Chronic illnesses like Type 1 Diabetes can do a number on your mind and spirit. Nick Jonas is behind a new effort for guys to get some help with that.
Every day is a good day to think about your mental and physical well-being. But leading up to World Mental Health Day on October 10, there’s a new focus on the intersection between the two, thanks to a new campaign by .css-16acfp5{-webkit-text-decoration:underline;text-decoration:underline;text-decoration-thickness:0.125rem;text-decoration-color:#d2232e;text-underline-offset:0.25rem;color:inherit;-webkit-transition:all 0.3s ease-in-out;transition:all 0.3s ease-in-out;}.css-16acfp5:hover{color:#000;text-decoration-color:border-link-body-hover;background-color:yellow;-webkit-transition:all 0.3s ease-in-out;transition:all 0.3s ease-in-out;}Beyond Type 1 called MenTalkHealth. This initiative is encouraging conversations between men—through community connections and resources—about mental wellness. It’s specifically tackling how your mind can be affected by challenging chronic illnesses like Type 1 Diabetes (T1D), which affect large numbers of people but can feel really isolating. What you need to know:
Many people think Type 1 Diabetes is a condition that arises in childhood, and that if you weren’t diagnosed then, you won’t be as an adult. That’s not the case: Recent data finds that half of all new cases of T1D are diagnosed in adults; it’s estimated that 1.4 million adults are currently living with the disease in the U.S. A new review paper shows that men are more likely to present with adult T1D than women. Risk factors include genetics and family history.
Some details on T1D you might not know: it’s a condition in which your pancreas makes little to no insulin. Without enough insulin, sugar won’t move into your cells as it should, but instead will start to build up in your bloodstream. This can be dangerous and lead to life-threatening complications including heart problems, kidney damage, nerve damage, vision loss, and severe infections.
If you experience symptoms like feeling extra-thirsty, having to pee all the time, losing weight without dieting, feeling suddenly irritable, or getting hit with blurry vision, definitely see your doctor.
If you’re diagnosed with T1D, you need to monitor your health carefully. This often means checking your blood sugar at regular intervals throughout the day, giving yourself insulin shots, and making sure you eat the right food. “Having TID can feel like playing whack-a-mole,” says Mark Heyman, PhD, a Certified Diabetes Care and Education Specialist and the author of Diabetes Sucks and You Can Handle It. “Something is always popping up.” Trying to keep on top of it all can quickly become stressful, and leads many men to put a ton of pressure on themselves.
This is where Beyond Type 1 comes in. The non-profit organization is dedicated to changing what it’s like to live well with diabetes through education and advocacy. Nick Jonas—yes, of the Jonas Brothers—who has T1D, has worked with Beyond Type 1 to spread awareness. His story is major inspo for thriving with the disease. In a lead up to World Mental Health Day on October 10, Beyond Type 1 will launch the MenTalkHealth campaign, where men can learn from each other by sharing their experiences on social media. The campaign also offers a powerful video in which men and boys share their challenges in order to help others like themselves (you can see the video at the main MenTalkHealth page here).
Get support. “Unless a person has T1D, they really don’t get it,” says Heyman. But you can help them with that—talk to your partner and other family members in detail about your daily routine and its challenges. They need all those details to fully understand so they can give you the kind of help that’s truly helpful.
Break down your T1D challenges into small chunks. Pick one thing to work on that will help you control your blood sugar best. “Focus on that and you’ll find that other things will fall into place,” Heyman says. Just don’t pressure yourself to be perfect about it. “With diabetes, good enough is OK,” Heyman says. Remember that your point is to take away the stress of dealing with diabetes by doing this, not add to it. If you’re stuck on how to do this, it’s worth checking in with other men with T1D for ideas and support.
.css-16fbwkt{display:block;font-family:GraphikBold,Helvetica,Arial,Sans-serif;font-weight:bold;margin-bottom:0;margin-top:0;-webkit-text-decoration:none;text-decoration:none;}@media (any-hover: hover){.css-16fbwkt:hover{color:link-hover;}}@media(max-width: 48rem){.css-16fbwkt{font-size:1.05rem;line-height:1.2;margin-bottom:0.25rem;}}@media(min-width: 40.625rem){.css-16fbwkt{font-size:1.28598rem;line-height:1.2;}}@media(min-width: 48rem){.css-16fbwkt{font-size:1.39461rem;line-height:1.2;margin-bottom:0.5rem;}}@media(min-width: 64rem){.css-16fbwkt{font-size:1.23488rem;line-height:1.3;}}This Guy Fixed His Life After a Heart Attack at 36
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