As Diabetes Victoria launches its “Bust a Myth” awareness campaign, we are joining the conversation.
by Caitlynn Ashton & Dr Adriana Ventura
There are many public misconceptions about diabetes that have led to common myths surrounding the condition. For instance, that people with diabetes shouldn’t eat sugar, or that they can’t play sport. In an effort to expose these (and other) myths, and get the facts straight, Diabetes Victoria  has launched a new campaign, Bust a Myth , which begins on Monday 4 June. The campaign also aims to increase knowledge and awareness about diabetes in order to reduce the diabetes stigma .
People with diabetes have told us that many of the myths about diabetes are spread or reinforced by the media. In our stigma research (see here , here  and here ), participants have said the media often perpetuates negative stereotypes, e.g. that people with diabetes are at fault for causing their condition or not managing it well enough. For some people, this affects the way they feel about and manage their condition. This has to STOP! To support the Bust a Myth campaign, we are joining in on the conversation to add the Centre’s voice in support of people with diabetes. By doing so, we hope to raise awareness about the realities of living with diabetes.
To kick things off, we spoke with the ACBRD’s Director, Professor Jane Speight  who worked with Diabetes Victoria on the campaign. “Diabetes is difficult enough to live with, without having to continually ignore or correct other people’s misconceptions. So, it’s fantastic that Diabetes Victoria has chosen to highlight these myths and set the record straight”. Here she busts another common myth:
Myth: People with diabetes should be able to take it in their stride
FACT: Living with diabetes is tough because managing it is a 24/7 activity. So, emotional reactions are a normal part of the journey. Many people report that they worry about the future and possible complications, and that they feel guilt and anxiety when they go off track with their diabetes management. Depressive symptoms and diabetes-related distress are common among adults with type 1 or type 2 diabetes. So, you are not alone. If you feel this way, seek help from your health professional, Diabetes Victoria  or check out these NDSS factsheets .
Professor Speight said “diabetes is Australia’s fastest growing chronic condition. So, it is very important for people without diabetes to be aware of the facts of the condition”. The Bust a Myth campaign aims to do just that, and we fully support this mission! If you’ve got your own diabetes myth to bust, join the conversation by visiting www.bustamyth.org.au .