Adding a Psychologist to Your Diabetes Team
Recently, in a discussion on a social network I visit pretty often, there was a post that made me think. Why don't doctors refer people to a pychologist after diagnosis?
I have posted before about all the members of my diabetes team; Endocrinologist, Nutrionist, CDE, even an insulin pump trainer but, I forgot one. A pyschologist. It was not until a couple of years ago when I just felt like I could not deal with things anymore, that my team told me that maybe I needed to "talk to someone".
Talk to someone? Yes Gina, like a P Y S C H O L O G I S T. Oh? Really? Me? A shrink? I don't need a shrink, Come on? Really?
I caved. Fine. Yes, I will go to your shrink. Now, let me tell you, my interpertation of a shrink was that I had to lay down on one of those long chaise lounges. While the doctor jotted down and didn't say a word, well except for maybe; "That's interesting," or, "hmm...Watching a lot of TV as a teen will do that to you."
I walked in to my first ever appointment with a shrink to be quite honest, Scared. I had no idea what the heck to say to him. Is this guy going to even talk or am I going to basically talk to myself the whole time and he will just be like, "TIMES UP! LATER."
Turns out he had no chaise lounge. Where the heck is it? That is what I was thinking. It was a bit dim in there for my liking. I guess he was trying to keep me calm or something. Who knows how those shrinks think. haha.
He told me to have a seat. It was one of those big backed chairs, Kooshie seat.
He asked me what brought me there and I told him well, my diabetes team told me to come to you so I did. What can I do to help you? I replied. Diabetes sucks, and has taken over my life, and I just can't take it anymore.
Dr. Shrink helped me learn how to start taking care of myself again, but, he never judged me for anything that I told him. He just gave me new ways of trying to get myself back on track again.
It felt good to tell someone that hardly knew me or would judge my actions how I was feeling. It felt good to get things off my chest since the diagnosis, that I did not want to tell family members to upset them even more than they already were. It just felt good to say what I felt.
When I was ready I stopped seeing him. But, I always know that I can call Dr. Shrink when I am not feeling so good mentally.
I think having a great pyschologist on your diabetes team is just as important as having a good endocrinologist. If you are missing this team member I suggest you get one.