Sailing into the future (our health doesn’t need to hold us back!)

Monday 24th June 2024 | Physical Health Conditions

Moving forwards following a diagnosis of diabetes

Being told you have diabetes by your GP or healthcare professional can come as a shock and often it can be difficult to come to terms with the diagnosis and what it means for you. Sometimes, we might feel overwhelmed, upset or even numb. Everyone reacts differently to a diagnosis.

Very often, our patients tell us that:

  1. “wish it would just go away”

This is completely understandable! Often, the news and media gives us a negative view of diabetes and as a result some of us might try to fight against the situation, perhaps shutting down and not wishing to discuss the medical side of things. During the initial diagnosis, some of us may not wish to have treatment or others do the opposite and they might start to research the condition and spend time googling symptoms.

However, therapy can help. Our patients have said that therapy has helped them to be able to live alongside their diabetes, seeing it for what it is and not as a frightening monster that follows them around. They have been able to feel more in control and know what symptoms mean they aren’t feeling well and having an action plan in place.



  1. “what is my life going to look like?”

It’s common to experience a range of thoughts about ourselves, our life and the impact upon our family and friends. It’s also normal to have concerns about what the future might hold. For some of us, we might worry about the future and the complications of diabetes and how this might affect our ability to work or function day to day. There might be worries about taking medication (whether that be insulin injections or metformin tablets) and the side effects that could come from these or (in many cases…. How can I travel with my medication through the airport!?). However, for some, this can lead to anxiety and depression, and we may stop doing the things we enjoy in fear that we might become more unwell. This can lead to a lost sense of self, and we may also feel that we have lost control.


Our patients have told us that therapy has helped them to focus on living their life through your values and doing things that matter to them through worry management and problem solving but also focusing on a sense of acceptance (through Acceptance Commitment Therapy).

  1. “It’s all my fault and i’m to blame”

Self-blame is very common, and it probably doesn’t help that people think diabetes is linked to weight…. It’s linked to so much more than that! You are not to blame, and you are not at a fault because you did not cause this and you did not ask for this.

Our patients have told us that when they first came to us, they felt “useless”, “worthless” and “embarrassed” but since seeing us, they now feel empowered to support others with diabetes and they don’t experience negative thoughts as much… they have since found a sense of self-compassion and kindness towards themselves.


Here are a few things that can help you with moving forwards:

  1. Identify what’s important to you and move towards this.

Focus on the things you can do, what activities and experiences do you enjoy? Are there any adaptions you could use to help manage your diabetes? Sometimes, we might not know the answer but think about what you value in your life by asking yourself these questions:

  • Who do you want to be in the world?
  • Who matters most to you? (is it the people you spend most of your time with?)
  • If you could live absolutely any kind of life, what would you choose?


Excellent, now you have some answers to those questions, think about what small steps you can take over the next day, few days or few weeks – what would you like to try to do?


  1. Have self-compassion

How often have you noticed that you have a critical, sassy and scary critical voice in your mind? That no matter how well you do, that voice is always there criticising you? However, when you think about your family and friends you offer lots of compassion and this is often in a kind and calm voice.  Does that sound like you?

It’s true, we are far more critical of ourselves than we are of others. If you notice that you’re experiencing this and you are “beating yourself up” over situations in which you felt you could have done things differently. Try thinking about what you would say to your friend, what would happen if you said the same thing in a different tone of voice?


If you are experiencing any symptoms of anxiety or depression following your diagnosis of diabetes (whether this, be recently or you’ve had the condition for a period of time), please don’t feel you need to do this alone. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) can help you manage how you’re feeling by changing the way you think and behave. You can do this in the comfort of your home through video appointments or you can come and see us at our countryside clinic in Odiham.

You can find out more and book an appointment here.