Coping with Diabetes

Diabetes does not define you; it is just a small part of what makes you unique. While working with your healthcare team is important in managing your diabetes, it is also important to prepare yourself mentally to deal with it. Diabetes can be scary. It can bring about many feelings like denial, guilt, anger, frustration, or even depression. These feelings are normal. It is okay to feel all of these emotions and many more.

Remember that it is never too late to jump start diabetes self-management. The key is to be gentle with yourself because you are your best resource for managing your diabetes.

The way that you deal with your emotions is called coping. There are many things that you can do to cope with type 2 diabetes—both negative and positive. Negative coping strategies like smoking, drinking excessive amounts of alcohol, overeating, or avoiding people may cause more health problems. Below are some examples of positive ways to cope.

Positive ways to cope include:
  • Having a positive support system like your family, friends, or church group
  • Finding things that make you laugh
  • Focusing on things that make you happy
  • Attending group support sessions with people who understand you
  • Building healthy relationships
  • Increasing physical activity—try riding bikes with a friend or walking your dog
  • Starting a new hobby like reading, cooking, scrap booking, knitting, or journaling