Managing Your Mental Health When You Have Asthma or Diabetes Post Header Image

Managing Your Mental Health When You Have Asthma or Diabetes

Living with chronic conditions like asthma or diabetes can be tough – especially when your physical health starts to affect your mental well-being.

You may have to deal with complications and changes to your lifestyle – and sometimes, the stigma associated with your condition can make it harder to manage. Not knowing how your health may change in the future can be stressful, too. All of these things can cause mental health problems like anxiety and depression.

When it comes to overall wellness, it is important to understand both mental and physical health concerns. Mental health issues may look different in children, teens, and adults but can include:

  • Changes in mood.
  • Trouble sleeping.
  • Withdrawing from friends and family.
  • Losing interest in activities.
  • Trouble concentrating.
  • Feeling hopeless or worthless.

Being aware of these signs and noticing when they occur will make it easier to get help promptly.

When children and teens have to manage their asthma or diabetes along with school, social activities, and time with friends, it can be overwhelming. They may feel lonely, frustrated, or embarrassed about their illness – and that can lead to higher stress levels.

It’s important for parents and caregivers to create a support system that includes

  • Family members.
  • Healthcare providers.
  • Support groups.

Encouraging open communication can help your child feel supported and understood. Connecting with others who share similar experiences can help them feel less isolated as well.

  1. Encourage clear, open communication. Have honest conversations about their feelings and concerns. Listen and offer support without judgment. Create a safe space where they feel comfortable expressing themselves and asking for help.

You may need to seek professional help to manage behavioral health and chronic illness. Therapists, counselors, psychologists, or psychiatrists can offer treatment plans that will work best for your child’s needs. In addition, providers who treat asthma or diabetes can help you learn how to manage all aspects of your child’s condition.

  1. Make sure they take time for self-care. Encourage practices that promote relaxation, stress reduction, and emotional well-being. This can include:
  • Getting regular exercise and sleep.
  • Doing hobbies or activities they enjoy.
  • Practicing mindfulness meditation or deep breathing exercises.

Self-care strategies can help children and teens take an active role in managing their mental health. Help your child learn about their chronic condition – including its causes, symptoms, triggers, treatment options, and self-management techniques. This will give them a sense of control and help them feel more confident about managing it.

  1. Help them set realistic goals. Break larger goals into smaller, achievable steps. Be sure to celebrate progress along the way. Setbacks will happen. Encourage your child to focus on what they can control and be patient with themselves. This will help them as they adapt to their condition.

Managing behavioral health along with asthma or diabetes is a complex process that requires a coordinated approach. But remember – you are not alone! There are resources available to help you every step of the way.

It’s important to seek professional help promptly. Need a referral or want to schedule an appointment? Call Carelon at 1-855-371-8095.


Parkland Community Health Plan