Psychosocial Aspects of Type 1 Diabetes

Physical health and mental health are inextricably intertwined. If you have Type 1 diabetes and you want to feel well emotionally you can look to prioritizing your diabetes management for ways to maintain a happy outlook on life.

Below are some daily behavioral health tips:

-A strong support system is always a bonus. Make every effort to communicate calmly, clearly and often about your needs to the people who are caring for you.

-Additionally, positive peer support is shown to make all aspects of living with diabetes more manageable.

-If there is too much emphasis from adults in your life on diabetes statistics, it may be helpful to ask them to help motivate you with something more immediate.   For example, rather than threatening a future handicap how about targeting the goal of getting a driver’s license instead?

-Don’t expect perfection from yourself but work hard to do the best you can. Sometimes numbers are just wacky even when you do everything right!

-Take time to acknowledge when you are doing things well and ask your care givers to do the same so as not to always focus on frustrations.

-Make an effort to eat well and limit foods that will spike your glucose. Once in a while is OK!

-Routine is the new normal. For example, the structure of the school day offers a good opportunity to regain a healthy daily routine that may have fallen away during the summer months.

-Try to forgive people who don’t have diabetes. They sometimes don’t know any better.

The CHP Teen Diabetes Support Group members were excited to offer some of their thoughts about helpful daily tips for managing T1 well.

• How to have a positive physical education class at school…always check blood glucose both before and after gym class. You will avoid the upsetting experience of a low blood sugar.
• If you want a good mood, always stay hydrated!
• If you want to feel confident throughout the day, always have your “stuff” with you.
• Setting an alarm on your phone will lower the chances of feeling badly about yourself, for example, No need to be hard on yourself for forgetting to check at important times throughout the day if you have a reliable reminder.
• Feel confident and secure by wearing med alert ID in case of a blood glucose emergency.
• Talk to your close friends about diabetes. It will make them feel closer to you and likewise you will feel less lonely.
• If you have a wound, always prioritize good wound care to avoid jeopardizing your overall health and well being.