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Counselling and Diabetes?

Discussion in 'Emotional and Mental Health' started by Jess33marsh, May 22, 2014.

?

Should there be specific counselling offered to people living with diabetes?

  1. yes

    40 vote(s)
    95.2%
  2. no

    2 vote(s)
    4.8%
  1. Jess33marsh

    Jess33marsh Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    I would like to ask all people living with diabetes whether they feel that at some point counselling and more emotional support would have been useful to them?
    This could have been at diagnosis stage or at any other stage.
    I am asking the diabetic community as I have been a type 1 diabetic for 18 years and whilst my local diabetic care team are excellent at helping with the medical side of living with the condition I feel that the psychological and emotional side is ignored and the diabetic nurses often don't have time to offer this. I am a qualified therapeutic counsellor looking to improve the emotional/psychological care for people and start a new project. Your views, comments and experiences will be crucial and invaluable to my research.
    I thank you in advance
    .
     
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  2. noblehead

    noblehead Type 1 · Guru
    Retired Moderator

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    I've answered yes Jess, I think counselling is a great idea for those who are struggling to come to terms with diabetes, certainly the emotional support would be useful for those who are newly diagnosed as there's so much to take in, it can all become too much in the first few weeks and months..
     
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  3. LesH

    LesH Type 2 · Member

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    I am not sure about counselling
    More information about how to deal with it would be great help
    I do not mean one size fits all "healthy eating"
     
  4. Patch13

    Patch13 Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    It would have been useful for me . Although not immediately after diagnosis but probably about 1 year after. The first year was ok as I was in my honeymoon period and diabetes was new so I felt ok about it. After that I realised it was with me for life and then if got worse!

    It probably took about 10 years to come to terms with it properly (no counselling was given at any stage).


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  5. lilyfleur

    lilyfleur Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Counselling is exactly what I needed, and I'm convinced I would've avoided 10 years of bad control if I'd been offered it in my first couple of years, instead of having to demand it after about 6 years, and then having to fight for it for a few more! It also would help if any therapists actually had experience in this area, as I've found the ones I've seen (whilst my most recent ones have been brilliant) really haven't known where to start, because they've not understood the physical cravings behind some of the anger towards it.

    It really annoys me that it isn't offered early on, especially when looking back on it, I had an obvious eating disorder, I was clearly not taking medication properly and yet nobody even noticed! I wasn't even hiding it well!


    Type One Diabetes since 2001, Coeliac Disease since 2003 ish, IBS, and on and off depression and diabulimia.

    Current HbA1c 11.7% :(
     
  6. lizdeluz

    lizdeluz Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    I'm very interested in the issue you have raised. I was under the impression that every diabetes team had to have the ability to offer psychotherapy? Surely, it must be part of every DSN's basic training? After all, there are many instances of people with diabetes who need psychological support, whether at diagnosis or at any other critical time in their lives. Those in denial, or who have phobias or fears about caring for themselves, or those who can't manage their diabetes on a daily basis for whatever reason ... Who does do this work of helping these people?

    I'm not sure whether you are referring to a form of counselling that doesn't already exist?

    In practice, I've never seen any sign of it, been offered it, wanted it, or thought there was any need for it. But now I think otherwise.

    However, counselling would be a really bad idea unless it was done well.
     
  7. LesH

    LesH Type 2 · Member

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    Ever one is different
    Some people need counselling others do not have a very high opinion of counselling or counsellors
     
  8. Jess33marsh

    Jess33marsh Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Hi,

    It's apparent that counselling is not for everyone and I would never suggest it is. I value all the views LesH, Patch13, Lilyfeur and Lizdeluz write in their response to my question.

    Like Lilyfleur I would have benefitted myself from counselling a year after diagnosis as Patch13 says the first year I was perfectly controlled and in the honeymoon phase. I think DSN's do have basic training but personally I find the nurses are dealing with pressures of so many patients to see they can't offer any real time to each person to deal with anything psychologically deep.
    I wouldn't be championing this if I hadn't experienced a colourful life with diAbete


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  9. Jess33marsh

    Jess33marsh Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Apologies I hit the wrong button before finishing......

    I wouldn't be championing counselling for diabetics if I hadn't experienced a colourful life so far living with the condition and the need arising for me on several occasions.

    Thank you for taking the time to respond

    Jess


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  10. lizdeluz

    lizdeluz Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Rereading my own post, I feel I may have sounded negative about counselling! and I'm really not. I've had a shocking lack of control of my diabetes at times, well, pretty constantly really. I could have done with counselling to put a stop to that. It's only looking back that I can see the pressure I was under, and it makes me appreciate the pressures that others with diabetes probably are undergoing most of the time, many without any help to address or reduce the pressures.
    I never received any 'screening' for the psychological effects of diabetes as a long-term condition. I think this is what you are proposing? Do you think, like I do, that this should be a standard part of caring for people with diabetes? Tell me it's too costly? Yes, I know, but that doesn't mean we should continue to put our heads in the sand for ever more.
     
  11. SophieH

    SophieH · Member

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    This is something that is of REAL personal interest to me! Along with having had T1 diabetes for 12 years now, two years ago i was diagnosed with anorexia and have since then been trying to recover (currently on round 2 after a recent relapse). While for me i never struggled with diabulimia (insulin omission) i had firstly restriction/purging, and then more severe restriction/anorexia. My main issues revolve around carbs - restriction was mostly carbs based, although fats and calories definitely came into play later on.
    Some support early on in my diagnoses/more during my teens would DEFINITELY have helped. My diabetes consultant when i was 13/14 actually acted as a real trigger, by telling me i couldn't eat all this stuff and saying to "watch how much insulin i was given". Since then i have had a fear of insulin - not to the point where i omit it, but it leads to a fear of carbs and desperation to get control.
    There needs to be more support for this. Not just in terms of diabetes/eating disorders, but general psychological support. It is a huge deal! People don't appreciate it because it is wuite an 'invisible' illness. But right now, for example, well in the last few months recently - i've just really struggled to deal with it again. High blood sugars, largely provoked by poor absorption (ironically this is party a cause of being slightly underweight right now, yet makes it difficult to eat more and thus 'fix' the root problem!) but as wonderful as my DSN is - there's just not other support offered. For me, what has been partciuarlyl challenging is that there's no common link. The diabetes team couldn't understand the ED issues, the Eating Disorder services i was with over a year ago were hopeless with diabetes knowledge - and didn't even try to understand!
    There needs to be more support in this area. Far more. Therapy in general - yes, support needed. thank-you for raising awareness of this - the world needs people like you!
    Sophie x
     
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  12. Jess33marsh

    Jess33marsh Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Hi Sophie,

    Thanks for telling me about what sounds like a long hard battle for you!
    The main thing is that your not giving up and still trying to manage both your conditions and you can speak about it!!!
    You've highlighted a gap in provision of services in what would be classed as "specialised" area of expertise, However, I think DSN's and ED services really should be educated on these very integral issues that related topics as part of their training. It's very short sighted otherwise and as you've experienced so far extremely unhelpful, frustrating and isolating.
    Generally counsellors trained in ED can help you but throw in diabetes and it becomes a more complex case and unless you have diabetes or live/know someone close to you with it I can imagine that the everyday crucial fine detail to self care of diabetes is misunderstood and hard to empathise with.

    Maybe your a good person to pursue this gap in provision when you are ready and recovery. I will be honest and say to you that I'm not a well controlled diabetic myself with other health complications but this just makes me human and passionate about the subject. Your encouragement is fantastic to hear so thank you!

    If I can help you in any way please feel free to contact me.

    Jess x


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  13. Deniecec11

    Deniecec11 Type 1 · Newbie

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    I have now been Diabetic for 25 years and i'm struggling . I have always tried to be well controlled but just recently been diagnosed with Neuropathy which i was simply prescribed Amatripaline and advised "take these but they will make you drowsy", no further support. In the same month i was also told i had a haemorrhage in my right eye which is due to the time i have had diabetes...again no support in fact i was told i was "lucky" that these were my only problems after being diabetic so long.
     
  14. Molly56

    Molly56 Don't have diabetes · Well-Known Member

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    As the partner of someone with type 2 diabetes I would also suggest that counselling be extended to carers and family members as it is often them that have to deal with the issues alongside the person with the diabetes.

    In my case my partner is not dealing with his diabetes and as a result of this it has impacted on my own emotional health and wellbeing.......I am currently seeking counselling for myself to deal with the emotional issues involved and to see how I can better help him to manage his diabetes whilst maintaining my own physical and mental health.

    Diabetes affects both the person themselves and those around them so support should be offered where needed to all those affected by this not just the diabetic patient.
     
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  15. novorapidboi26

    novorapidboi26 Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    I was OK I think as I was a 15 year old boy with lots of other things on my mind at the time.........GIRLS GIRLS GIRLS...........!!...............;)

    but for some who are older and who don't have many family or friends near by I would imagine it would be quite hard..........

    thank god for the internet and support forums......
     
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  16. catherinecherub

    catherinecherub · Guest

    Hi @Molly56.

    Have you thought about using the careline that diabetes.org.uk have available?

    What is Careline?
    The Diabetes UK Careline is a dedicated diabetes helpline for all people with diabetes, their friends, family, carers and healthcare professionals.

    The confidential helpline is staffed by professional counsellors who have extensive knowledge of diabetes. They can provide information about the condition, take the time to talk things through and explore emotional, social, psychological or practical difficulties.

    http://www.diabetes.org.uk/How_we_help/Talk-to-someone/Careline/
     
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  17. Molly56

    Molly56 Don't have diabetes · Well-Known Member

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    @catherinecherub....will add this to my list of potential support, thank you.

    A recent visit to my GP for myself suggested a local counselling service in our area and also contacting the local community diabetes team (mentioned recently in another of my threads in diabetes discussions) but the UK Careline is certainly another route to consider if I don't get any joy with what is offered by my local NHS team.

    Will look it up later and perhaps give them a call, thanks :)
     
  18. penguinpenguin8

    penguinpenguin8 Type 1 · Newbie

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    This has made for an interesting read. I was diagnosed with type 1 a week before last Christmas aged 27. I am lucky that my boyfriend is also a type 1 diabetic of 20 years (random I realise) so I'd got used to seeing the routine, got over watching him inject himself and have been able to bounce questions off him. I am pretty well controlled. However I seem to be more inexplicably anxious at random moments and get myself wound up/upset about things I know afterwards are trivial. I have always been a very chirpy person, sarcastic but happy yet at the moment I am totally fed up at work and at times can't be bothered with things. I'm not sure what to do. My Diabetic nurse is ok but has seemed dismissive when I have hinted at concerns. I am not sure how much of all this is diabetes related but it is the single biggest change so figure it might somehow be related.

    Thank you in advance.
     
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  19. Neo88

    Neo88 Type 2 · Active Member

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    I think I may be one of the lucky ones as my local area does offer counselling for diabetics. Mostly the focus is on common issues.. e.g. health related anxiety, frustration/anger at diagnosis, issues with controlling your glucose levels - e.g. diet. I have recently been trying a form of Heart Rate Variability and breathing exercises.. as it has been shown that increased cortisol levels (due to how you are feeling emotionally) can raise glucose levels and I have to say I do feel a little better in myself.

    Sometimes I do find it a little vague, as they are not able to give medical advice, it is a lot of "how does that make you feel/ what do you think about that" which at times can be irritating. Although it does make you question yourself a little which can be helpful.

    Penguinpenguin8 - have a chat with your GP and see if they offer health/medical related counselling, it may not be diabetes specific but they may be able to help with your anxiety in general.
    Neo88
     
  20. louch1

    louch1 · Well-Known Member

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    I am quite new . I was diagnosed type. 2 in October . It really hurt a lot as I thought I was doing all the right things like loosing weight and keeping fit. I take each day as it comes . One day by blood levels may keep below 10. :)
     
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