Ministry Of Health
Istanbul Haydarpaşa
Numune Training and Research Hospital

Living with Diabetes


Diabetes and Family

Diabetes Mellitus is a significant condition for the lives of diabetic individuals and their families. While diabetic patients maintain their normal lives, they also face problems associated with their illness. It is difficult and tedious to learn personal care practices, integrate these behaviors into everyday life, along with other responsibilities and life stress.

In addition, acute and chronic complications due to diabetes are affecting one's well-being and social life negatively. The main aids for diabetes management of diabetic patients are their families and their immediate surroundings. In the process of diagnosing diabetes, the diabetic individual and family need more time and money than the old one.

This is closely related to the type, severity, treatment modality, effects of the disease on other systems, and the level of blood glucose. In any case, the disease affects the family as well as the diabetic individual. Particularly elderly, fond of patients with advanced organ loss require attention and education from the relatives of diabetes management. Family members are primarily responsible for the planning of meals, taking medicines on time and in doses, making insulin injections, checking blood sugar.

Diabetic psychology
Any acute or chronic serious condition related to our health can cause psychological reactions in us.
These reactions are completely natural and healthy. This is especially the case for long-term or lifelong illnesses in which an individual needs an adaptation process. The tension created by the disease and its treatment can cause psychological reactions to occur by consuming one's adaptive capacity. However, it should be noted that not everyone has to live these reactions, and their shape or violence may vary from person to person.

Once you are diagnosed with diabetes, a life-long illness, you will have to make changes in your lifestyle from time to time that will make it difficult for you. These changes may be not only yours but also a dimension that affects the life of your family.

As a person who is diagnosed with diabetes, the psychological reactions you and your family may experience during the adjustment process can be listed as follows:

Denial

You may think that you did not get a "Diabetes Mellitus" from a doctor or that the disease will go away after a while.

You may consciously neglect to take your medicines or measure your blood sugar level, and go to unhealthy foods.

Family members can also try to avoid thinking about diabetes as much as possible.

Anger

"Why me?"

and you can hear the anger against your family or your friends.

Especially the families of children and adolescents may feel angry at themselves, their spouses or doctors.

In fact, diabetes itself is the anger in this situation.


Depression

You may feel sad, tired or desperate, and you may think that diabetes has ruined your life.

At the same time, family members may also experience depression.

By crying often, they can concentrate on thinking that the most unfavorable possibilities for diabetes will develop themselves in the future.

Fear and anxiety

You may be worried about your diabetes and other things in your life.If you have Type 1 diabetes, you can withdraw from the insulin needles.Those who experience it during hypoglycaemic reactions (sudden drop in blood sugar) can scare you. Having a disease that will be with you for life can create a sense of panic in you. In addition, the family can be worried that they will be able to do something wrong or incomplete in the treatment.

Guilt

You may think that being diabetic is your fault.You may feel guilty thinking that you have restricted the lives of the rest of the family and that you have to change their way of life somehow.Families of children and adolescents with diabetes may feel that their illness is their fault, or blame themselves for not recognizing earlier.

The ones that have been told so far, do not scare you. It is extremely natural and healthy to feel anger, sadness, confusion or other feelings for both the person who is diagnosed with diabetes and the family. It should not be forgotten that during all this emotional confusion there are various methods that can help both the diabetic individual and the family.

How can I cope with psychological reactions?

Coping With Denial

Talk about diabetes with supportive family members and friends. Knowing as much about the disease as possible and sharing with a diabetic person in close proximity will also help you in the process of accepting your illness.

Soothing anger

Relaxation exercises, such as physical activity, emotional emptying, deep breathing and counting up to 10, are some of the methods that can be used to calm anger.

Coping With Depression, Anxiety and Anxiety

Sharing emotions with a family member or a friend, writing thoughts and feelings, walking or exercising, planning an activity that the whole family can do together, and providing a period of time can help you not to think about diabetes.

Getting Rid of Guilt Feelings

Nobody knows why some people have diabetes. No one can do anything that can lead to the development of diabetes. Be comfortable that diabetes is not the result of a mistake you made yourself.

Priority in coping with emotional reactions to diabetes is the sharing of information and emotions. If you still feel uncomfortable with the methods described above and your own efforts, if the adjustment process to the illness has been prolonged or if there has been no reduction in the severity of your feelings over time, then both you and your family will benefit from psychological professional help. If your doctor tells you of your troubles, he will lead you to a suitable specialist.

We have talked about the psychological reactions that may occur in the process of getting acquainted with the disease in people who have been diagnosed with diabetes for the first time and how we can cope with these reactions.

As we have already mentioned, diabetes is a condition that will be with you throughout your life. Therefore, even if the psychological reactions to our first encounter with you are gone, you will need to take the necessary measures for the perfect treatment of diabetes over time (regular use of medication and food, pay attention to your food, use insulin pills, you can get up and do your needlework). Any problem with the disease can disrupt your morale. The fact that you are told that you should use insulin pills every day instead of the medicine you take from the mouth or any other illness (such as eye, kidney or heart problems) caused by diabetes may cause emotional reactions such as despair, unhappiness, fear or sadness. In addition, the sudden drop in your blood sugar from time to time can create fear in you.

Another fear that a majority of diabetic individuals suffer is that they are treated differently from other people. While some of you are clearly saying that you have diabetes, some of you may prefer to hide it until you know you well. This can cause trouble for you because you can not behave naturally and try to hide something.

What we have mentioned above are the psychological problems that most of us have experienced in the period when we are struggling with the difficulties of diabetes. In fact, for a healthy life everyone is recommended to eat regular, healthy foods like you, to exercise and to live regularly. While it seems like a very different life from other people, you are actually doing what you need to do for health. So if you think about what you have to do for a healthy life rather than a necessity, you can feel better.

Where can I get help?

You can get help from your doctor, dietician, nursing staff, people with diabetes, family members and diabetes associations.

Be open to sharing your problems that you can not solve by yourself, your family, your friends, your doctor and other professionals who work on this area and get support from them.

The Role of the Family

Diabetes and Family in Childhood

Type 1 The role of family in children with diabetes is even more important. Diabetes can hinder normal psychological and social development of children and young people, impairing family functioning. The responsibility for diabetes care of these patients needs to be shared equally between parents.

The main responsibilities are measurement and follow-up of blood glucose, insulin injection, diet and exercise programs. Parents need to support each other in these activities.

It is important that the mother and the father show interest in the diabete efforts to adapt the child. Parents should attend clinical checkups together. Because diabetes affects a whole family, all family members should work together in solving problems and in diabetes care. It should not be forgotten that young people who best cope with diabetes are young people who receive support and help from their families on diabetes management.

The sharing of vital information about the diabetic children of separated living parents is of great importance in terms of the child moving between the two houses. This information; level of blood sugar, insulin doses and times, nutritional status, exercise, and information about any illness. Glucagon, glucometer, blood sugar sticks and urine ketone sticks, which may be needed in emergencies, should be kept in both houses permanently. Parents should be mature enough to leave their personal disagreements behind and deal with their children. The support of other members of the family is of great importance in single parenting children.

It is very important for the child to participate in the activities attended by other children in his / her own age group, to have friends outside the family, and to have activities outside the family, in terms of psychological and social development. The family should not keep the diabetic child away from social activities. Diabetic children start to feel different when they are not treated like other children, sometimes they can start to feel sorry for themselves, thinking that they are alone and unloved. Sometimes they can use diabetes to get what they want. In such cases, the members of the family may feel that the child is using them. Most of these problems can be overcome if the diabetic child is treated the same way as other children.

Your siblings must also be part of diabetes education. Siblings can help them and their families more if they feel that their diabetic siblings have seen the same behavior as themselves. Since the diabetic child has shown extreme interest, the brothers often feel ignored. It can be difficult to understand what diabetes is, can fear that your siblings will die, or even think that diabetes is their cause. For this reason, brothers and sisters should be informed about the disease and should be a part of follow-up and treatment.