May is Mental Health Awareness Month. In a previous post, I wrote that people with diabetes are 2 to 3 times more likely to suffer from depression than people without diabetes, and only 25% – 50% of those ever get diagnosed and treated.
The other bad thing about diabetes is that it can make your mental health problems worse and if your mental health problems are not treated they can make your diabetes worse. But the good news is, You Are Not Alone. There’s help for you and the millions of others who need it.
The words we say to ourselves and the words others say to us can have a negative effect on the way we feel about ourselves and consequently on our mental health. Diabetes does not define who you are. Depression or any other mental illness does not define who you are. Sure, you can make healthy lifestyle changes to better manage your diabetes, but having diabetes or mental health does not mean you’re a bad person.
However, saying negative words to yourself can make you feel guilty and beyond help. Do you say things like “I’ll never lose weight. I inherited fat genes.”
Or, “I’ll never be able to control this diabetes.”
Or, “What good would it do to talk to someone?”
If you say things like that you are closing your mind to the healing process. You are training your body to resist change. You may have inherited diabetes or obesity, but making the necessary lifestyle changes can help you overcome those challenges.
Talking to people who are sympathetic and knowledgeable can be the first step in helping you cope with diabetes and/or mental health problems. Focusing on the negative things in your life — your weight, your lack of energy, isolation —or any other limiting factors can cause you to become depressed, as can the words you say to yourself.
Make an effort today to begin speaking the changes you would like to see in your life.
“I can lose weight despite the genes I inherited.”
“With the right help, I can control my illness.”
“It won’t help to keep my feelings bottled up inside.”
Your words have power. They can enact a positive or a negative transformation in your life. Be careful about what you say.
The US is facing a serious mental health crisis, this is why the National Alliance on Mental Illness joins the national movement every year to bring greater awareness to mental health and to help fight the stigma that goes with it. The theme for this year’s campaign is More Than Enough.
If you enjoyed this blog post, please sign up in the box below to get more informative posts in your inbox. Leave a comment in the comment box and share your thoughts with us.
A diagnosis of type 2 diabetes can send your life into a tailspin. It can leave you feeling alone and overwhelmed, but it doesn’t have to. Join my type 2 diabetes network group and get the help and support you need.