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Local people open up about diabetes and mental health challenges

We’re shining a light on the different ways the South West and South Central team can support people in the local area who are affected by diabetes.

We spoke to people from the diabetes community about diabetes and mental health, looking closely at the issue of anxiety. Read on to find out how diabetes has impacted them and what helped. 

Diabetic hypos and anxiety

Diabetic hypos and anxiety, Melody's experience

Melody, from Bristol, experienced anxiety around her diabetic hypos

“Diabetes and anxiety can come hand in hand. I think the time I was most anxious with my diabetes was when I kept having hypos which caused me to seizure. I was unable to detect when I was going to experience a hypo and became unwell, and this meant I always felt anxious and on edge.

“Remember it is OK to feel anxious about diabetes. Every day is different and there aren't any clear guides to what your blood sugar or feelings will do. Even if you have the 'perfect' routine, anxiety is bound play a role, and that's normal.”

Meet other people and families living with diabetes by joining one of our local groups.


Diabetes complications and anxiety 

James, from Oxfordshire, experienced anxiety due to complications of diabetes.

James, from Oxfordshire, experienced anxiety due to complications of diabetes.

“The most anxious I’ve felt was when I was receiving a course of DMO injections (Diabetic Macular Oedema), to treat retinopathy in my left eye. It was a complication of my diabetes caused by poor glucose control. Believe me when I say, I was as anxious with the last dose as the first, it just never got any easier, but I did it for the good of my health. 

“I’ve tried to improve my way of life since then to keep me off the injection table. Trying to gain better control of my diabetes, but this has not always been easy. Diabetes is not always easy, and it never gives you a break.”

Our helpline is available Monday to Friday 9am – 6pm. Our advisors can provide confidential and free advice to anyone affected by diabetes. 


Blood glucose monitoring and anxiety

Sarah, who lives in Bournemouth, experienced anxiety when getting her bloods checked.

Sarah, who lives in Bournemouth, experienced anxiety when getting her blood sugar checked.

“I have always felt very anxious when I knew it was time to get my diabetes blood test done. I would put a lot of pressure on myself to get the desirable and expected results; and would feel ashamed, judged, and guilty when I didn’t.

“I found it really helpful to talk about my concerns and to remind myself about the purpose of those tests: it’s simply about knowing where I’m at, seeing if the treatment’s effective, if something needs to be changed; and it’s NOT reflective of my ‘willpower', determination and control. It’s a helpful tool and indicator, not a threat.”

Join our online forum to meet other people living with diabetes. 


Support for people living with diabetes in the south west and south central

Meet Steph, our regional Diabetes Support Worker

Steph Davis, Diabetes Support Worker for the south west and south central team, commented: 

“Diabetes can at times feel overwhelming. Whether you’re newly diagnosed, or have been living with the condition for years, being able to access the right information and support is essential in managing the condition and your mental health."

Steph, the newest member of the south west and south central team, is available to provide practical and emotional support to people living with and at risk of diabetes. As well as connecting directly with the diabetes community, Steph is working to build relationships with local organisations and services to help raise awareness of diabetes locally. 

She added: “Unfortunately, it can be challenging for people with diabetes to find the support they need, and this is where I can help. We can talk through your individual situation and what you need help with. It could be problems accessing care, financial worries, mental health support or something else. Whatever you’re struggling with, I’m here to help you find the answers you need.”

Whether you're directly affected by diabetes, or supporting someone who is, you're not alone. Get in touch to talk to Steph.

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