Diabetes Personality Types

Your personality may be highly indicative of how you manage your diabetes, according to Dr. Paul Ciechanowski, Associate Professor at the University of Washington School of Medicine. People with independent personalities are typically self-reliant and cautious when it comes to interacting with others, traits that are often associated with success in life, but not necessarily the best method of caring for a chronic condition such as diabetes. Those with an interactive style are more collaborative and easily affiliate with others. For the interactive person, asking for help comes much more easily than for the independent person.

When it comes to managing your diabetes, interacting with others is a major part of successfully managing your diabetes. What has been found is the more independent a person is, the less likely that person will adhere to the rigors of daily diabetes management – exercise, diet, taking medications, visiting the doctor, etc.

So what's YOUR style?
These two diabetes personality types are actually based on a theory called attachment style, which is how you relate to others in intimate and close relationships. This theory says there are two fundamental ways that people relate to others. Some people are more anxious than others. People who are high in attachment-related anxiety tend to worry about whether their partners really love them and often fear rejection. People low on this dimension are much less worried about such matters. There is a second group of people who are more avoidant than others. People who are high in attachment-related avoidance are less comfortable depending on others and opening up to others.

Click the image below to begin your assessment and determine which style you are. Landing in the secure/preoccupied quadrants is equivalent to having an interactive style, while fearful/dismissing is equivalent to independent. Use your results to discuss your behavioral style with a counselor who specializes in diabetes and can help you determine how your personality style can be best used to manage your diabetes successfully.

Last Modified Date: February 07, 2014

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  1. What is Your Attachment Style? http://www.web-research-design.net/cgi-bin/crq/crq.pl. (Accessed 6/12/12.)

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by Brenda Bell
Many people say that depression is a side effect or complication of diabetes. Without discounting the association of the psychological condition with the physical one, I'm not convinced that our high and/or unstable glucose levels are directly responsible for that change in our mental state. My belief is that the unrelenting need for self-care, for following the sort of care schedules that can drive licensed, professional caregivers crazy, is what overwhelms us...
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