A new study from the Australian Centre for Behavioural Research in Diabetes (ACBRD) has found that four out of five people living with diabetes have experienced some sort of stigma and that having diabetes more than doubles the risk of developing depression.
What’s more, a recent US study also showed that the most widely reported experience of having diabetes was the perception of a flawed character or failure of personal responsibility.
While the rigour of managing diabetes is already challenging enough, the feeling of social judgement and potential guilt associated with the stigma of having diabetes can lead to negative psychological, behavioural and physical consequences such as depression, anxiety and fear of negative feedback from blood glucose testing.
People with diabetes or those at risk should reach out for help and support to manage their diabetes.
With this year’s theme of National Diabetes Awareness Week (10–16 July) focused on the stigma associated with diabetes, people with the disease are being encouraged to discuss their diagnosis and attend regular monitoring services to stay on top of their condition.
One pharmacy network doing work in this space is Blooms The Chemist.
Blooms The Chemist offers free Diabetes Monitoring (Blood Glucose Screening) to assist people diagnosed with diabetes or those with a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
“Regular health checks can help identify early warning signs of disease and illness,” says Blooms The Chemist pharmacist and diabetes expert Claire Ross.
“With 1.4 million people in Australia living with diabetes, it’s important for people at higher risk to monitor their blood glucose levels.
“While this test will not confirm if you have diabetes, a high blood glucose reading may signal that there may be an issue.
“It is important to be actively involved in your own health care and to partner with a trusted healthcare professional to ensure the correct diabetes management plan is in place to optimise the opportunity to live life to the fullest without it becoming overwhelming,” says Ms Ross.