When you first get diabetes, you might find that your family and friends are being a bit different around you.
Family – they have feelings too
Our parents and other family members can feel sad about your diabetes, just like you. Seeing your parents get upset can be hard. Diabetes is not your parents’ fault but just as we feel upset from time to time, it’s only natural for them to feel that way too.
You may also envy a brother or sister who doesn’t have diabetes, but instead, your sibling may feel envious of you because of the extra attention you’re getting from your parents and everyone.
It is much better to talk about this openly — and to recognise that your parents or sibling’s feelings may show in strange ways, such as becoming stricter and not letting you do things or anger towards you.
Sometimes joining a family support group or family counselling helps families work through the emotional ups and downs of dealing with diabetes.
What about your friends?
Friends are for sharing and caring! It is up to you whether you tell your friends or classmates about your diabetes. However sharing with your friends can help you feel less embarrassed and comfortable with managing your diabetes around them. For example, you don’t have to worry when you have to check blood glucose levels or wear an insulin pump.
If you do decide to tell your friends, you must also be prepared for them to ask questions about what having diabetes is like and how it makes you feel. Some of their questions may seem silly or funny. But ultimately, friends who know about your diabetes can be a source of support to you. Having friends who are willing to listen when we’re depressed, angry, and frustrated — even if they don’t have diabetes themselves — can definitely help you feel better.
It is definitely wise to be aware of how friends and family feel, but your first priority is dealing with your own emotions.