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How can a support group help if I have diabetes?

Group therapy can foster mutual support, encourage camaraderie and help combat the depression and isolation that often goes along with a diagnosis of diabetes. Sometimes talking things out with other people helps you find fresh solutions.

All therapy groups share the principle that talking about feelings, ideas and experiences in a safe, respectful atmosphere increases self-esteem, deepens self-understanding and helps a person get along better with others.

Here are some advantages of group therapy for people with diabetes:

  • It can help you learn that you are not alone.
  • You can discuss feelings, worries and concerns that you may never have dreamed of discussing anywhere else.
  • You may discover new approaches to old problems.
  • It can help you explore who you are and who you are not.
  • It may reduce stress, which in turn may lead to better health.
Stacy Wiegman, PharmD
Pharmacy Specialist

People with diabetes can benefit from group therapy by having their psychological and social needs met. Too often, doctors focus on the medical aspects of diabetes, such as getting blood sugar levels under control or dealing with any complications. But they may fail to address the person as a whole. Having diabetes takes an emotional toll as well as a physical one, and group therapy attempts to address those needs by providing psychological counseling in a group setting.

Talking with other people who live with diabetes can give you support and valuable insight into how to cope with your condition. In fact, a recent study found that, compared to normal care or financial incentives, talking with peers with good blood sugar control helped people with diabetes better control their own blood sugar levels.

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If you've been diagnosed with diabetes, a support group can help support your healthy lifestyle. Watch this video as Carole Radney, RN, of Coliseum Medical Centers, explains the benefits of a diabetes support group.

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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.