Question: How can I find a counselor or therapist who understands anything about life with diabetes? It makes me even MORE stressed to have to educate them about why diabetes is stressful.
Answer: Seeking out the guidance of a counselor is a noble thing to do in coping with stress that might be associated with living with diabetes because you are certainly not alone. While many counselors may not be specifically trained in diabetes, they can assist in helping you manage your thought processes to better be able to cope with dealing with the disease. Research has shown that a technique called Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) can help individuals, including those with diabetes, ease depression and/or anxiety associated with living with a chronic disease and has positive effects on feelings of well-being.
While not necessarily licensed therapists, Certified Diabetes Educators (CDEs) are trained to help people better manage all aspects of life with diabetes, which can also help reduce the stress you may be experiencing. CDE’s can be individuals from a variety of healthcare backgrounds including nurses, doctors, exerise physiologists, and Registered Dietitians. Clinical psychologists are also eligible to become CDE’s, and would have the benefit of being able to counsel on CBT as well as Diabetes self-management.
To find a CDE, check out https://www.ncbde.org/find-a-cde/ or
Ultimately, it should be noted that living with Diabetes does not have to be stressful, and if it is stressful, it does not have to stay that way. By working with a mental health professional to help manage negative thought processes and seeking the counsel from a CDE, individuals with diabetes can learn to think positively about their disease and develop confidence in their ability to manage it.