Diabetes Burnout has become a buzzword in the past few years, but what is Diabetes Burnout? How does it impact your life, and how do you prevent it? Dealing with Diabetes Burnout’s hard.
Let’s look at the underlying cause of Diabetes Burnout, that plays a unique role, regardless of the most prominent causes of burnout. The day I was diagnosed, with Type 1 diabetes, was 19,970,800 minutes ago, I had turned six years old. If it makes it easier, that’s 38 years ago; I can tell you it wasn’t easy for me. In that time, I have experienced four hospitalizations, including diagnosis, and three hypoglycemic reactions; the last one was over 25 years ago.
One of my specialties is trauma and its impact on the cognition of a person living with diabetes. The psychotherapist in me couldn’t help but question if that kind of event was the only source of trauma for a person living with diabetes. My experience working with individuals living with diabetes and my personal experiences has brought a unique answer.
The answer is somewhat surprising. A lack of attention to the answer I found has led many people with diabetes, to Diabetes Burnout. It is not necessarily the big stuff but the little day-to-day trauma that causes the most anxiety, stress, and problems.
These mini-traumas build up over time, taking a silent toll on the emotional well-being of the individual living with diabetes. Sources can range from being late to work due to a low blood sugar reaction to accidently saying or doing something stupid when blood sugars are high, that you later have to apologize for. It is one of the many causes of Diabetes Burnout. After all, if we are generous and say I have had only two high or low blood glucose readings a week that means at a minimum, I have lived through 4,000 possible mini traumas. It builds up!
Burnout occurs due to more than the mini traumas, because diabetes is a highly stressful job, and diabetes management is never as simple as 1 + 1 = 2.
Living with constant blood tests, injections, and monitoring along with emotional shifts that happen over and over again takes its toll, and over time, you may feel worn out, not only physically, but also emotionally.
I got diagnosed with diabetes on September 18th, 1977. Since then, I have encountered Diabetes Burnout more times than I know. Many people have it without knowing they are in its vicious cycle that interferes with managing their diabetes. Some health professionals may even see it before you do or not, so that is why it is important to pay attention to the symptoms of Diabetes Burnout.
Symptoms of Diabetes Burnout
But don’t worry. Here are the symptoms.
- Struggling with Self-Care Tasks (brushing teeth, showering, etc.)
- Blood Sugar Management has become problematic since you stopped caring about it.
- Exhaustion around management and in general
- Stopped Management Tasks; altogether
- You’re isolating from friends and family
- Avoid or don’t schedule doctors appointments
- Paralysis when it comes to managing diabetes (test blood sugar, give a shot, etc.)
Preventing Diabetes Burnout is difficult. Positive thinking about the tasks required to manage diabetes is a significant factor when it comes to avoiding burnout. Those who look at diabetes management through a negative lens tend to have more periods of Burnout. Seeing blood sugar tests as a chore leads to frustration and pent up anger over time. When looking at diabetes management as only a few minutes a day to feel better or avoid feeling sick helps you feel healthier and builds self-esteem. It also contributes to the feeling of being in control.
For information on Diabetes-Focused Psychotherapy and how it might help you go to my website, www.diabetictalks.com today.
*All advice included in this article therapeutic in nature and should not be considered medical advice. Before making any changes to your diabetes maintenance program, please consult with your primary physician or endocrinologist.