Therapy / Counseling

I’m thinking about finding a psychologist, to work on lowering my stress levels and anxiety, mostly related to diabetes. I’ve never been to a psychologist before, and am somewhat nervous about the process. My question is this:

Have any of you been to therapy related to your diabetes?
Is there something specific I should be looking for, when I’m looking at psychologists?
If you have been, was it helpful?

Thank you in advance! :slight_smile:

Yes, yes, and yes. It seems that I’ve been trying therapy to deal with diabetes my entire life, but some major life event took the focus (my parents’ divorce, bad break-up, mom’s death). But, hey, it could also be that I simply wasn’t READY. I think the single most important thing in looking for a psycho (sorry, couldn’t help myself) is your own comfort level with that particular person; you’ll know. I started seeing someone this year and finally hit the diabetes issue. The right therapist will ask questions that will make you really think about the issues as well as be able to help pinpoint how you feel/what you think even when YOU can’t. You might want to ask people around you that you have a bond with if they have any recommendations. Also, is insurance a factor? If so, be certain to check your provider’s “accepted” list. Then just take someone for a spin and see how it goes. Hope that’s helpful…let me know how it goes.

I have been to therapy for diabetes, food issues, and general depression.
In retrospect, I think I improved a little with each round, but it took me awhile to realize it.
For me, the biggest roadblock was not being honest. I would go into a session and start blabbing about something totally offkey and walk away feeling smug that I had covered it up.
Is Bellingham close to a big city? Any big hospital that has a db clinic will most likely have a health psychologist. ALso a medical school would too.
But sometimes it takes a few tries to find a good fit.
Do you have a new endo yet? I bet he/she could recommend someone.

I recall many years ago I was really seriously depressed and could not take time off my job for appointments. So I was assigned someone who was new to the clinic and willing to work evenings. His speciality was hyperactive children. Yet, this man was exactly what I needed. He was respectful and a good listener, and sometimes I would just sit a sob for the entire 50 minutes. Yet, it was in that environment that I figured out some answers myself…

Wow, thanks for all the responses! It’s helping me feel less apprehensive about going. We’re looking to adopt in a couple of years, so I want to start learning to manage stress and anxiety before adding more stress and anxiety to my life!

I have just started seeing a psychologist to help me deal with anxiety, stress and panic attacks. These didn’t start because of my diabetes but since being diagnosed the panic attacks and anxiety have just gotten out of control.

I have been putting this off for some time, so i understand how you feel apprehensive about it. I’ve only been to a couple of sessions so far, so i’ll let you know how it goes. I was recommended to a psychologist by my diabetes educator. She deals with only diabetics. She seems nice. She is young and kind of gets where i’m coming from. You’ll know if you don’t feel comfortable with the person. And just make sure you tell them everything. There is no point in covering things up because they won’t judge you.
hope this helps :slight_smile:

I’d second the idea of finding someone who has well controlled diabetes themselves, if possible, because I really don’t think a person who doesn’t have to deal with blood sugar on an hourly basis can have ANY idea of what it is like, and you don’t need someone who doesn’t understand deciding it’s time to help you lose the “OCD” that is keeping you healthy!

Will a session with best friend be a replacement for seeing a psychotherapist,as long as the depression is not severe to warant an appoitment with psychatrist.My best friends and sisters are my therapist,as I am for them.

So if I need to see psychatrist for depression,I have to be sure that he went through depression himself,or marriage counciller,he has to be happily married forever…

Ouch, yea the depression happens.

We either have been there and done that, are there doing it, or on are way to it. Its kind of an unavoidable fact of life. I think I have managed to be lucky, when I was there I had good friends to turn to after I discovered that hard drinking was of no use. Way back when I was in High school the folks at the clinic made a point of having us all talk to a shrink on a pretty regular basis during group days. I managed to get flagged as needing more attention ( there was of course the depression ) well, I got pretty offended by the whole thing and used the sessions to mess with the shrink, which of course earned me the manipulative label. 8^) Of course during all of that I managed to snap out of my funk and was feeling pretty ok. So, I suppose it worked. I would say that you should make it pretty clear that drugs are not supposed to be the first answer to the problem. Benzos will do a fine job of making you not care. But, the point is to get better and that will take some talking and working through the problems. Also, psych meds have nasty repercussions on your metabolism, so making you not care also makes things worse in the long run. Its complicated, but getting help is a good thing. Also, admitting you need it is a huge step in the right direction.


Hwllo Beth:

Did you have this dance???

The short answer would be sure, maybe. Specific to seeking help re: our diabetes, IMHV the answer is twice as simple. I want them to have diabetes themselves. I have no time/interest to educate you about my disease, Im paying too much money to waste my time.

Was there something in particular you are hoping they can help with diabetes wise or just a mental health check up in the generic? I met with several people at different times until I found one who met my big “D” criteria.

Apparently I’m not nearly as unwound/unwell as I was frightened I was… I fired my best questions at him, my deepest fears and he laughed with me about them, answering until we both cried from laughing so hard. Guy named Brett out of the Philadelphia suburbs at the time… might be still there. Liked him a lot, though he was well skilled…

Good man…

Couple thoughts about seeking a therapist. (I am retired after working in the field for 25 years.) I don’t necessarily agree that a therapist needs to have them same problem as you present to be effective. A GOOD therapist will have empathy towards whatever your situation, whether it be depression, stress or managing diabetes and will seek to educate themselves and ask good questions if it’s an area they don’t know much about. In some ways it could be better if they DON"T have the problem because then they won’t be in danger of putting their take on the issue onto yours. All diabetics have different experiences and issues and they need to understand what is true for you. Having said that, I think that what is important is what YOU feel. If you feel that only another diabetic will really understand than search out a diabetic therapist or group.

I agree with the people that say the therapist has to feel right to you and this is more important than how many degrees they have. One therapist might be great for one person and terrible for another. So go with your gut. And never hesitate to ask for a free first session which is to be considered a time for you both to see if it is a good “fit”. The more clear you are on what you’re looking for and what you want to work on, the easier it will be to find the right person. If you want to work on stress primarily ask the person about their approach to that issue. Do you care if it’s a man or woman? Do you want someone who mainly listens or someone who offers a lot of input? How long do you forsee wanting therapy? Is medication something you want to consider? Do you think you would benefit from a group with other diabetics (another way to access people with the same issues), or are you seeking 1:1 therapy only? As much as you know about you want out of the process the better and a good therapist will be very happy to hear your ideas.

Zoe is right on with this! Great job explaining the therapeutic relationship! Therapy can work, I know from experience as well as from being in the field. Don’t be afraid to ask questions to help you see if the therapist would be a good fit for you.

EXCELLENT, thanks for jumping in Zoe… question or two if I may???

Given the option, I want the heart specialist to have had heart problems, the cancer doctor to have had cancer, the Endo to be one of us…Intimate personal experience has serious merit, Experience buys forbearance, if you truly, personally know what you are asking of us… when you ask us to do “it” , or about it whatever that particular “it(s)” might be.

I cannot articulate why that is so, but I know for myself (and many I’ve spoken with) it is obscenely beneficial
(necessary?) Is there a name for this per se?

Nice framing of the “sorting process” really great job!!!