So, I get onto Facebook and see this article posted, “Diabetes linked to mental health.” and of course- mental health- I have to read it. Of course I’ll have an opinion.
and my first reaction is well… yeah? Is this really news? or are the “right” people talking about it so it’s catching attention? But, I guess I’m glad that researchers are talking about it and looking into it.
but then I start to read it. I start posting a reaction/my thoughts to Facebook, and I quickly realized that I had a lot to say so I should go to my blog.
Instead of screening and adding to the tests and stigma and everything else…
Wouldn’t it be a radical idea that the healthcare system “treated” the whole person instead? So that we don’t have to get to a point of screening?
Thinking about the language we use when we or others talk about Diabetes?
The pressure to be “perfect” when it comes to care and management- on the person with diabetes, but also friends and family who are involved? Speaking of- can we get more research on that too?
and when we don’t even agree on terms related to mental health and Diabetes like Diabetes Distress, Diabetes Burnout, and Diabulimia?
and then when you have a mental health diagnosis, the way it’s looked at…. the fact that it isn’t really even accounted for when it comes to health usually. Like when a doctor pretty much told me I should just be over the part of my OCD that drives me to check every 20 minutes when I’m above target?
When some people say mental health and Diabetes have nothing to do with each other. While others say that if it wasn’t for Diabetes, mental health wouldn’t even be a factor. (Disclosure- I don’t really agree with either statement. I feel like I fall in the middle, but there isn’t enough information and resources yet for me to fully decide).
What about conversations concerning self-care?
But we shouldn’t just go to Diabetes for the reason of mental health- which really bothers me- I’m glad this article at least mentions something about other things that could be going on- but what if those things have nothing to do with the Diabetes? That the things going on with their blood sugar are just a part of life.
Like when someone once commented that they saw my A1C go up when my dad passed away…. well- yeah? But why is that part of my life being defined by my A1C.
and what about access to resources and care? What about the bullying and being treated differently?
and this statement?
“it was unclear why poor blood sugar level control increased the risk of mental health disorders.”
I have some guesses, but I’m not a researcher. That numbers game that is blood sugar? How could you not react to going to an endo appointment and getting cornered by the healthcare team and maybe even parents about blood sugars that are too out of control? Parents and nurses and teachers reacting to the blood sugar on the screen? Rewards for lowered A1C’s? Getting in trouble or seeing people react? Being continuously told to do better or scare tactics? The fact that your brain is literally impacted by low and high blood sugars. That Diabetes is 24/7?
“Or it could linked to brain function that can affect the onset of mental health disorders — we need more research to find out.”
When “life” happens? Resources, care, and education aren’t equal for everyone either. Being in survival mode because of this? When someone is trying as hard as they can and still not feeling like they’re doing enough- and being told they could do more.
“Diabetes Research WA executive director Sherl Westlund said the results showed the importance of screening for early signs of mental health problems.”
But why isn’t anyone talking about being proactive? instead of reactive? Like I said, why can’t we treat the whole person?
and as someone who wanted nothing to do with the mental health side of things for a long time- forcing a child, teen, or an adult to be screened and/or treated isn’t as effective if they aren’t ready it. and what about the fact that it’s hard to find someone in the mental health field who has an understanding of chronic illness, let alone Diabetes-especially outside of a city.
I want to make sure I note that I’m glad that people- are talking about Diabetes and Mental Health more- are doing research- are looking into taking action. It’s definitely an improvement. Here’s to more research and action in the future.
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