Go to page content

Professional help for mental health in diabetes

At different stages of diabetes, especially in particularly stressful situations, it is often helpful to take time to arrange your thoughts and discuss your feelings with a professional.

Acknowledging the way you are coping is part of the holistic process of taking responsibility for your own care and life. For many people – especially those who have recently got diabetes – adapting to the situation would be much easier if you could discuss it with a professional who does not need to be “spared” even from the toughest emotional experiences. The goal is to have easy access to psychological support, encouragement and help in difficult situations along the journey.

Over time, everyone adapts to diabetes individually, helped by their understanding of the condition, self-care skills, mental defence mechanisms and coping methods. Some get more out of peer support than professional help.

When is professional help required?

You should seek the help of a mental health professional if challenges related to adjusting to diabetes, possibly in connection to other stressful factors in your life, cause problems. The problems can be issues such as insomnia, depression, anxiety, a reduced ability to function or work, strong feelings of hopelessness or the sense that future has nothing to offer.

You should also seek help in the case of substance abuse or increased attempts to “medicate” against the difficult sensations arising from the condition or becoming ill. You should also consider seeking professional help, if your blood sugar is higher than the targeted level or subject to strong variation as a result of being afraid that your blood sugar is too high or too low, a strong fear of needles or care fatigue. You can ask for a referral from your health centre or diabetes clinic.

If you have a long-term health problem, you may realise that you are having to carry your loved ones and comfort them to ease their worries and anxieties. At a support meeting or therapy session with a mental health professional, the other person is there just for you. You do not have to console a professional.

Rememeber that it is better to ask for help early than too late. This can help to prevent the issues from becoming worse.

Updated 8.11.2023