Coping and support

By Mayo Clinic Staff

Living with type 1 diabetes isn't easy. Good diabetes management requires a lot of time and effort, especially in the beginning.

Diabetes can affect your emotions both directly and indirectly. Poorly controlled blood sugar can directly affect your emotions by causing behavior changes, such as irritability. Diabetes may also make you feel different from other people, and there may be times you feel resentful that you always have to incorporate diabetes planning in everything you do.

People with diabetes have an increased risk of depression and anxiety, which may be why many diabetes specialists regularly include a social worker or psychologist as part of their diabetes care team.

You may find that talking to other people with type 1 diabetes is helpful. There are support groups available both online and in person. Although support groups aren't for everyone, they can be good sources of information. Group members often know about the latest treatments and tend to share their own experiences or helpful information, such as where to find carbohydrate counts for your favorite takeout restaurant. If you're interested, your doctor may be able to recommend a group in your area.

Or you can visit the websites of the American Diabetes Association (ADA) or the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) for support group information and to check out local activities for people with type 1 diabetes. You can also reach the ADA at 800-DIABETES (800-342-2383) or JDRF at 800-533-CURE (800-533-2873).

Jan. 23, 2013