Eating is essential for life! Eating and food is part of the tradition and cultural of every society in the world.
We use food not only for fuel but also for comfort, to celebrate or to console ourselves. We use it in our social gatherings and our business meetings.
It can be shocking to get a diagnosis of diabetes or pre-diabetes. Getting one of these diagnoses can be really scary because it means that you have to change your behavior to save your life.
In today’s article I want to talk about the emotional aspects of being diagnosed with diabetes or pre-diabetes. The emotions that accompany this diagnosis can often be overlooked but they are a crucial part of the treatment plan.
Some common emotions you might feel after receiving your diagnosis are panic, denial, confusion, frustration, anger and fear.
Often when my patients are first diagnosed they go into a panic because they know they have a “bad” diagnosis and they feel like all of their favorite foods and all the social activities related to food will be banished forever.
Others go into denial about their diagnosis for the same reason.
Then it begins to sink in that they will have to deal with life changes accompanying their diagnosis. They may become overwhelmed or frustrated with trying to understand how to create new behaviors that will improve their health and fit into their lifestyle at the same time.
Anger, frustration and fear are all born out of a lack of control over your health situation. They have to be recognized and managed until new behaviors become part of your new lifestyle.
Any time we have to deal with several emotions at once, or have to introduce lifestyle changes and habits into our lives, the result is always some level of stress that must be managed.
Why do I spend time with the emotional aspects of the diabetes diagnosis? Because emotions are a huge part of our motivation to create new behaviors.
If you have negative feelings about your health status you are less likely to incorporate changes required to manage your diagnosis.
How do I know this? I have been managing diabetic and pre-diabetic patients for the past 10 years.