People Would Rather Tell You Your Spouse is Cheating Than Discuss Your Diabetes

| Nov 1, 2007

In a recent survey of over 1000 adults, 82 percent knew someone with a chronic illness. Only 34 percent, however, were willing to offer advice to their chronically ill friend about handling their self-care.

About the same number of brave souls were up for debating politics and religion with friends of opposing philosophies, traditionally taboo subjects for a conversation around the Thanksgiving table.

In contrast to their reticence about chronic disease, many subjects were more than happy to give advice that might be interpreted as quite personal in nature. A full sixty-five percent of them were willing to discourage their friend from buying a certain house, and 48 percent were willing to advise their friend against taking a particular job. Forty-one percent were even willing to tell their friend about an unfaithful spouse.

Why this shying away from such an important topic as chronic illness? The reasons ranged from believing that the friend had the disease under control, to not wanting to seem rude or nagging, to not thinking that their friend would listen, to not believing that the issue was important.

What if you want to feel comfortable talking to friends about their diabetes? Well, you can start by educating yourself about their illness and then talk to them about their goals. Just take it easy, and think twice about blurting out that news about the wandering spouse.

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Source: Medline Plus, October 2007

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Categories: Diabetes, Diabetes, Discrimination, Support Groups, Type 1 Issues

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Posted by wifey on 1 November 2007

I even went so far as to send sample healthy meals over to our diabetic friend. But it was useless. He died of complications from diabetes, thanks to his wife who kept sabotaging his diet! Now she is living happily ever afterwards. . . .
Is there a lesson to be learned here?

Posted by Anonymous on 4 November 2007

The writer fails to describe the type of relationship included with the scope of he survey of those who "knew someone with a chronic illness."
That leaves endless room for reasons not to give advice -- too light a relationship, too little information about the condition and its effect, etc. And comparing a willingness to talk about infidelity (a common area of knowledge in the days of Dr. Phil and overheard intimate cell phone coversations in all sorts of public places), to discussions about chronic illness (likely a technical medical area about which many might feel totally at sea and unwilling to contradict a doctor's opinion) contrasts situations which are not quite comparable. Maybe a link to the article would help shed light on what was in the mind of the researchers?

Posted by Anonymous on 17 August 2011

As a type one diabetic, I would not want the unsolicited advice of people I know about how to manage my body and my disease. Most people don't understand and it would be incredibly irritating.

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