Diabetes and Guilt

Frequently feeling guilt can have a negative impact on health
Frequently feeling guilt can have a negative impact on health

Guilt is a natural and appropriate consequence to a wrong action. It is a emotional response that enables a person to reflect on an offence they may have caused.

Guilt is an emotion that can sometimes arise after being diagnosed with a chronic physical illness like diabetes.

Guilt is particularly prominent in people diagnosed with type 2 diabetes often stemming from the media bombarding them with information suggesting that life style choices and eating habits are the sole reasons behind their diagnosis.

Guilt could also arise in people suffering from diabetes if they deviate from a strict diet, indulging in something that shouldn’t be eaten.

Guilt is a natural emotion that can lead to changes in behaviour and mind sets. Constant rumination of guilty thoughts can lead to problems with mental and physical health. Excessive guilt has been associated with increased substance abuse, suicidal tendencies and isolation.

One way of addressing feelings of guilt in order to stop them becoming destructive to every day life, is mindfulness. Mindfulness is a technique that teaches an individual to accept their thoughts and emotions and become aware of how this can impact health. By developing a sense of awareness and acceptance, the mindset changes from unhealthy to neutral.

This change has been associated with greater quality of life and general wellbeing.

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