Diabetes is a long term condition that causes a person’s blood sugar to become too high. There are two main types of diabetes. Type 1 diabetes is where the body’s own immune system attacks the cells which are in charge of producing insulin. Type 2 diabetes is where the body is unable to produce enough insulin, or where the cells do not react to insulin as they should. It can be possible to reverse Type 2 diabetes by making changes to lifestyle and behaviours. Type 1 diabetes is a life-long condition that you are required to learn to manage and live alongside.


Recommended Books

The following are books a clinician has read and found helpful and focus on ways to improve your wellbeing living alongside diabetes. We strongly advocate reading the blurb and other reviews before deciding to purchase any books.

‘Living with the Enemy: Coping with the Stress of Chronic Illness using CBT, Mindfulness and Acceptance’ by Ray Owen is a book which may be helpful. It focuses on how you can lead a good quality life, in keeping with your values, despite the presence of a long-term condition. It helps people to spot the ways of coping which have not been helpful and provides ideas of how to manage things differently. The book adopts a psychological framework similar to that often used within the NHS Clinical Health Psychology service, and as such this book may be a helpful starting point. Copies of this book are available in Fife Libraries.

‘Diabetes and Wellbeing: Managing the Psychological and Emotional Challenges of Diabetes Types 1 and 2’ by Dr Jen Nash presents a range of effective psychological principles proven to positively impact the emotional wellbeing of individuals with type 1 and 2 diabetes. The guide takes an explicitly CBT approach to motivate sufferers in essential self-care tasks. This book is written in a practical style for those newly diagnosed with diabetes, individuals managing its challenges for many years, and healthcare professionals. It reveals how the stress of daily diabetes management can affect an individual’s ability to stay motivated and engaged in essential self-care tasks that are vital for good health, presents proven techniques for improving emotional wellbeing and takes an explicitly Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) approach to diabetes, also drawing on solution-focused behavioural therapy and mindfulness approaches

‘Diabetes Burnout: What to Do When Type 1 Diabetes Is Getting Too Much and You Feel Like Things Are Slipping (Talking Type 1)’ by Rose Stewart. Diabetes Burnout provides clear information on what burnout is, quotes from people who have experienced burnout, and self-assessment tools for people living with diabetes to identify the symptoms they may be facing. The booklet offers readers practical tools to understand what their own triggers are, what action they can take to improve their symptoms and what they can do to reduce the chance of experiencing burnout again. In addition, the booklet highlights the support available and provides helpful links to sources and organisations where patients can go for further information on type 1 diabetes.

‘Prevention and Recovery from Eating Disorders in Type 1 Diabetes: Injecting Hope’ by Ann Goebel-Fabbri sheds light on an often overlooked and misunderstood issue: the problem of eating disorders in women with type 1 diabetes – referred to by lay people and the media as ‘diabulimia’ and characterized by insulin restriction as a means of calorie purging for weight loss. Drawing on a series of recent interviews and over 16 years of research and clinical experience with this unique phenomenon, author Dr. Ann Goebel-Fabbri provides groundbreaking insight into the lives of women who have recovered from eating disorders in type 1 diabetes. She explores the condition's origins, its effects on the lives of those affected, and possible paths to recovery. Also included are suggestions for prevention and treatment, as well as practical and inspirational advice from now-recovered women.

‘Your Guide to Understanding and Dealing With Type 2 Diabetes’ by Dr Keith Souter. This book gives the basic information needed to understand what type 2 diabetes is, how to recognise it, and, most essentially, how to manage it, including details on the symptoms of type 2 diabetes, risk factors for type 2 diabetes and how to reduce those risks; the various medicinal treatments and support available and changes to daily routines, diet, exercise and attitude that can improve life with type 2 diabetes.

Diabetes - Adjusting to Life

Diabetes - Fear of Hypos

Diabetes - Anxiety

Diabetes - Depression

Diabetes - Distress


Diabetes UK - Diabetes and Your Emotionshttps://www.diabetes.org.uk/guide-to-diabetes/emotions This covers:

    • Depression
    • Stress
    • Diabetes distress and burnout
    • Feelings about food and diabetes
    • Feelings about diabetes technology.

Diabetes UK YouTube channel with this helpful video on the mental health impact of diabetes: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pcO-alfiyEo

Diabetes UK - Scottish helpline https://www.diabetes.org.uk/in_your_area/scotland/helpline-scotland  provide emotional support, among other advice services.

Living with Diabetes Podcast https://www.drwf.org.uk/news-and-events/podcasts/ 

For further NHS Fife Clinical Health Psychology Resources and Groups please click here