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Where can I find people to talk to about living with diabetes?

Scott Johnson
Endocrinologist

Start where you already are.

  • Do you use Facebook? Search some diabetes related groups and pages.
  • Are you active on twitter? You can search on a couple "hashtags" (one method of pulling together related information), in particular #diabetes, #dsma, #bgnow.
  • Do you like reading blogs? Start with one of the 10 listed above, and nearly all of them have lists of other blogs they follow.
  • Do you watch YouTube videos? A couple of my favorite diabetes related channels are 'MrMikeLawson' or 'GingerVieira.'

The key, in my opinion, is finding people you identify with. If their story or situation resonates with you that is what is important.

It can take some time to explore everything that is out there, and the sheer number of resources and people can be intimidating, but once you connect with something that helps you, it is very much worth the effort.

I hope this helps!

Some hospitals offer educational programs and support groups for people who have diabetes. You could ask a family member to join you at a class or meeting, if you think that would be helpful. In some areas, the American Diabetes Association sponsors similar activities. Dial 1-800-DIABETES (342-2383) and ask them what they offer and where programs are held. Your healthcare provider may also be able to put you in touch with other people who have diabetes.

You might also try the Internet for a "virtual" support group. The American Diabetes Association's website, http://www.diabetes.orghas message boards, which are a good place to start. Be aware that what other people say on the Internet ranges from brilliant to bunk, so be sure to check out anything you see online with someone you trust before giving it a shot yourself.

Sometimes, despite the help of diabetes support groups, and even with a supportive family, you might need extra help. Coping with diabetes and all of the feelings that go along with it is not an easy process. Whatever your situation, you may want to consider some form of individual or group counseling for those times when you need extra help. It might help to sort out any difficulties with a professional who can be an objective source of support. A professional therapist can help you examine your problems. Depending on your individual needs, you may want individual, marriage or family therapy.

You might seem a little put off by the idea of seeing a therapist. Maybe it conjures up negative images, or maybe you think seeing a therapist indicates that there is something wrong with your mental state. Nothing could be further from the truth. Counseling is a healthy way of helping people deal with some of life’s difficult problems.

Stacy Wiegman, PharmD
Pharmacy Specialist

To find people to talk to about living with diabetes, ask your doctor about diabetes support groups in your area. Your local hospital may also be able to connect you to a support group. The American Diabetes Association (ADA) also sponsors support groups in local communities across the United States as well as online. Contact your local chapter of the ADA, or log onto its website at www.diabetes.org.

Jeffrey Arnold
Healthcare Specialist

We took a look at the inspired patients out there who are making a difference in the world of diabetes. We found 10 impressive and inspirational men and women with diabetes who are reaching across multiple online channels—including Twitter, blogs, forums, mainstream news and video—to influence diabetes conversations online. That's why they're SharecareNow's Top 10 Online Influencers.

http://www.sharecare.com/static/sharecare-now-diabetes

 

Dr. Ileen Craven
Nursing Specialist

The internet, despite all its negative publicity, is an amazing resource. I have found some sources for you and I hope these are helpful. Patients and consumers who take care of their chronic illnesses, are the most import link in the current patient-centered care movement. Please remember you are not alone and that support from family, friends and members of your healthcare team are available and vital to your well-being.

The sites listed below are for you to select and see if they work in a way that helps you. Good luck. Stay healthy and happy! Please remember that your healthcare providers should be your number one source of information.

American Diabetes Association: support for Type 2 diabetes on-line (http://www.diabetes.org/campaigns/american-diabetes-association-type2-diabetes.html?cr=enrollinourfreelwt2dsupportgrouppaid&gclid=CK7-xfqcr6wCFcV_5QodBxA9HA)

diabetic connect (http://www.diabeticconnect.com/)

Alt-Support-Diabetes (http://www.alt-support-diabetes.org/)

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.