‘Stop hiding!’ Diabetes should not be kept secret, ignore stigma
President of Barbados Diabetes Foundation, Trudy Griffith speaking with Senior Health Promotion Officer in the Ministry of Health, Denise Carter-Taylor after the lecture.
The stigma surrounding Diabetes is eating away persons’ positive development and possible successes.
But what stigma do diabetics face?
This is the question that many may be pondering.
“I really want persons to stop hiding their diagnoses with Diabetes. I know there is a stigma, and not a stigma in the traditional sense of the word stigma but stigma in terms of the fact that persons become very self-conscious because everything they put in their mouth everybody looks at them now and say, ‘You can’t eat this’, ‘You can’t eat that’, [and] ‘Why are you eating this?’ And because eating is so fundamental to life, you don’t even want to disclose anything now because then you’re always going to be the center of attention for that.”
This was disclosed by the President of the Barbados Diabetes Foundation, Trudy Griffith.
Chatting with Loop News after the lecture ‘Diabetes and your Mental Health: What we need to know’ on Tuesday night, November 13, 2018, at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre (LESC), she was pleased that persons of all ages and occupations attended.
“So I’m really glad that persons are coming out. I want persons to start disclosing. I want persons to start appreciating that a Diabetes diagnosis does not mean that everything is over and just lose it and go to the other end and just do whatever they feel like.
“Start to embrace it. Start to take your medications. Start to monitor, check for complications. Have your yearly screenings. Visit your nutritionist or your dietician. Get you eye checks. Get your dental check-ups. Everything!”
Additionally, recognising the link between Diabetes and mental health, she said that a diabetic could potentially be coping with two stigmas at once because there is still also a bad reputation attached to mental illness.
And for this reason she doubly pleased with the turnout.
“It was good to see the turnout because I know there is a stigma attached to mental health. So it was really encouraging to see the number of persons who turned out for the event.”
Ahead of the lecture, there were pre-event activities including blood sugar and blood pressure checks. This activity was one of the Diabetes Awareness Month activities.
World Diabetes Day is celebrated on November 14.
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