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The Question
Mon Jun 20 14:59:16 EDT 2011

Why are we or is it just me (diabetics) ashamed of saying we are diabetic?

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Expert Answers (1)
2011-07-08 23:45:49.0

Tex 1950

It's not just you. Many people with diabetes like to keep this information private, particularly, I believe, when the diagnosis is new, and the idea is still raw and difficult to accept. Some may see it as a sign of weakness or imperfection. An admission of mortality if you will. I recently visited with a patient who told me his type 2 diabetes diagnosis made him feel embarrassed and ashamed. "I feel like I have an STD" (sexually transmitted disease), was his response. I soon realized that he was not kidding. This diagnosis caused him to feel imperfect in a way he had never considered possible.

So what do you do? First of all, try to remember that this is still a new condition, and that you will come to deal with it in your own time. I would suggest seeking out a support group to meet others who may be experiencing some of your own reservations, talk it out, get other people's perspectives. Consider the dLife chat room. If the dread becomes stronger or overbearing, seek assistance from a certified mental health therapist. People with Diabetes are twice as likely to have depression as those without.

Hang in there, you are not alone.

Answered By: Anne Carroll
Accreditations: RN, CDE
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Community Answers (6)
2015-02-14 11:32:46.0

Sometimes it is difficult to tell others about your having diabetes, due to the occasional negatives of others. But I'd rather others knew that I have diabetes, in case I need their help due to an event of hypoglycemia. I work at educating others about diabetes in general and how they can help me, if needed. I've found educating others helps them to accept my diabetes. And after having diabetes for 55 years, it's my diabetes is not going away, but neither am I. I can't control others and their feelings, but I can proudly control my diabetes.
Answered By: debbi13

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2015-02-14 08:32:56.0

Probably in the beginning (7 yrs.) ago I did not want anyone to know. I think it was because I did not know much myself about this disease and I wanted to be more informed. Today I can honestly say I am not ashamed at all, "it is what it is", I am like other people who have a health issue. At some point in time a part of my body did not work any more and it needed help. I have that help (insulin pump user) and I am so very thankful. This disease is one that you can manage and you will live many, many years, if on the other hand you choose to 'not manage' it you are only hurting your body more. I wear my insulin pump proudly and thankful for the technology that we have today!
Answered By: cherrydelight

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2013-02-22 14:40:34.0

It's not really context or privacy. It's because so many news and social media sources present Type II Diabetes as a result of obesity - you have it so you are a fat slob, and if you would just slim down you wouldn't have it. Sound familiar anyone? I recently read an online blog that was supposed to be legitimate health information, but it said straight out - Type II Diabetes is caused by obesity. For those of us who deal with it daily, no wonder we hesitate to identify our secret condition. Obesity can be a trigger and it can also be a symptom, but it is not the 'cause'. There are both genetic and environmental influences that can lead to type II diabetes, but I've never heard a definitive cause identified. While SOME Type II sufferers can improve their symptoms by controlling their weight, many many MANY others are not and have never been overweight. It's a complex disease - learn as much as you can about it, tailor a treatment plan around YOUR triggers and lifestyle.
Answered By: llott59

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2011-08-19 20:02:15.0

Hello Tex: Do you mean, do we scream it a the top of our lungs, while standing on a table, at the beginning of any/every conversation we ever have???????????????? If that is the question, then NO... it never comes up truthfully. In the same way you don't announce your sexual history on your first date.... in time, if and when you are comfortable with someone will they learn about you. Until you know someone you don't share all Kinds of perfectly "normal" things. Its not how I start conversations thats for sure....... Some people I share with others (many) will never know... my disease is never their concern. I am not ashamed at all. I am private however.
Answered By: test

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2011-07-26 19:43:19.0

I'll have to say that I am the opposite. I am a long term type 2 diabetic and my control is done totally by lifestle and I'm proud of it! Diabetes opened the door to living healthier and I feel so much better for it. I enjoy sharing this with others. I'm 61 years old and take no prescription meds of any kind for anything. My labwork looks like that of a non-diabetic. I have done a lot with lifestyle alone. I became a vegetarian without even trying and lost around 60 lbs just by eating healthier and exercising more. I do not feel "deprived" or feel that I gave up anything. Quite the opposite, I traded up to a far better lifestyle. I absolutely LOVE it!!!! I should have been living this way all along. It has opened up a whole new world of culinary discovery for me and the more I learn the more I want to learn and share with others who are interested in healthy living. You don't have to be a diabetic to do what I've done. If everyone ate the way a successfully self-maintained diabetic eats, we would see a big improvement in the over-all health of this country. We've gotten ourselves into this mess by our sedentary lifestyles and eating over processed convenience foods high in bad fats, sodium, preservatives, high glycemic carbs and who knows what else. A book that I've found helpful is "Food Your Miracle Medicine" by Jean Carper. Knowledge is power over this thing, both in the knowledge of how diabetes works and in how lifestyle can produce positive changes. Study hard, practice what you learn and be proud of what you accomplish! And don't forget to share with others so we can learn together.
Answered By: vivianeagleson

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2011-07-18 22:50:44.0

To answer your question I'd ask what is the context? Are you standing up in the company lunch room on a table and announcing your new diagnosis? Are you talking about your first date with someone and never having met them ever before are concerned about whether that date is the "right time" to share? Both situations are concerned with the appropriate timing.......... when you are comfortable and ONLY if, and when you are comfortable do you share intimate personal details about yourself. If you are not, then hold onto it the same way you wouldn't share your UTI (urinary tract infection) intimate details unless you knew someone fairly well, right?!.............................. Im am not sure SHAME is the right word here. Perhaps appropriate would be a better sentiment. Is it appropriate information to share with total strangers... co workers, family? Its your choice alone... with whom and when you wish to share it. If not by all means hold onto the information. Its nobody's business except yours and yours alone.... Stuart
Answered By: test

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