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Feeling burned out? 6 things to say to yourself, your loved ones and diabetes.

Is it even possible to never be burned out by diabetes? Whether you're just coming to grips with a diagnosis or you're exhausted by the rigors of self-care, diabetes can be really rough on anyone's emotional state. As we learned from diabetes advocate Phyllisa, sometimes it takes just one positive step to get you back on track.

Try looking yourself in the mirror and reminding yourself of a few things you can do to change your outlook.

  1. "Diabetes is not my fault." This is a big one, especially since the world can seem to love blaming people. But you didn't get diabetes from eating too much sugar. Or carbs. Or fat. Or whatever. Even if you're overweight, you didn't cause diabetes. Unless, of course, you chose your genes, your race, your age, etc. Nope? Then let this one go and get on with what you can control. Blame and shame have never led to anything good. Ever.
  2. "I'm in charge here." Diabetes doesn't define you. You may not be able to control everything, but as Phyllisa showed us, you can control some things. Taking charge of the things you can, such as what you eat, how much activity you get and how often you check your blood sugar, might help you take back your self-confidence. (This is also a great thing to remember when staring down the food police.)
  3. "I don't have to be afraid." If you're worried about low blood sugar or long-term health problems, talk to your doctor. Get the facts from a reliable source—not third-hand horror stories or out-of-date advice. Medical advances have made a huge difference in how well people live with diabetes. And if you're struggling with lows, your doctor may be able to adjust your treatment, so you don't lose sleep and aren't tempted to let your blood sugar run high.1
  4. "Insulin does not mean I've failed." This myth needs to go away. Diabetes is a progressive disease2—even if you were to achieve the impossible goal of "perfect" management, your body may no longer respond to other medications over time. Insulin is an effective treatment for many people with type 2, no matter how they've managed their blood glucose.
  5. "I'm proud of myself." Try focusing on something you did right today. It may not come naturally at first, especially if you're in a shame spiral. But changing the way you see yourself is the first step in combatting the stigma that so easily gets us down.
  6. "I need help." If it's too much, or you're losing interest in the things you enjoy, please admit it to yourself, your friends and family, and your healthcare team. Depression hits people with diabetes more often than the general population, but that doesn't make it normal. Reach out for the treatment you need, because you deserve to feel better.3

Interested in more thoughts on living well with diabetes?

Dive deeper into the emotional side of things on

See Articles

1Endocrine Web. Hypoglycemia treatment. Available at: Accessed October 3, 2018.

2American Diabetes Association. Standards of medical care in diabetes—2018 [position statement]. Diabetes Care. 2018;41(1): S1-S172. Available at: Accessed October 3, 2018.

3Mayo Clinic. Diabetes and depression: coping with the two conditions. Available at: Accessed October 3, 2018.

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