If a member of your family has been diagnosed with diabetes, relationships can change. That's completely normal, but you have to be prepared for what usually comes as a huge shock. If you don't know very much about diabetes, its effects and treatment, you can feel very lost at first, but to be able to take action, the first thing you need to do is find out more about it.
Psychological reactions when there’s diabetes in the family
The first effect that diabetes has on the way the family runs involves eating habits. The main challenge is making a few changes and sacrifices to the diet, especially if we're talking about a child. Psychological reactions can include parents feeling anxious and overprotective, and the person with diabetes being depressed or concerned.
Stress between a couple can increase if their child has diabetes
It's been shown that in some cases it's usually parents of children with diabetes who pay the highest psychological price as a result of the condition. It could be that they deal with it in an aggressive way, constantly on the lookout for information, updates and news to help their child live more easily with the disorder. It's a stressful situation that parents will keep to themselves, while tending to minimize the effects of the illness to the child, presenting it as something that he can live with for the rest of his life quite happily.
Families who underplay diabetes
And then there are also parents who tell their child absolutely everything right away, including the risks that can be run if the right care routine isn’t followed. At the same time, they use ways of minimizing the little sacrifices that come with the condition. These parents and their child with diabetes communicate and share solutions and knowledge that will help them all live as happily and peacefully as possible, for the psychological well-being of them all.
A family member can feel panic-stricken if diagnosed with diabetes as an adult
If the relative who's been diagnosed with diabetes is an adult, like a spouse, for example, they might panic, especially if no-one else in the family has had it and there's little knowledge of the condition. From a psychological point of view, the right dietary requirements that the person with diabetes has to follow can have a serious and dramatic effect on the family's eating habits if they weren't healthy before. In actual fact, it could be a good opportunity for everyone to improve the
When a relative refuses to deal with diabetes
The psychological consequences of having diabetes in the family can create conflict as a result of the focus and involvement in the situation by all its members, especially when it comes to confirmation of the diagnosis and dietary rules. If the person with diabetes doesn't like the limitations imposed by the treatment, his relatives then feel that they have to emphasize the seriousness, risks and complications of the condition to him. This sort of behaviour can lead to a state of depression or rebellion in the person with diabetes.
If a relative with diabetes is over 75, the attitude can be more relaxed
When a relative is diagnosed with diabetes at an advanced age, one tends to have a more relaxed attitude to it. In this case, the condition is viewed more like an ailment that's just part of getting old. A family's reaction is often to accept the limitations of the illness as presented by the doctor without looking for any innovative solutions.