Being just diagnosed with diabetes can be a shock. It is hard to accept for the patients that they suffer from a condition that can not be cured.
Just diagnosed with with diabetes, now what?
After finding out the diagnosis, usually the patient goes through a couple of emotional phases, which in fact represent the accommodation, getting used with the condition.
- the first phase is shock. this phase is usually short and intense and often is characterized by desperation
- the second phase is denial, refusing to accept that I have just been diagnosed with diabetes. This usually takes longer, the patient is looking for other opinions, reading online, hoping that all of this is a mistake, something that will pass by and everything will be back to normal
- the third phase is anger, or even hate against the doctors or other family members. This is often accompanied by the question “Why me”. The patient believes this is just an injustice and he doesn’t deserve this
- in some cases, there is another phase, called depression. The patient keeps blaming himself for getting diabetes and there is a combination of all of the three above phases. Professional psychological help might be needed in this case.
Fortunately, in most cases, the accommodation period is pretty short, as the patient understands that there is nothing that can be done to change the situation or reverse the condition. Other worries come to life like what will I do? What is the life expectancy? Am I allowed to do this and the other? From this moment on, the patient wishes to find out as much as possible about the condition.
After being just diagnosed with diabetes, the longest period is to get used to the condition.
Is anyone to blame for getting diabetes?
Short answer is no! Especially for type 1 diabetes, which in most cases is inherited. The patient shouldn’t look for relatives with type 1 diabetes to blame. For type 2 diabetes we can discuss about the lifestyle habits that have influenced having the condition.
Not you, not your family, not the doctors are guilty for you having diabetes. By acknowledging the factors that lead to getting diabetes and the fact that anyone can suffer from the condition, the patient can lose the guilt feeling they had when they were just diagnosed with diabetes.
First discussion with your doctor
If you are a parent and your child was just diagnosed with diabetes, it would be better that for the first time the child is not participating in the discussion. This needs to be between the doctor who will treat the child and the parents.
First of all, the parents will get help to overcome their emotions so they can better understand the information received from the doctors and will be encouraged to ask for clarifications or additional explanations. It is also important for the parents to understand that they are not to be blamed for the condition of their child.
For an adult, some counselling will also be needed, for the same purpose so the patient can accept that diabetes is a chronic disease which will not be cured, but it can be managed to have a normal healthy life.
Why is getting used to diabetes important ?
Getting used to the diabetes condition is very important to overcome any feelings about uncertainty and being helpless after just being diagnosed with diabetes. Getting over these feelings helps convincing yourself that you can face any situation and manage your diabetes.
The patient might need psychological help or not. This varies from person to person.
Accepting the diabetes diagnosis is key to better understanding the disease, by knowledge, will and experience.
Family is very important to understand that this condition will affect them as well and to be able to support the diabetic from an emotional side and a medical side. They need to know the symptoms of hypoglycemia etc. to be able to help and also accommodate their lifestyle according to the needs of the diabetic.