People with type 2 diabetes struggle to accept their condition after finding out they have the metabolic disease, according to a new study commissioned by retailer Boots.
Academics from the University of Nottingham say that diabetes has a bereavement-style response following diagnosis, with most going on a journey of denial, anger, depression, acceptance before finally feeling a sense of hope and positivity for the future.
The researchers found that the majority of those living with type 2 diabetes take between two and three years to get to grips with their illness.
However, they also discovered that some people can take as little as one month to feel “in control” of their condition, while others can take up to 18 years depending on the support they receive from healthcare professionals.
A third of the 163 type 2 diabetics polled said healthcare support was unhelpful or inadequate, while half thought such services could be improved.
The study also found that those who suspected they may be diabetic before diagnosis found it easier to adjust.
Dr Neil Coulso, associate professor of health psychology and author of the study, said: “Speaking first hand to people with type 2 diabetes reveals there is a need to treat people as individuals, especially those who are getting ‘stuck’ and need help to move forwards positively in managing their condition.
“Understanding how people react to initial diagnosis, and then to the challenges they face as they go on their individual journey, in conjunction with an ability to recognise what psychological stage a person is undergoing at any given time, could help us provide more effective support.”

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