Being diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes (or any other chronic medical condition), will lead to a period of huge adjustment in your life.
All of a sudden the diary is filling up with appointments: there is the endocrinologist, then the dietician, then the exercise physiologist, and more.
On top of that, you will have been told to change your diet, lose weight, and take medication every day, perhaps for the rest of your life. Or else!
I am not going to pretend I know what you are experiencing, because we all react differently to news like this.
What is common however, is the challenge of adjusting emotionally to the change and everything it means.
Adjustment can look similar to the grief felt when a loved one is lost, or when one sells the family home.
Do you Feel Depressed?
It may even have led you to contemplating the big questions, of life and mortality, and of what things are the most important to you.
Counselling gives you opportunity to take time to grieve, to feel whatever emotions you need to feel, and to process what this diagnosis means to you. It gives you a chance to talk about loved ones and their reactions, and how to talk with them about what you need (and what you don’t need).
Treating Diabetes AND Depression
As counselling moves you towards a place of acceptance, you can find in yourself the motivation to take control over your own health care.
For instance, you might want to develop new skills in how you communicate with your doctors and health care team, so that you feel more informed about the medication you are taking and how different foods affect your blood sugar levels.
You might want to become a strong negotiator, working with each health professional to set treatment goals regarding weight loss, changes in eating habits, and exercise; goals that are reasonable for you. These are all skills that can be gained during the counselling process.
Seeing a psychologist, therefore, can help you with a wide range of concerns that come with a diagnosis of a chronic medical condition such as Type 2 Diabetes. You can negotiate your goals for therapy with your psychologist, and work together towards better physical and mental health.
Please Note: Naomi is not currently practising at Vision Psychology, but is continuing to provide supervision for provisional (including 4+2 and 5+1) and registered psychologists, and for ministry agents in the wider Christian community. If you would like information regarding supervision, or want to book an appointment with a Christian psychologist, please contact Reception on 1800 877 924.