Emotional Impact on Families

Diabetes can have an emotional impact on family and friends
Diabetes can have an emotional impact on family and friends

Diabetes certainly has a pronounced emotional impact upon families and particularly on those with a close relationship with those with diabetes.

A number of different factors related to diabetes can contribute to anxiety. We look at some of these causes of stress and techniques which can help with dealing with and beating the effects of anxiety.

Diagnosis of diabetes

A diagnosis of diabetes can be a stressful event for families as a whole.

People who have been diagnosed with diabetes may sometimes go through stages of grief and some of these stages may be shared by the family.

There are techniques which can help to make accepting diabetes easier and these may be helpful for people close to someone with diabetes as well as the person who has diabetes.

Long term health

Anxiety about the long term health of a partner or family members is relatively common. Whilst diabetes is certainly a serious condition that carries a number of potential health complications, the key word here is potential.

Good management of diabetes has been consistently shown to help prevent health complications such as blindness and amputation from developing.

Hypoglycemia

Hypos are scary experiences for those with diabetes and they can be disconcerting for family members too, particularly any cases of severe hypoglycemia. It is relatively common for family members to be more anxious about hypos than those with diabetes.

Whilst mild hypos can usually be treated relatively easily, very low blood sugar levels may cause someone to have convulsions, may make them unresponsive or could lead to irrational behaviour, which can be distressing for those around them.

Stress management

Stress and anxiety are commonly felt by people with diabetes and those that are close to them. Mindfulness is an effective technique for reducing stress, anxiety and depression. Research has proven mindfulness to be effective in helping people to deal with adversity and reduce levels of stress.

Mindfulness techniques can be applied to relieve stress from a wide range of sources, including each of the above.

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