The True Cost of Stigma in Type 2 Diabetes

Published by Diabetic Connect. Because type 2 diabetes is seen as preventable, we are blamed…

Published by Diabetic Connect.

http://www.diabeticconnect.com/diabetes-information-articles/general/2624-the-true-cost-of-stigma-in-type-2-diabetes

Prediabetes? Ain’t nobody got time for that!

Prediabetes? Ain’t nobody got time for that! The Ad Council’s type 2 prevention campaign misses the mark.

In the first of its kind campaign the ADA, AMA, and CDC released a series of Ad Council public service announcements aimed at preventing type 2 diabetes. The campaign is called So…Do I Have Prediabetes?

Boy did they miss the mark.

The campaign takes on a snarky tone. Now, I’ve been known to enjoy a snarky joke as much as the next person. But this snark is aimed at the patient, that just adds to the blame and shame people living with diabetes, especially type 2 diabetes, already face.

You eat bacon? Well, don’t. It’s a variation on the “Eat 100 candy bars and what do you get?” joke. We’ve all heard the punch line: Diabetes!

Only, it’s not true and it’s hateful. And when people feel blamed for their health or shamed for their behavior that disempowers them to change. Don’t believe that? Listen to what the research of Jane K. Dickinson, CDE has to say.

And what if you’re a busy mom?

Well, this busy mom doesn’t appreciate the sentiment. Yeah, busy-ness is a common excuse. I’ll cop to using it myself once or twice. Okay! I used it for about a million years while I was in pre-diabetes.

The doctor’s response to the patient saying she’s a busy mom made me think of this:

CharlieBrownLucyFootball

Lucy van Pelt pulling the football away at the last moment yet again and the ever trusting Charlie Brown taking a tumble mid-kick.

I don’t want my doctor to be paying a cruel joke on me. And I don’t want to end up the looser in this scenario.

But more damning is the image that comes to my mind when I reflect on what the busy mom says. Her distress is real. And yet her words come off more like this:

Ain't nobody got time for that!

And this is just plain wrong.

Oh diabetes, you’re so transitory

Oh, diabetes…
It’s all so transitory, isn’t it?

Oh, diabetes…
It’s all so transitory, isn’t it?

Not 5 minutes before I was enjoying my membership in the Diabetes Century Club. By the time I got back to take picture proof the meter had powered off.

The little +3 in the triangle at the top is my only proof.

Loneliness will kill you

By taking action, you won’t just heal, you will build emotional resiliency and thrive. Dr. Winch calls on us all to practice good emotional hygiene. He believes it will dramatically improve our quality of life.

“There is a lot of research on loneliness and all of it is horrifying. Loneliness won’t just make you miserable. It will kill you.” –Guy Winch

So why don’t we practice emotional hygiene? Why don’t we prioritize our emotional health?

In this TED Talk by Dr. Guy Winch, PhD discusses Why we all need to practice emotional first aid. Better yet, he provides advice on How to beat loneliness.

By taking action, you won’t just heal, you will build emotional resiliency and thrive. Dr. Winch calls on us all to practice good emotional hygiene. He believes it will dramatically improve our quality of life.

I work for an organization that is built on the premise that loneliness in diabetes is something that needs to be addressed. By building community and addressing loneliness, people’s quality of life and quality of health will be improved. Through the stories of the people who participate in the programs of Diabetes Hands Foundation I have seen proof that community and connection helps.