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why am I so ashamed/embarrassed to tell/show people I'm diabetic?

Discussion in 'Young People/Adults' started by JShep07, Jan 7, 2018.

  1. badmedisin

    badmedisin · Well-Known Member

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    I genuinely don't understand why anyone feels like they have to hide their diabetes. When I was diagnosed (age 8) my stepmother came to school and explained it to the class, everyone always knew I was diabetic.
    I've always injected and tested my BG in public and tbh it's useful for people to know so they can help you when you need it.
    If your friends give you trouble about it, you need to get different friends...
    When you have a job your employers need to know about it, partly for your safety and partly so that you have more support if you have to take sick leave.
    I've always been extremely open about it and rarely had any problems, people are a lot more sympathetic about it than you might think, and most people's responses begin with "oh yeah, my friend/ relative has it too". There's so many of us that everyone has diabetic friends & family.
    There's nothing to be gained from hiding it, and you're only hurting yourself.
    You shouldn't try to change yourself to fit in or meet what you perceive as other people's expectations, just be you and do your thing.
    I think one of the things that made things a lot easier for me is realising that it really doesn't matter what other people think of you (except at job interviews!) and that most people are way to busy concentrating on their own insecurities to even notice yours ;)
     
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  2. EmmaJ99

    EmmaJ99 Type 1 · Active Member

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    I was diagnosed just under a month ago and I have found it easier to tell my close friends. They have given me their full support and want to learn about everything with me. Why do you find it hard? Do you feel ashamed or that people will treat you differently?
     
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  3. Ziggy2017

    Ziggy2017 Type 3 · Well-Known Member

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    I am type two diabetic but it’s not down to diet it’s due to medication I have to take so when people say stuff like: Did you get diabetes from eating too much chocolate? It really annoying :mad:
     
  4. JShep07

    JShep07 Type 1 · Active Member

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    People do treat me differently. I cant go for a drink with my friends or eat a unhealthy take away without someone telling me why i cant :( and then whenever i have mood swings from being high or low people just think im using diabetes as an excuse. So i find it easier to not tell people and sneak off for checks and injections
     
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  5. Celsus

    Celsus Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    There are many good reasons why we as diabetics can laugh a lot about funny memes like these:
    [​IMG]
     
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  6. Robinredbreast

    Robinredbreast Type 1 · Oracle

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    Hi, you are just 20 years old, a difficult time for young people, comments from those who don't have type 1 and don't have to administer MDI or are on a pump are not helpful at all, as the teenage years and young adulthood are difficult enough.
    You need a boost of confidence, so try to step up and try to get he courage to say ' s**t happened and I became type 1 at 6 years old, my pancreas stopped working, I was ill and now I have to take Insulin to keep me alive. I am proud of who I am and I am doing a pretty good job.
    Honestly, you don't have to say it to everyone, sometimes actions speak louder than words. Those that matter, won't mind and those that do mind............. don't matter. Remember diabetes is just a small part of who you are, so don't let it stop you from being you. You have nothing, absolutely nothing to be ashamed of.
    Enjoy your life :)

    ps Have a look at Type 1'stars R Us, it about living and coping with type 1, chatting and sharing life's up's and downs, it may help. Have you found anyone of your own age to chat with on here ?
     
    #46 Robinredbreast, Jun 14, 2018 at 1:52 PM
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2018
  7. JoKalsbeek

    JoKalsbeek Type 2 (in remission!) · Well-Known Member

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    If my cat hadn't been diabetic (after pancreatitis), it would have taken a lot longer for my own diabetes to be discovered. And you know what? I thought I knew a fair bit about diabetes management because of Night! Turns out our vet and the uni clinic are as Eat-Well backwards as human doctors, haha. Still, they pulled our little guy through, only their ideas about carbs are out-dated, and that's all. But yeah... I thought I knew a thing or two... And maybe I did, because when I started reading up on it I didn't have to start from scratch eith the terminology, but jeez... I was basically clueless. So yes, I love this meme!!!
     
  8. Robinredbreast

    Robinredbreast Type 1 · Oracle

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  9. leahkian

    leahkian · Well-Known Member

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    Jshep07 no matter how long you have had diabetes people will always make remarks about what you are doing and that you should not be doing because you are a diabetic. The thing is that someone who smokes would not like it if you said you should not do that you might get cancer, or someone who drinks a lot you might become a alcoholic. People who comment on you having a drink must not know that diabetics can have alcohol but like everyone else we have to watch how much we have. The food is the same diabetics can have a takeaway as long as they can manage there diabetes and not all the time. People who say you use your diabetes as a excuse for mood swings are not worth the time of day and what about them do they never have a mood swing. If they do ask them what their excuse is, at 20 years of age i felt like you wanting to hide it and this was from people who new i was a diabetic. That for me 22 years ago and diabetes was not in the news as much as it is now, i am not trying to say you have it easy now because every diabetic is different and have to find a way to cope with life. At 20 i was always cracking a joke having a laugh but that was sometimes a front as i am a very deep person who will only ask for help when i have hit rock bottom and still am today but not as deep as i was before. I have thought through my life about things that i have done both good and bad, i have hurt people who did not deserve it just because i was selfish and know one was going to tell me how to live my life and in the end it has left me single at 42. I have done good hings as well but like you mood swings happen even now 3 years after my double transplant the mood swings are still there. They are there because of the effects of diabetes for all those years mean i can not do thing i want to do with my children, will not go abroad because i am scared, my parents who are 75 and had her stomach removed about 15 years ago and my dad who has had polio since he was 3 are looking after me but the thing that i can not get my head round is that someone died so i could live and i will have to live with that forever. So if you do not want to tell everyone that you are a diabetic then that is your choice but please carry something on you that will tell people that you are a diabetic. If i had one thing i could change to help diabetics it would be more information on tv as now when they talk about diabetes there is a stigma that you only get diabetes if you are fat.
     
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  10. crystalbrincks

    crystalbrincks · Member

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    I am always hiding that I'm diabetic. My student years as passing by with figuring out hacks to avoid sharing this part of my life with anyone but my family and putting efforts to show 'everything's fine' face every day.
     
  11. Grant_Vicat

    Grant_Vicat Don't have diabetes · Well-Known Member

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    Hi @crystalbrincks I wrote this 9 years ago:
    This is probably because I was very poorly controlled throughout my time there [at school]. One of the doctors at Southlands Hospital wrote to me saying:
    Dear Grant,
    Further to your visit to the Diabetic Clinic last week, I have noted that your blood sugar was 26mmol again, which I feel is rather high.

    At the time I was affected by a teenage resentment of my condition, a perverse aversion to outside opinion, and a complete lack of awareness of the significance of any information. As I write this I can see all kinds of interference on the computer screen caused by retinopathy: I am unable to keep my hands steady (not because of Vin de Pays de L’Herault); and I am aware that my kidneys are struggling to survive. All this was wrapped up in those few words in the above letter. Throughout my life I have been regularly reminded, either through personal contacts, diabetic journals, visits to clinics, or through books, that all diabetics run these risks and that the condition, if unmanaged, can be fatal. Why is it that teenagers happily (?) ignore these warnings? On several occasions in the last thirty years I have been contacted by doctors, asking me whether I would be prepared to talk to a sixteen year old who is ignoring advice. Of course I would. Could they get in touch with me? On each occasion, nobody has telephoned. I think at this stage in life, when hormones are unruly, faces look like Spotted **** with a hairy frame, girls (or boys) are worryingly important, sexuality is uncertain, parents are a bloody menace and so on, the last thing a person needs is an uncomfortable label. I never wanted to talk about it. I’ve more than made up for it now. I have been able to manage The Enemy far more effectively since I have been prepared to discuss it. But, even at the age of twenty this can be daunting.

    Hiding diabetes is certainly understandable and is okay providing control is not compromised. Should you have a hypo while in the presence of friends or strangers, and they are unaware of your situation, I would guess they would phone 999, in which case you have experienced an assisted hypo. If they knew beforehand, they could be able to warn you before any help is needed. This is particularly important regarding getting a driving licence.

    I remember feeling there was something "wrong" with me throughout my childhood. True friends tried their hardest to dispel this very damaging belief. I remember a very large Rugby player in the Chemistry Department at King's College London, who asked to do a sugar test on himself. No way could he go ahead and he said "I don't know how you can do that!" I think that was the first time I felt pride and so many doors opened. I hope you will gradually put your head over the parapet. Good luck
     
  12. pleinster

    pleinster Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    I get that...but all this effort to hide it, and the stress of all that goes with it ? Not hiding it at all is surely way less effort and stress...and it will let you know who the idiots to avoid are. Maybe try it...one less thing to put you blood sugar up...and sometime showing that everything isn't fine - is fine. probably easier for me as I got diabetes from steroids as part of post transplant treatment in my 50s...and by then I had stopped giving a toss about what anyone thought of me in those kinds of ways. Good luck. Save yourself years of tension - to hell with the daft views of people who ultimately are little more than wallpaper in rooms you will pass through in your life.
     
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  13. JattSingh

    JattSingh · Newbie

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    I have come across this thread/forum via Google after a related incident I have just had.

    I was diagnosed with Type 2 in the middle of March this year, after a blood test. It was no surprise, I have had an extremely poor diet in the last 3-4 years, and battles with alcohol, which caused me to balloon to 40+ BMI.

    As soon as I was diagnosed, I immediately made lifestyle changes. Especially during these weird times, I have been proud of how I have changed my diet, & have slowly lost 6kg to date with no exercise.

    I am extremely ashamed of this illness. I only told my wife about it at first. Then told my direct manager at work as this coronavirus risk was involved. I made it clear to both of them that I didn't want this discussed with anyone else. I didn't tell my best friends, and eventually only told my parents because my Mother has been through it. I also told them to keep it quiet, especially from my siblings.

    Now my wife has casually told me that she mentioned it to her sister on the phone today, as she had asked how I was doing. I am absolutely livid, shaking with rage. This has led me to google whether this shame is an actual phenomenon, or whether I am being unreasonable.
     
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  14. JoKalsbeek

    JoKalsbeek Type 2 (in remission!) · Well-Known Member

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    Shame is a thing due to the stuff "everybody knows" about diabetes. You know, that you've brought this on yourself and there's no-one to blame but you, bladibla... The thing is... None of it is true. There's people who ate and drank the same things you did, and maybe more, and nothing happened to them. T2 is a genetic condition (your mom going through it ring a bell there?), that messes up your metabolism. Ït doesn't work properly, which is NOT your fault. That's your genes at work and you have no say in what those get up to, right? And another thing "everybody knows": Carbs are good, fats are bad. Not true, but the research and science on that is slow to trickle down... There's a global diabetes pandemic because these past 60 years or so everyone's been eating carbs and shunning fats, which a lot of us are not equipped to deal with. When I gained weight I tried to get help. I was told to eat more carbs and cut the fats. I ballooned. I became diabetic which i had a predisposition for both via my gran and an ovarian cyst that messed up my hormones. All because I followed "common knowledge", which is basically, all wrong. (Mind you, I would've become diabetic sooner or later, but due to dilligently following the "right" diet, it ended up being sooner.)

    Don't blame yourself. You've got it now, you know you have a problem processing certain things (that'd be all carbs, not just sugars!) so now you can do something about it.

    https://josekalsbeek.blogspot.com/2019/11/the-nutritional-thingy.html <-- this might help too.

    I do get that having private medical information shared without your consent can be.... Unpleasant and unwelcome. But I have a feeling this is what is going on: Once someone gets an illness, they don't have it alone. Their loves ones worry, are scared, have to live with it too. You're suffering, but they are too, though to a lesser, non-physical extent. She probably just needed to talk to someone about it. So, two things: Try to let go of the shame you're feeling, because contrary to what you think, you did NOT do this to yourself. It was just laying in wait, from the moment you were born. It never was a fair fight. The second thing: Talk to your wife. She probably has no idea why you're p.o.-ed, and seems to me you both need someone to talk to. Might as well be one another!

    Hugs,
    Jo

    PS: It does get better than this.
     
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  15. Mike d

    Mike d Type 2 · Expert

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    That's a betrayal and I'd be none too happy either. But calm down, not worth the drama but worth a firm lecture
     
    #55 Mike d, May 18, 2020 at 2:13 PM
    Last edited: May 18, 2020
  16. JattSingh

    JattSingh · Newbie

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    Thank you for this. This is the most informative thing I have seen/heard in the 2 months since I got diagnosed. I've had a brief browse through your blog, & will definitely be looking at it in more detail.
     
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  17. Ray B

    Ray B Type 1 · Active Member

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    I know it is easy for me to say, as I have had Type 1 for 74 years. I had, like so many people, been in denial during my adolescent years in the fear, ‘friends’ would reject me. They didn’t. In fact it was like lifting a great big weight off my shoulders when I told people. There were times I needed them to help.
    What has been more prevalent these days is people saying they have some member of family or friend ‘who has that’.
    Living with a secret can be really destructive and hard work I would have thought.
    Some positive thoughts which I have used:
    Firstly you are now a member of a wonderful supportive club and finding this website has hopefully helped you believe that, secondly see diabetes as something you have, not who you are.
    In time you will gain the confidence to involve yourself in all sorts of activities and live your life to the full, there is nothing you can’t do.
    Stay positive and hopefully find what you are looking for.
    All the best and stay involved with this website.
    Cheers
    Ray B
     
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  18. bmtest

    bmtest · Well-Known Member

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    I dont hide it but dont bother to mention it as over the years i realised whats the point its far too complex for most to appreciate the detail.

    If you decide not to mention it then what happens is you get found. I remember once in business meeting being asked to stop eating or i would be removed from room.

    As the years roll by i now mention it as formality with not a care if they understand or listen they dont need to know but i tell them.

    In summary my rule of thumb is dont tell anybody if its a detriment to yourself to do so. To do so in my experience can remove a decision process that is your to make. i say this with 40+ experience of being in total control and relying on no one and never passing out due to hypos. Yes have had close calls but i am always prepared even when stuck in elevator 11 floors up for a couple of hours of which i was the only one who knew i was diabetic.
     
  19. Cookiekeri

    Cookiekeri · Member

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    You feel ashamed because your still in denial by the sounds of things!!! I did for years and I hated myself I hated the diabetes I wouldn’t injected I wouldn’t be careful or listen to anyone because I just wanted to be normal ... I suffered and my body suffered and become ill because of my mindset !!! Now at 31 I’ve the knowledge I never wanted to know about diabetes I follow a good diet and exercise regime and I am on a pump and libre sensor which are pretty cool and life is good am not always ill and have energy these days ... all’s am trying to say is don’t be ashamed !! Except it it’s apart of you and once your in control of your diabetes you can live just as good and healthy if not better than a normal person x
     
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