diabetes and wellbeing

Diabetes and Wellbeing

Quick Overview

Managing the psychological and emotional challenges of Diabetes Type 1 and 2

“Diabetes and Wellbeing” presents a range of effective psychological principles proven to positively impact the emotional wellbeing of individuals with type 1 and 2 diabetes. The guide takes an explicitly Cognitive Behavioural Therapy approach to motivate sufferers in essential self-care tasks. Written in a practical style, for those newly diagnosed with diabetes, individuals managing its challenges for many years, and healthcare professionals Reveals how the stress of daily diabetes management can affect an individual's ability to stay motivated and engaged in essential self-care tasks that are vital for good health. Presents proven techniques for improving emotional well being. First book to take an explicitly CBT approach to diabetes, simultaneously drawing on solution-focused behavioural therapy and mindfulness approaches. Fills the gap information of this kind among healthcare professionals and individuals with diabetes.

Health Professional Review

Health Professional Reviewer: Helen Gibbs, New Zealand Registered Dietitian. Reviewed 22 January 2015.

Book Title: Diabetes and Wellbeing- Managing the psychological and emotional challenges of Diabetes Type 1 and 2

Author(s): Dr Jen Nash, Clinical psychologist. Type 1 diabetic, trainer for NHS health staff.

Date published: 2013

Suitable for: Those with a diagnosis of either Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes. Would require a reading age that would achieve a solid pass in an NCEA Level 1 (5th Form), but even at this level, there may need to be external support.

This would also be good for a family member trying to understand the mood changes in their loved one within 2 years of a diagnosis of diabetes

Problems addressed: Psychological impact of a diagnosis of diabetes and how to manage the impact using cognitive behavioural therapy

Book Summary: 

This book covers the likely psychological responses to the acute and chronic phases of the management of diabetes. This includes depression, anxiety and disordered eating. It introduced CBT techniques in the context of diabetes and provides examples of how those techniques might be used by someone with diabetes to improve their psychological health and wellbeing. It also gives a context to the use of both solution-focused self-help and mindfulness in relationship to diabetes.

Most importantly are the facts and figures that will demonstrate to the person with diabetes or their family members that they are not alone in suffering the psychological consequences of both the acute diagnosis and chronic management of this life-long condition.

 Strengths and Weaknesses

Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) is the most widely researched form of talking therapy for depression and anxiety, plus has some benefit for those with disordered eating, so it takes a well evidenced approach to managing the psychological aspects of a diagnosis of a chronic disease. It is interesting also they have included mindfulness and solution-focused therapeutic concepts in chapter 9, as these go some way to addressing the weaknesses of the use of CBT.

The use of CBT is a weakness in this book. Although it is a well-researched method, it does not work for everyone and this is not made clear in the book. Mindfulness i.e. recognising that the feelings and reality are not going to go away, is included late in the book, and many may have given up reading by this point

Additionally, a New Zealand specific addendum needs to be put into the “Recommended Resources” as there is no mention of any NZ specific charities for diabetes support, nor any of the websites for CBT in NZ.


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