In the Heathcote electorate alone, there are approximately 1,900 people living with diabetes.
The psychological side-effects of living with diabetes can often be neglected or underestimated, particularly upon diagnosis, according to a new survey conducted by Diabetes NSW on 150 of its members.
The results indicate that many people living with diabetes experienced a range of negative emotions when first diagnosed. People living with type 1 diabetes indicated they felt anxious (32.6%), shocked (25.6%), confused (30.2%) and sad (27.9%) when first diagnosed.1 Those diagnosed with type 2 diabetes reported similar feelings; 29.7% were anxious, 19.2% were shocked, and 16.3% were confused or sad.1
In addition, while just 14% of those with type 1 diabetes were accepting of their diagnosis, 42.3% of those Australians diagnosed with type 2 diabetes reported that they accepted their diagnosis.1
“A diabetes diagnosis can be frightening for those affected and their loved ones” says Sturt Eastwood, CEO, Diabetes NSW. “Diabetes NSW is here to support anyone impacted by diabetes. This National Diabetes Week we’re launching a new diabetes guide to help those who know someone with diabetes understand and support their friend, colleague or loved one.”
It concerns me to think that locals from the Heathcote area with diabetes are faced with a range of challenges and complications that can impact their emotional wellbeing, not just their physical health, and that these are often overlooked.
During National Diabetes Week, Diabetes NSW is encouraging all Heathcote residents to be aware of their emotional health and wellbeing when living with diabetes.
“People should not feel alone in their diagnosis. We must recognise that looking after ourselves emotionally is just as important as looking after ourselves physically, particularly when dealing with a diabetes diagnosis. Make sure you are able to talk to someone about how you’re feeling,” said Mr Eastwood.
Simple tips from Diabetes NSW to keep a healthy body and mind:
• Make sure to stay active. Regular exercise can improve your health and fitness, as well as your mood. Catch up with friends for a group fitness session, or take your dog for a walk outside.
• Get plenty of sleep. Eight hours a night will help you function at your best the next day.
• Reduce your alcohol intake as it can affect the way you handle daily stress.
• Allow yourself to feel emotions so you do not become overwhelmed. Schedule regular time to process your day and any problems that may have come your way.
• Eat a healthy diet full of fresh vegetables and fruits, and remember to drink two litres of water each day to keep your body happy.
For more information about Diabetes NSW activities and events during National Diabetes Week please visit www.diabetesnsw.com.au
People who are concerned about diabetes and would like to speak with an expert can also call Diabetes NSW toll free line on 1300 342 238.