Vol. 2, Issue 3 (2017)
Psychology and diabetes self-management
Abstract: Globally, diabetes is being diagnosed in epidemic proportions. It is a chronic Illness that affects many domains of life and is controlled mainly by a complex regime of self-management behaviour. The management of diabetes includes following a daily routine of medication or insulin usage, self-testing blood glucose levels several times per day, as well as a specific diet and exercise. All of these tasks have to be performed many times per day in an extremely coordinated manner and it has been observed that psychological factors are very much influential in every aspect of self-management behaviour. The burden and demands of diabetes self -management are constant. In addition to behavioral demands of diabetes there are emotional & social problems that can arise while meeting the demands. Diabetes is often perceived as a burden. It can be hard to accept the disease and feelings of depression (feeling overwhelmed), anxiety (fear of complications or hypoglycemia) and frustration (with demands of self care or medical system) are common. Psychologists can play an important role in helping individuals living well with diabetes. They are very well trained in behavior change interventions. They identify and understand the problems in diabetes self-management and can assist the diabetic person and his/her family to overcome hindrances and tackle difficulties that come across in diabetes care. Counsellors and therapists can also be helpful in supporting the individual to develop and maintain the enthusiasm and motivation required to follow the daily practice of self-management. They encourage family therapy and strategies to deal with social pressures which are often beneficial to those with diabetes and their family. Thus we can conclude that the psychologist play a valuable role in diabetes management. However, this is not possible alone. A proper team is required to fulfill the above goals i.e. a systematic coordination is essential between the doctor, dietician, physiotherapist and of course a psychologist. Psychology is thus an essential part of diabetes management.