Mental health

How to keep your spirits up when experiencing diabetes burnout

December 19, 2021

Type 1 diabetes (T1D) is like a job and the day-to-day effort to manage it can become hard and frustrating, especially when the results are not what you hoped for.

Studies have shown that most 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, which can lead to other serious physical and psychological complications as a result of prolonged high blood glucose levels.  

Here are the signs of diabetes burnout to look out for (in yourself or others), questions to ask, and how to find support to get you back on the right track. 

The signs of 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
  • ignoring or trying to forget your diabetes most of the time. 

Doing everyday tasks can become mundane for everyone, 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’re at risk of it happening, it can help to ask yourself these questions. You can also ask them of others if you’re concerned for a loved one who lives with T1D.

  • 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? 

Find support for diabetes burnout

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: 

To talk to someone urgently, contact: 

For more advice, support and practical tips on life with type 1 diabetes, download our free guide for adults living with T1D

Subscribe JDRF

Want more mental health tips like this?

Fill out this form to have Straight to the Point: A guide for adults living with T1D sent directly to your inbox.