Mental Health

Your Mental Health

Living with diabetes and managing it well can involve a lot of thinking, planning and problem solving. So, it’s not surprising that many people with diabetes, as well as those who care for someone with diabetes, feel worried, guilty, sad, angry, frustrated, or overwhelmed.

It is understandable if you feel this way too. Sometimes, nothing seems to go right. You may even feel like you are ‘failing’ with your diabetes management – this can make it very difficult to stay motivated and to take care of your health. Sometimes, it can be hard to focus on other aspects of life, like work or school, and family or friends. It can also be hard to feel confident when others don’t really understand what you are going through, especially if you feel they are judging you for having diabetes or for the way you are managing it.

Feeling down or worried about your diabetes doesn’t necessarily mean you have a mental health condition. However, if you do, you are not alone, and help is available. Depression and anxiety are the most common mental health conditions experienced by Australians, whether or not they have diabetes. Having depression or anxiety may not be related to your diabetes, but it can affect the way you feel about your diabetes. If you think you may be experiencing depression or anxiety, it is important to seek help from a qualified health professional. Below is a list of factsheets about diabetes and mental health. Each one offers information, tips and support to help you identify whether you need help, and where and how to get it.

  • Adjusting to life with diabetes
  • Diabetes distress
  • Concerns about starting insulin (for people with type 2 diabetes)
  • Fear of hypoglycaemia
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Disordered eating

If you have any concerns about how you feel, talk with your health professional. Your General Practitioner (GP) is a good place to start. You might like to bring the relevant fact sheet(s) along to your consultation to start the conversation. This will help your health professional understand how you are feeling. If you and your GP think you would benefit from seeing a psychologist or psychiatrist, your GP can tell you if you are eligible for a Mental Health Treatment Plan to reduce the out of pocket costs involved.

Regardless of whether you have a mental health condition, it is important to look after your emotional well-being. Sharing experiences with other people with diabetes can help you feel less alone and better supported. This fact sheet on peer support explains where and how you can access support from other people with diabetes.

More information and support

Head to Health

Easy online access to a range of mental health information, advice and treatment options, enabling people to seek support in times of need, or when it is most convenient for them.

Beyondblue

ph: 1300 224 636

Information and support for people with depression o anxiety, or who are going through a tough time. Support services are available via telephone, email or chat, including online forums where you can connect with others.

Lifeline

ph: 13 11 14

For 24-hour confidential telephone and online crisis support. People contact Lifeline for a range of reasons, including feelings of depression, stress, anxiety, and suicidal thoughts or attempts.

Headspace

ph: (03) 9027 0100

Mental health foundation for youth, providing early intervention mental health services to 12-25 year olds. Information and services also available to young people, their family and friends, and health professionals.

Department of Health: Better Access to Mental Health Care

Information about Medicare rebates available for selected mental health services provided by GPs, psychiatrists, psychologists and eligible social workers and occupational therapists.

NDSS Helpline 1300 136 588

Diabetes Australia offers a free national NDSS Helpline, through which people with diabetes and their carers can access diabetes information, education programs, peer support groups, and events.

Page last reviewed: 3 August 2018

Developed in collaboration with The Australian Centre for Behavioural Research in Diabetes, a partnership for better health between Diabetes Victoria and Deakin University

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