Diabetes: Denial and Depression

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Debbie Hendrick, from DiabetesMine, brings up a good point about what she calles the 3 D’s: diabetes, denial and depression.

Writing women with type 2 diabetes she’s come to know, Blogger Hendrick writes that she is “shocked how so many…strong, beautiful ladies talk about denial and depression. One women voiced, ironically, that “she had a hard time getting out of bed that morning to make [her] way to a Saturday’s motivational luncheon.”

Other diabetes community sites, like DiabeticConnect community, are also filled with women outpouring story after story of trying to cope with the emotional stress, depression, and denial of Type 1 and type 2 diabetes .

But new programs that come to aid 3D sufferers are beginning to crop up. Doctors Polonsky and Guzman from the Behavioral Diabetes Institute (BDI), located in San Diego, California, are emphasizing that depression and diabetes are a “documented pair” and anti-depressants aren’t always effective in diabeics.  BDI, instead, offers “down-to-earth strategies for intervention,” one of which is called DiaBudies – a mentorship program.

DiaBuddies is a mentor program for children and adults of all ages with type I and type 2 diabetes . This program matches up clients with a DiaBuddy that can best relate to their needs, based on age, gender, type of diabetes and other considerations.

DiaBuddies provides personal support to help adjust to a new diagnosis, address ongoing issues with diabetes, and/or offer understanding and motivation towards a more successful life with diabetes. All mentors are certified through a training workshop led by DiaBuddies/BDI staff. Supervision meetings are held with the DiaBuddies and BDI clinical psychologists to ensure that the mentorship is successful and progressive.

Although the program is not yet nationwide, there are other online communities sites that offer support, such as TuDiabetes, a social network site.

Women who can travel to the east coast can join Green Mountain at Fox Run’s Living Well Program, which is a community supported weekly retreat located in Ludlow, Vermont.  It’s a  healthy lifestyle program, run jointly by Green Mountain and Joslin Diabetes Center, that couples  their renowned weight loss program with diabetes management, which includes strategies for coping with stress, emotional issues as well as behavior modification.

For more information, read more about the Living Well diabetes management program online.

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