Just about everyone who has diabetes occasionally feels overwhelmed by their diagnosis. After all, diabetes is an incurable, lifelong condition, and you’ll need to make sweeping lifestyle changes to manage it. It’s no wonder many people with this disease also face diabetes distress—frustration, anxiety, and burnout caused by diabetes management.
The phrase “no man is an island” may not sound like a tip for managing diabetes. Still, adopting a more social mindset can make living with this disease much simpler. Support and management in your diabetes journey can come in the form of connections with other people facing the same challenges, morale boosts from your family and friends, and even information about living with diabetes. Read on for ADS’ overview of the links between personal support and successful diabetes management.
What is Diabetes Personal Support?
As you might expect, personal support is the assistance and encouragement you receive from others as you manage diabetes. There are multiple types of personal support diabetes patients can benefit from, including:
Emotional support (the empathy, comfort, and care that comes from interpersonal relationships)
Informational support (valuable facts, recommendations, and advice on diabetes management)
Esteem support (help building the confidence you need to manage diabetes independently)
Social network support (feelings of companionship and being part of a group)
Tangible support (financial assistance and help solving problems)
Ways to Gain Personal Support for Diabetes Management
If you’ve mostly been trying to manage diabetes on your own, you might not know where to start as you build a personal support network. In your efforts to gain personal support with your diabetes journey, focus on:
Knowing How to ASK For Help Managing Diabetes
No matter how seriously you take diabetes management, you might sometimes feel like you’re alone in your efforts to control your symptoms. Of course, that’s not true—diabetes is so common that one in ten people in the US lives with this condition today. But to start getting the personal support you need, you’ll need to ASK for help.
Here, “ASK” is an acronym that can help you remember three crucial diabetes tips:
- Ask for assistance. People in your community and on your healthcare team can provide moral support and help you find the diabetes management resources you’re looking for.
- Share your concerns and needs. Put together a list of diabetes management problems you’re dealing with, and give that list to someone who can provide informational support.
- Know you aren’t alone. Diabetes management isn’t easy, but there are people in your life who care about you and want to help.
Building Social Connections within the Diabetes Community
One highly effective way to find personal support in your efforts to manage diabetes is simply talking to people you trust about this disease. Research suggests that diabetes patients with strong social support experience find it easier to cope with their diagnosis and stick to their treatment plan. That means you should think of establishing personal connections as a diabetes management priority on par with eating right and getting physical activity.
While it’s a good idea to start getting personal support by talking to your family members and friends about diabetes, other people in your life can help you in this regard, as well. If you need informational support, try asking the members of your healthcare team for guidance. Meanwhile, the people in your faith community can provide emotional support as you work to manage diabetes.
Attending Classes and Support Groups for Diabetes
While your family and friends can certainly help you cope with diabetes, they may not understand the stresses of diabetes management on a personal level. For that, you may want to consider joining a program for diabetes self-management education and support (DSMES). DSMES programs are an excellent source of informational and esteem support for people with diabetes. And if you attend classes with a friend or family member, they won’t just learn a great deal about diabetes management. They may be able to help you more effectively than ever, as well.
Alternatively, you could look into the possibility of signing up for an online or in-person diabetes support group. While these groups are also fantastic places to learn about living with diabetes, they focus on talking about the diabetes experience with other people in the same situation. Because of this, diabetes support groups deliver a high level of social network support for their participants.
Using Our Diabetes Resources
Your healthcare team, classes, and support groups can all give you valuable information on diabetes management. In addition to that, it’s in your best interest to find a trustworthy source of diabetes info on the internet. ADS can help—our blog contains valuable articles about building a diabetes diet, using diabetes supplies, and much more.
That’s not the only way ADS can make it easier for you to manage diabetes. You can enjoy the convenience of ordering diabetes products like CGM systems, glucose meters, and diabetes testing supplies from our website!