Living with diabetes can be very frustrating at times. Low and high blood sugars can get in the way of everything from taking a test at school to having sex. Understanding what the underlying causes of these frustrations are about can help reduce anxiety and stress.
Several things cause frustration when living with diabetes. It’s not what you might expect. That is, if you’re thinking about the thousands of blood test, multiple low blood sugars or doctors appointments. It goes much deeper than that.
While the actual events you’re frustrated about are part of the equation, how we think about our diabetes plays a much larger role. Many aspects create or reduce frustration. Today we’re going to look at a few: your perception of having diabetes, meanings you put on the tasks of managing diabetes, your perspective on fluctuating blood sugars and self-care behaviors.
Perception of Diabetes
Everyone has a different perception of their diabetes and what it means to them. Some people view it as a detriment to living a happy life, while others may view it as a blessing in disguise. Then there are those individuals that see it as neutral; just something they have to take care of.
Those in the detriment category tend to view diabetes as a negative or unfair, get more easily frustrated over the little things that are needed for diabetes management. The poor me, points of view, can take over and create a cycle of negative thought, decreasing motivation to manage diabetes. The perception that you’re a victim to your diabetes allows sadness to seep in, and frustration can be found just about anywhere.
People who view it as a blessing in disguise tend to look for the positive aspects of living with diabetes; like being motivation to live a healthier lifestyle and how every day becomes more precious and may even provide new life direction. While this perspective seems to reduce frustration, it doesn’t remove it entirely.
The neutral view is rather simple. Thoughts like “This is a blameless illness that I just need to take care of” or “Although, there are many things we don’t have control over, diabetes being one of them, we do have control over how we view them.” This perspective tends to reduce emotions and increases good judgment.
Which is best, in the long run, is a more extensive conversation, I will be addressing in an upcoming seminar.
Diabetes Management Tasks
While doing the same task over and over again with different results is a natural part of living with diabetes, frustration doesn’t have to be part of your life. How people view these tasks can reduce or increase the impact time plays on frustration and, eventually, diabetes burnout.
If you don’t accept that diabetes comes with extra self-care behaviors that others don’t have to do, you become or are resistant to doing these tasks; like taking blood sugars. Then every time you need to do it anger will surface causing frustration over doing it or avoidance altogether causing poor diabetes management.
Poor diabetes management leads to future complications. It hinders one’s ability to think clearly and reduces one’s ability to manage negative emotions, frustration compounds over time.
Fluctuating Blood Sugar Levels
Depending on when you’re diagnosed you may have been told, that if your blood sugar goes over or under a certain number, that it is bad. However, if your blood sugars do stay in range, that is good. That perspective increases frustration exponentially.
Regardless of your blood sugar level, it is difficult or next to impossible to maintain perfect blood sugar control. In fact, it is natural for blood sugars to fluctuate in people without diabetes. Their blood sugars can go down to 60mg/dL and up to 180mg/dL depending on their situation. That’s why some people view numbers out of range as bad, not normal, like if your blood sugar goes to 250mg/dL. But what is normal for someone living with diabetes.
Doing nothing to improve your situation will cause a reduction of motivation and increase in frustration. Doing anything that will improve your physical or emotional health will reduce stress, increase motivation, increase self-esteem, and help with your diabetes management.
When everything is said and done, it is important to reduce stress levels and take a more neutral well-balanced approach when addressing diabetes. Changing your perspective can make all the difference in the world when it comes to reducing frustration while managing your diabetes. If you’re having trouble doing that, please reach out. Diabetes-Focused Psychotherapy TM can help.
For information on Diabetes-Focused Psychotherapy and how it might help you; go to my website, www.diabetictalks.com today.
*All advice included in this article therapeutic in nature and should not be considered medical advice. Before making any changes to your diabetes maintenance program, please consult with your primary physician or endocrinologist.