Did you know that diabetes can affect both your physical and mental health? Managing diabetes can be a huge burden to many people and can provoke anxiety. As a result, many diabetes patients will experience distress, doubled anxiety levels, and decreased mood. These can affect your ability to cope or care for your diabetic condition.

What Are the Common Feelings About Diabetes?

When you get your diabetes diagnosis, you will most likely be hit with a variety of emotions, including anger, shock, fear and sometimes sadness. It is normal to go through different stages of emotions as you come to terms with the condition.

Do not be afraid to recognize your emotions and talk to your family, friends and the members of your diabetes healthcare team. Your healthcare team will help you learn effective methods to cope with your feelings and offers services that will make a massive difference for you.

Here is an overview of the emotions you can expect to feel:


Anxiety disorder is characterized by having unrealistic worries about your life circumstances without identifiable causes. You may feel afraid because you do not know much about diabetes or you do not know what will happen next.

You might also have a fear of complications that come with having diabetes. However, you can reduce anxiety by taking charge of your health and learning more about diabetes. You can also learn about how to prevent complications or postpone them.

Signs and Symptoms of Anxiety

The signs and symptoms of anxiety can differ in severity and combination. They include:

  • Feeling on edge or tense
  • Restlessness
  • Fatigue
  • Impatience
  • Irritability
  • Being distracted
  • Muscle tension
  • Excessive sweating
  • Headache
  • Diarrhoea
  • Shortness of breath

Treating Anxiety

There are two main types of anxiety treatment. The first is medication or taking anti-anxiety drugs or psychotherapy (talk therapy). You can have either treatment for your condition or a combination.

If you have difficulty controlling your worries or the anxiety is interfering with your daily life, you need to speak to your diabetes healthcare team, doctor or a mental health professional.


At first, you may feel confused, overwhelmed and maybe a bit numb with your diagnosis. Some people may pretend that the diagnosis is incorrect and refuse to take the required steps to manage it. Recognizing the diagnosis plays an essential role towards accepting the condition.


After the diagnosis, you may feel like it is unfair that you have to deal with it. You may even resent the healthy behaviour changes vital to managing diabetes. Anger can also be a result of low blood sugar levels. It is essential to ensure that you talk to your healthcare provider if your anger interferes with your day-to-day function.


After diagnosis, you might feel the same as you experienced when you lost your loved one. You may even feel like your life has changed forever, and you mourn the lifestyle that you had before.

A diabetes diagnosis can make you feel vulnerable and weak, especially if you have already started having complications. If this happens, ensure that you talk to someone who understands your feelings, maybe some who has been living with diabetes for a while, a counsellor or mental health professional.


Although the grieving process is normal after diagnosis of any chronic disease, having a prolonged period of sadness is a sign of depression. Depression is more familiar to people living with diabetes than to the general population. It is often associated with poor blood sugar management and decreased quality of life.

Signs and Symptoms of Depression

Make sure you talk to your doctor if you feel low for a few months. Some of the signs of depression you need to look out for include the following:

  • Changes in sleep patterns
  • Feeling tired almost all the time
  • Changes in eating habits
  • Feeling helpless or hopeless

Depression can be treated effectively with medication and talk therapy, or both. Prescription medicine for depression is safe and well tolerated by people with diabetes. If you think you have depression or know someone who might seek help from professionals.

References and Resources