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How to help during diabetes burnout

Diabetes burnout is unavoidable, when you’re living with diabetes. But how can you help during diabetes burnout? What can you offer someone you love who is struggling?

The first thing to offer is kindness. This is not a situation where tough love is necessary, and if you’ve been the diabetes police (trying to monitor their diabetes management), it might be time to back off.

The trouble with diabetes burnout is, of course, that it comes from within and can only really be fixed by the person in burnout… Who doesn’t have a lot of energy to fix anything! Knowledge is power, though – and so is knowing that what you’re feeling is perfectly normal, and to be expected, and felt by so many others with diabetes.

“We need to have conversations with our partners and explain to them how we feel and find a way of compromising, of working together so that we can support one another. Even just expressing that you’re frustrated in general with diabetes can be helpful.”

Daniel Sher, Type 1 psychologist

How to help during diabetes burnout

Here are our most helpful articles, podcast episodes and videos about diabetes and mental health. Let us know if you have any other questions, and we’ll get expert answers for you.

Diabetes distress and burnout, what to do about it?

It turns out that living with a chronic condition, like diabetes, is ever so slightly stressful. Type 1 psychologist Daniel Sher says diabetes burnout is not a mental disorder. It is simply a natural, emotional response to a very difficult situation. Read more…

Listen to our podcast episode about diabetes burnout here.

South Africans with Diabetes podcast

What is diabetes burnout?

Diabetes burnout is a normal emotion for people with diabetes to feel at any given time. It occurs when you are fed up with the routine and lifestyle that having diabetes entails, and you just want to forget it all. Read more…

Dealing with diabetes burnout

Dealing with diabetes burnout is complex. There is no “one solution fits all” because the experience isn’t the same for everyone. Each person lives with diabetes in their own way, and needs different kinds of support. Read more…

Diabetes and depression: a helpful guide to know what to do next

Depression is a very common problem, but studies show that people with chronic illnesses like diabetes are three times more likely to suffer from depression and anxiety. Read more…

Listen to our podcast episode about diabetes and depression here.

South Africans with Diabetes podcast

Diabetes and mental health: a video

We know that diabetes and mental health is a big issue for many people. Type 1 psychologist Daniel Sher offers some helpful advice in this video. Watch now!

How to access public mental health services

If you want to see a psychologist but you’re accessing care in the public sector, here’s how to do it. Read more…

The most important thing to remember if you’re struggling with diabetes burnout is that you are not alone. We are all in this together. Please reach out to us on Facebook or Instagram, our community is ready to help…

What to read next?

Join this mental health support group for young adults living with diabetes: SADAG recently launched a new support group for young adults living with diabetes. We had a chat with one of their co-facilitators, Courtney Sandham, to find out more.

10 ways to offer diabetic support: Being a supportive partner can be both a gratifying and a challenging role – especially when living with a person with diabetes. Diabetes affects the whole family, not just the one taking medicine.

Diabetes distress and burnout: what to do about it?: Diabetes distress and burnout are a reality at some stage for everyone living with diabetes. Here’s advice on what to do about it – from a psychologist living with diabetes.

How to support a friend with diabetes: Some ideas for what to do when your friend has diabetes and you want to help.

Photo by Rosie Sun and Hannah Busing on Unsplash

What to read next
Join South Africans with Diabetes on Facebook

Join our diabetes community


  1. Madalen le Roux Madalen le Roux

    81 years young.
    Seek hormone replacement therapy
    relative to my age.

    • Hi Madalen!
      We’re not medical specialists so can’t advise, unfortunately… Best to ask a doctor, I think. Sorry we can’t be more helpful!

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Sweet Life is a registered NPO/PBO (220-984) with a single goal: to improve diabetes in South Africa. We are funded by sponsorships and donations from aligned companies and organisations who believe in our work. We only share information that we believe benefits our community. While some of this information is linked to specific brands, it is not an official endorsement of that brand. We believe in empowering people with diabetes to make the best decisions they can, to live a healthy, happy life with diabetes.