Diabetes Education and Emotional Well-being

In my work over the past couple of years, it’s become really clear how much impact a little bit of basic diabetes education can have on a person’s psychological well-being. Diabetes education does so much more than give people facts about diabetes. Living with diabetes can be overwhelming and stressful and diabetes education can go a long way in taking some of the mystery out of these uncomfortable emotions.

A lot of people looking for diabetes education are not steady on their ‘diabetes feet’ and getting good diabetes education can make them more steady and help them to feel better emotionally. Here are some thoughts on why…

Diabetes education reduces anxiety

The unknown is scary and overwhelming, and for many folks, diabetes is full of mystery. The more information I can give my patients, in a way that’s simple and easy to understand, the more comfortable, and less anxious they’ll be. Reducing anxiety makes them feel more confident in their ability to manage diabetes and breaks down barriers to working on deeper issues.

Diabetes education empowers

The more people with diabetes understand their condition, the more empowered they’ll feel to take steps to manage it well. So many of the people I see feel like diabetes controls them, rather than the other way around. My goal is to help folks change their relationship with diabetes, and one of the best tools I have to do that is education. The more people know about diabetes, the more empowered they’ll be to take the reins.

Diabetes education gives hope

As a health professional, one of the most important things I can do for my patients is give them hope that things can get better. Diabetes education is a key to hope because it shows the person that there are steps they can take to manage their diabetes and gives them confidence that they can take these steps. Helping people understand how their diabetes treatment works, and why it will help, and teaching them simple ways to integrate the different aspects of their treatment into their lives can give them hope that they can be successful, and make it all feel less overwhelming.

A lot of CDEs think they don’t have the knowledge and tools they need to really address their patients’ emotional concerns. I disagree. Good diabetes education, combined with a dose of empathy is worth its weight in gold.

This is the how we think about diabetes education at One Drop. Our goal is to empower you to manage diabetes and live your life. The One Drop | Experts program was designed with this goal in mind. The combination of diabetes education and emotional support, available where ever you are, whenever you need it is a powerful tool for both your physical and emotional health.

11

Share

11
Mark Heyman, PhD, CDE
Mark Heyman, PhD, CDE

Dr. Mark Heyman is a Clinical Psychologist and Certified Diabetes Educator, with expertise in the emotional and behavioral aspects of diabetes, including changes that improve physical and mental health outcomes in people with diabetes. When Mark was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in 1999, he was frustrated by the lack of resources available to help people navigate the behavioral and emotional challenges of living with the disease. As a psychologist and CDE, Mark now uses his knowledge and experience to tackle the complexities associated with diabetes. Mark developed and currently leads the One Drop | Experts program. He received his PhD in Clinical Psychology from The George Washington University and completed his psychology internship and post-doctoral fellowship at the UCSD School of Medicine. Mark holds an appointment as a voluntary Assistant Clinical Professor in the UCSD Department of Psychiatry. In his spare time, Mark can be found performing with his improvisational comedy team *Inside Joke*. Find Mark on Twitter: @DiabeticPsych