How to come to terms with your diagnosis
It can come as a huge shock when the doctor tells you that you have crossed the line into type 2 diabetes. It may feel completely out the blue and you cannot believe it’s happened to you. Even if you have had pre-diabetes and a family history of type 2 diabetes, it can still be hard to take on board when you get the diagnosis. We often think these things won’t happen to us or maybe it is not as bad as the doctor says. For others it can trigger complete panic and fear.
A diagnosis brings about a change. This can be a change in how you feel as a person and your sense of identity. It is also can mean a lifestyle change and waving goodbye to old habits. All change comes with a sense of loss. Even if a change is ultimately a positive one and the best thing for your health, you need to process the loss that comes with it in order to move forward.
The Grief Cycle (Kübler-Ross E, Kessler D) is made up of 5 phases, which can occur in no particular order. These phases do not just apply to a bereavement, but often occur when someone goes through a period of significant change. A diagnosis can bring about feelings of denial, anger, bargaining, depression and also acceptance. These emotions are completely normal. It is important to talk to someone you trust so you do not get ‘stuck’ in one headspace for too long. Acceptance comes quicker for some than others.
It can help to talk to other people in your situation or link in with local support groups such as those run by Diabetes.org.uk. It can help to understand more about your condition, a good place to start is getting a handle on your blood test results and exactly what they mean for you. Knowledge is empowering and enables you to take back control. Some come to see their diagnosis as a challenge to take on, this can put it in a more positive light and promote action.
Type 2 diabetes is a condition which can be managed and even put into remission. By doing so you can significantly reduce the risk of diabetes-related complications. You can speak to professionals such as a registered nutritionist or dietitian, they can guide you and help you achieve goals such as weight loss.
The bottom line is to acknowledge how you feel and do not fight it, speak to someone and trust the process!
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