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Saturday, 10 February 2018


The first time I saw a psychologist, a few years ago now, I left the aappointment feeling more hurt than when I hard started. When I was fresh and new to diabetes I had some anxiety over hypos, the adjustments I had to make to my daily routine and the constant worry that had fit itself into my handbag right next to the glucose tablets, taking itself everywhere that I did.

I was laughed at when I talked about my fear of hypos and the impact it had on my life. "My brother in law has Type 1 Diabetes" this psychologist said to me. "It's hilarious to watch someone having a hypo. The things they do are very funny to see".

The session was ended (there wasn't even a point in trying to fix that mess) and I never went back for another. An offer for a future appointment was declined.

For the next few years I was ok, I didn't have a need to visit any mental health practitioners. My anxiety was well controlled through techniques I had learnt years earlier at CBT sessions (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) and the more hypos I had, the more I felt comfortable in my ability to deal with them. The fear that I wouldn't be able to treat them dissipated.

At the end of last year I reached out for help again. My anxiety was still well under control, but I had dealt with a lot and I knew that the way I felt - tired, uninterested in my usual activities (including writing!), sad, crying over silly little things, unmotivated, uncaring about myself and wanting to withdraw socially - was not my normal. 

So I made an appointment with a GP, asked for a care plan, and found myself the name of a psychologist who I was told was much more understanding about diabetes. 

I walked in with a huge knot in my stomach, terrified that my first session wouldn't work out. I left knowing I had found *the one*. The right psychologist for me.

Just as we have partners in life, I think we also need to have partners in health care. After all, some of our health professionals are walking a very intimate road with us. They know things about our bodies or minds that even our closest family and friends don't.

My new psychologist know Type 1. She shared that her daughter has type 1 - and my 'judgement' barrier immediately flipped down.

I have my next appointment this week. I'm looking forward to it almost as much as I am looking forward to seeing my DE (and I seriously love seeing my DE!).

I find it so much easier to care for me if I have the right team helping me to care for me.

So here's to self-care in 2018 - a better year than 2017.


  1. Ashleigh, I believe that almost everyone who is diagnosed with type 1 should be routed for at least one for a therapy appointment. My feeling is that when children reach adolescence they should go, and those of us (I was 17) who are a little older should go upon diagnosis.

    I do not believe everyone needs it at these times, but I do believe almost everyone needs it at some point. My feeling is that once exposed we would then know it is OK to reach back for help. Otherwise we may not know it or how to get it. I know when I needed it, I needed it badly and did not understand how to ask for it.

    I am better today, and yes I continue therapy so I do not go backwards. Our condition is so self managed we need all the support we can get.

  2. I’m glad you appear to have found a good psych and, hopefully, a good partner for you into the future. Good luck and I hope you continue to embrace a much better 2018 than 2017.