Diabetes Self-Management Articles

These articles cover a wide range of subjects, from the most basic aspects of diabetes care to the nitty-gritty specifics.

Links not loading properly?

Some of our pages use Portable Document Format (PDF) files, which require Adobe Acrobat Reader. To download Acrobat Reader for free, visit www.adobe.com.

Sign up for our weekly e-mail newsletter and receive a FREE GIFT! Enter your e-mail below.

Learn more

Learn more about diabetes

Links to help you learn more about diabetes.

Ask a diabetes expert
Other diabetes resources
Browse article topics

 

Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

A scientifically proven form of psychotherapy that involves identifying distorted, maladaptive patterns of thinking and behaviors and replacing them with more pragmatic, problem-solving ways of thinking and acting. Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) has been shown to effectively treat a number of issues and disorders, including depression, anxiety, eating disorders, substance abuse, anger, and attention deficit disorder. It also appears to help improve symptoms of medical conditions with a psychological component, such as chronic pain, migraines, fibromyalgia, erectile dysfunction, and sleep disorders.

CBT, with or without the concurrent use of antidepressant medicines, has proved extremely effective in treating depression. People with diabetes have roughly twice the risk of depression as those without diabetes and, by some estimates, depression affects some 15% to 30% of individuals with diabetes at any given time. Depression in turn may worsen diabetes control, since the depressed person is less likely to stay active and to take all the steps necessary to ensure good blood glucose control.

The basic tenet of cognitive-behavioral therapy is that the way a person perceives an event, situation, or another person influences how he reacts to it and how he feels about it. In some cases, a negative reaction may stem from distorted thinking. For example, a person may engage in “all-or-nothing” thinking, perceiving people or things that are not totally perfect as totally defective. A person might also overgeneralize, using one aspect of an experience or situation to “sum up” their entire character rather than considering its many facets. Another example of distorted thinking is magnification, in which the thinker blows a small event or characteristic way out of proportion. The opposite is also possible: minimizing an event or characteristic that is actually quite important.

A person with diabetes might react to a very high blood glucose reading by thinking “Another bad blood glucose reading. Why can’t I ever keep my blood sugar under control? I’m a failure!” This person would be engaging in magnification, overgeneralization, and all-or-nothing thinking by overemphasizing the importance of one blood glucose reading, deciding that it sums up his blood glucose control in general, and deciding that it reflects a lifetime of incompetence. This type of thinking not only wreaks havoc on self-esteem, but it also undermines a person’s motivation to control his diabetes.
CBT is designed to identify these types of negative thoughts and actions and replace them with more realistic, more constructive ones. For example, one could react to a high blood glucose reading by thinking, “Boy, that was a high blood glucose reading. I wonder what caused it. Was it that orange juice I had with breakfast?”

For more information about CBT or to find a cognitive-behavioral therapist, contact the National Association of Cognitive-Behavioral Therapists at www.nacbt.org.

 

 

More articles on Diabetes Definitions

 

 


Statements and opinions expressed on this Web site are those of the authors and not necessarily those of the publishers or advertisers. The information provided on this Web site should not be construed as medical instruction. Consult appropriate health-care professionals before taking action based on this information.

 

 

Type 2 Study Enrolling Participants
If you have Type 2 diabetes and are looking for ways to improve your self-care, then you... Blog

Optimism With Diabetes
Research has shown that optimistic people live about seven years longer, on average, than pessimistic... Blog

Autism and Type 1 Diabetes Connection
Nine years ago, when I was first consulting with obstetricians who specialize in high risk... Blog

What are some risk factors for cardiovascular disease? Get tip


Blood Glucose Self-Monitoring — Part 1: The Gear
Blood glucose self-monitoring is one of the keys to diabetes control. Here are the tools you need to carry out this task.

Perfectionism: An Impossible Goal in Diabetes Management
Striving for good self-care is important, but perfectionism can make diabetes care — and life — more difficult.

Recipes for Spring
Enjoy recipes for Baked salmon on beet greens, Tofu and snow pea slaw, Radish and cucumber salad, Spinach pinwheels, Beet salad with citrus dressing, and Stuffed berries.

Complete table of contents
Get a FREE ISSUE
Subscription questions