Diabetes Shame and Blame
Having diabetes often makes a visit to the doctor a dreaded experience, as there is invariably bad news of one kind or another. And sometimes the way the doctor talks to you can leave you feeling like you’re at fault. Or maybe you have a fantastic healthcare team, but have experienced blame and judgement from someone else in your life – friend, loved one, complete stranger. Think about a particularly bad instance, how that person talked to you, the words they used and the conversation you had. Now, the game part. Let’s turn this around. If you could turn that person into a puppet, what would you have them say that would leave you feeling empowered and good about yourself? Let’s help teach people how to support us, rather than blame us!
“Oh you have diabetes? I heard you can cure it with diet and exercise? Is it the bad kind? Did you eat too much sugar as a kid? Why don’t you take care of yourself? If I had diabetes I would be a great diabetic.”
If not dealing with a life-threatening illness that has no cure was difficult already—you also have to deal with the shame and blame that comes along with this disease.
Society has made diabetes such a shameful word.
No one really understands the ramifications associated with stigma. How it affects young children and adults who manage this disease.
It all stems off of unawareness, influence of the media, and lack of education. But how can we be point fingers when even doctors are misinformed?
Diabetes is now characterized as sugary food items, Unicorn Frappuccinos, and BigMacs. People joke and assume that they could get diabetes by consuming these. Which is a huge misconception because diabetes can happen to anyone, at no fault of their own.
The real issue behind this is that young babies, children, and adults are at risk of dying from not catching the signs of diabetes in time.
Not only that, but diabetes is serious. It’s as serious as any other disease. It consumes ones’ life and demands constant attention. No one should feel ashamed of their diabetes but should feel self-empowered to manage it.
The more we talk about the issues and raise awareness, the more conversations we can start. And hopefully more lives can be saved.
The stigma needs to end.