Type 1 diabetes (T1D) is like a ‘job’ and the day-to-day effort to manage can become hard and frustrating, especially when the results are not what you hoped for. Studies have shown that many people living with diabetes experience worries, fears and other negative feelings at some stage. When these feelings are prolonged it can lead to diabetes burnout.
If you’re experiencing diabetes burnout, the rest of your life might still be ticking along well. Yet, when it comes to managing your diabetes you might not have the will or the energy to do what you need to. Some signs of diabetes burnout include:
- Not checking blood glucose levels,
- Stopping or reducing insulin injections,
- Not worrying about your eating habits or exercise; and,
- Ignoring or trying to forget your diabetes most of the time
Diabetes burnout is real and can lead to other serious physical and psychological problems as a result of prolonged high blood glucose levels. Doing everyday tasks can become mundane, so when it comes to T1D it’s important to find ways to keep yourself motivated to manage the grind of T1D.
Questions to ask if you’re experiencing diabetes burnout
If you think burnout has happened or you are at risk of it happening, it can help to ask yourself these questions:
- What particular areas of diabetes are causing you problems?
- What’s happening in your life that might be conflicting with diabetes care, making it harder?
- What problems outside of diabetes could be addressed?
- What are your expectations for your diabetes management – what do you want?
- Are your goals realistic right now? Perhaps they are too high or too low?
There is support available
JDRF Australia and other organisations have a range of resources available for the T1D community if you’re looking to address your mental health needs:
- Learn more about accessing mental health services in our blog post.
- Connect with a volunteer network that understands with our Peer Support Program
- Join one of JDRF Australia’s T1D Connect private Facebook groups, whether you’re a parent or carer of someone newly diagnosed with T1D, 14-24 or 25+.
- Access a range of fact sheets and resources on diabetes and mental health on the National Diabetes Services Scheme (NDSS) website. You could bring any of these along to your first consultation to help start your discussion.
- Become a Game Changer by signing up to our newsletter.
To talk to someone urgently contact:
- Beyond Blue beyondblue.org.au 1300 22 4636; or,
- Lifeline lifeline.org.au 13 11 14.