Diabetes Victoria Blog
Join the discussion in our blog where a variety of writers from all walks of life take a stance on current diabetes issues.
2020 has been a year full of challenges, with COVID-19 the most significant. Victorians have had it tough with stricter and longer lockdown periods than the rest of the country. During this period, some of us have lost jobs, struggled to juggle work-life and home-life as well as helping our kids through online learning - all placing a strain on our mental health.
But for those of us living with diabetes, the impact of the pandemic, including social distancing, lockdown restrictions and a higher risk of complications from contracting COVID-19, have left some of us with heightened feelings of distress, worry, anxiety and isolation.
To honour National Mental Health Awareness Month this October, we’re raising awareness about the mental and emotional health issues faced by people living with diabetes, and where you can find support and reliable information.
Heads Up - 180 more decisions and diabetes burnoutDiabetes Australia launched an awareness campaign, Heads Up, back in July after conducting research with the Australian Centre for Behavioural Research in Diabetes (ACBRD). The research found that people living with diabetes make on average 180 more decisions per day than people who don’t live with diabetes. The research also found more than a third of people living with diabetes say they feel ‘burned out’ by managing their diabetes, while 50 per cent said they have experienced mental health challenges in the last 12 months. More than 80 per cent of people living with diabetes said they have not been offered psychological support.
The impacts of social stigma
Not only do people living with diabetes make more decisions every day, but they are often subjected to negative social judgement or stigma. Being subjected to stigma can lead to perceived or experienced exclusion, rejection, blame or stereotyping. COVID-19 has only increased some of these feelings of stigmatisation as people living with diabetes are in a higher risk category.
If you’re a friend, family member, carer or support person, be mindful of using stigmatising language. As Rudyard Kipling stated: “Words are, of course, the most powerful drug used by mankind”. Read Diabetes Australia’s language position statement for recommendations and further information.
Information at your fingertips
Although living with diabetes comes with its challenges and COVID-19 has made things feel a little uncertain, we’ve put together a list of helpful factsheets to help you navigate through tough times:
Below you can find further reading relating to diabetes and emotional health, be sure to take the time to check them out: