it won’t be your own anymore.
  • Acceptance. You’re ready to face the situation.

What next? Well first, you’re not alone.

Healthcare professionals are there to answer your questions and give you the tools to properly manage the disease. Whether it affects your child or yourself, you will have a major role to play in treatment. But the good news is that you have a lot more control than you think, and thanks to new breakthroughs and technologies, living with diabetes today is far less complex than it used to be.

And there are other pluses! For example, the changes of habits that will be recommended to you are part of a healthy lifestyle that everyone would benefit from adopting. That said, trying to change everything at once is not a good idea. Instead, set SMART objectives for yourself—goals that are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound.

To make staying the course easier and keep your spirits up, surround yourself with people you can talk to, be it friends, relatives or other people with diabetes. You also have access to many support and discussion groups devoted to the disease; those are a good way to share tips and find comfort.

Finally, don’t put too much weight on your shoulders. You have room for error, and you’ll need a while to become familiar with managing diabetes… but it won’t be too long before you’re looking back proudly at how far you’ve come.

References:
Diabetes Québec, “Adjusting to the diagnosis”: http://www.diabete.qc.ca/en/living-with-diabetes/psychology/diagnosis. Accessed January 6, 2016.
Roche, « New Diabetes Diagnosis? Here Are Three Steps for Getting on the Road to Acceptance »: https://www.accu-chek.com/diabetes-diagnosis. Accessed January 6, 2016.