Diabetes can be frustrating and tiring, especially due to the number of daily considerations and requirements that come with managing the disease.

Consistently medicating, blood testing and concentrating on diet can be challenging, and sometimes lead to people completely disregarding their condition.

This is known as diabetes burnout.

What is diabetes burnout?

Diabetes burnout occurs when an individual submits to their diabetes, which can result in people neglecting to test blood sugar levels, missing hospital appointments and forgetting to take insulin injections.

A range of these self-destructive behaviours can occur through diabetes burnout, and the first step towards conquering your negative feelings is sharing them.

Inevitably, everyone with diabetes has felt down at some point about having their condition.

However, by discussing your emotions you can educate yourself on why you feel the way you do, how to take control of your diabetes and how you can prevent health complications from developing.

Whether you talk to health care professionals, family or users of the Diabetes Forum, you will learn that you are not alone and your feelings are not uncommon.

Find advice on the Diabetes Forum

Many of the 265,000 members of our Diabetes Forum have shared their fears or worries relating to diabetes.

One user, Anglovesjesus, previously voiced her concern when her diabetic daughter decided to stop testing her blood sugar levels.

She wrote: “My daughter (18) was diagnosed nearly 5 years ago. She very rarely forgets to take insulin but the problem is that she is so sporadically tests her blood. She says that she forgets and this may be the case, but it seems like she is in denial. She just doesn’t want to see what the reading is going to be so she doesn’t bother.”

Ignoring your blood sugar levels can be a symptom of diabetes burnout, whilst being unaware of blood sugar readings can result in short and long-term complications.

If you are running consistently high, you can be at risk of diabetes ketoacidosis, a dangerous short-term complication which can lead to death without urgent treatment.

In the long-term, you may also lose the ability to identify hypos and hypers if you feel symptoms, but fail to test and clarify your readings.

Another user, twisted imaginings, wrote: “I think this (diabetes burnout) is exactly where I am at the moment, nothing seems to work. I really don’t care anymore – the other night, the exact words I used were: ‘Oh well, if it kills me, it kills me’. I haven’t been diagnosed for long – only since last November, but I’ve had enough.”

Depression is among the emotional and psychological changes that can accompany diabetes burnout, which include stress and anger. While things can seem bleak for people suffering diabetes burnout, there are ways of recovering so you can feel confident and in charge of your diabetes.

There are mindfulness based courses available in the United Kingdom which have shown to be effective in supporting diabetes management and can help you understand your emotions.

Otherwise, trying new recipes for meal times and mid-day snacks can add some literal and figurative spice to your diet. Food management can be tricky for people with diabetes, but researching meals that won’t greatly affect your blood sugar levels, and are fun to cook, can be very rewarding.

Trouble accepting your diabetes?

If you, or someone you know, is struggling to accept their diabetes and not sticking to their medication regime, there are two things to bear in mind.

Firstly, diabetes is not who you are.

If you have been recently diagnosed, it can be common to feel overwhelmed with management information. However, once you get your head around it all, there is no reason why you can’t live an otherwise normal life.

Secondly, upon having control over your diabetes, there is very little that it can stop from you doing in terms of employment, sport, travel and other pastimes

Having good diabetes management can enable you to keep your diabetes in the background, while you get on with living with your life with confidence, rather than fear.

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