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Seven in 10 ‘overwhelmed by demands of living with diabetes’

Condition impacts emotional, mental and psychological wellbeing

Seven out of 10 people feel overwhelmed by the demands of living with diabetes, according to a poll from Diabetes UK.

The survey of more than 2,000 adults with diabetes shows that 75% of those who feel overwhelmed said this affects how well they can manage the condition.

Management of physical symptoms 24/7 – for instance by checking blood glucose levels or managing diet – alongside the continual need to make decisions and take actions in order to reduce the likelihood of short and long-term complications can affect day-to-day life.

The research revealed that diabetes can impact people’s emotional, mental and psychological wellbeing and health. From day-to-day frustration and low mood, to specific psychological and mental health difficulties such as clinical depression and anxiety.
Three quarters of those needing specialist mental health support to help manage the condition could not access it. Another seven out of 10 reported that they are not helped to talk about their emotional wellbeing by their diabetes teams.

Meanwhile, 40% of GPs said they are not likely to ask about emotional wellbeing and mental health in routine diabetes appointments. Only 30% feel there is enough emotional and psychological support for people living with diabetes when needed.

The report marks the launch in Parliament of a new campaign from the charity, which aims to get the emotional and psychological demands of living with diabetes recognised and provide the right support to everyone who needs it.

Chris Askew, chief executive of Diabetes UK, warned that when diabetes cannot be well managed, the risk of dangerous complications, such as amputations, kidney failure and stroke increases.

“Diabetes services that include emotional and psychological support can help people improve both their physical and mental health, reduce pressure on services, and save money,” he added.

Steve Bryan, director of distribution and marketing at The Exeter, diabetes sufferers are at particular risk of additional health issues and cannot ignore the need to insure against lost income or death.