There’s a good chance that someone you know has diabetes. It is a disease that affects more than 30 million people in the US—about 9% of the population. With those numbers, you’d think we would be more accustomed to hearing about and supporting people with diabetes. But in fact, they often face misunderstanding and stigma. People with diabetes are often exposed to mistaken notions that diabetes is not a serious illness and can be easily managed with lifestyle changes such as diet or activity changes. When told, explicitly or implicitly, that having diabetes is a sign of personal weakness and failure, people with diabetes may suffer from guilt, shame, embarrassment, and isolation. Such feelings are reported not only by adults but also by children living with diabetes and their parents.

 

Credit: Amanda Mills CDC

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