Stigma, it’s made up of a million microaggressions.
Stigma is a word that comes up time and again when people living with diabetes talk about their lives. Like a glucose meter or glucose tabs, stigma is a constant companion.
Sometimes it gets stated in small, subtle ways. They say things like “Do you have the easy kind of diabetes?”
Sometimes it shows up as false concern or empathy. “Can you eat that?” When what they really mean is “You shouldn’t be eating that.”
Sometimes it’s a flat out judgement. “You shouldn’t have eaten all those donuts for all those years.”
Ultimately all these kind of statements are microaggressions. And honestly most people don’t even realize they are making stigmatizing statements. So what’s the big deal? Why can’t people just shake it off?
Why can’t I just shake it off?
Because the comments add up. It’s constantly being told “I’m wrong.” “I’m broken.” “I’m a failure.” It’s exhausting. It undermines my self-confidence. And it isolates me as someone less worthy.
Stigma, it’s all around me and most people don’t even see it.
People living with Type2 don’t make up 95% of diabetes patient bloggers—not even close. Why is that?
This is a question that comes up now and again.
There’s a thriving community of diabetes bloggers. You can find some of them here.
Most of them are living with Type 1 diabetes. That’s the the kind that used to be called Juvenile diabetes or insulin-dependent diabetes. Their blogs reflect experiences growing up dealing with the stress of having a disease that (if not controlled well managed) could literally kill you. Some tell their story with humor. Others vent their anger at the disease, the medical establishment, and the promise of a cure in 10 years that hasn’t yet happened.
There are a few diabetes bloggers living with Type 2 diabetes. You can find some of them here.
But people living with Type2 don’t make up 95% of diabetes patient bloggers—not even close. Why is that? I think there are many reasons. And I’ll be taking a look at some pondering this question over the rest of this month.