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Clinic Chat with clinical psychologist Jess McCallum

Adolescents and young adults with type 1 diabetes are at a higher risk of feeling depressed and anxious, often experiencing negative thinking styles, reduced confidence, diminished capacity to concentrate, and excessive worrying. Thoughts like “what’s the point?” “I can’t handle this” “what if everything goes wrong?” and “why me?” are common, and can make young people feel isolated and alone.

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is a well-established psychological intervention for a range of mental health issues. It is the ‘gold standard’ in clinical psychology and is proven to be helpful for people who are struggling to feel more in control of their thoughts, happier, and more satisfied with life. CBT is the process of learning how to identify your thinking patterns, turn unhelpful thoughts into more balanced alternatives, and take charge using coping skills to reduce uncomfortable physical and emotional symptoms.

Clinical research studies have shown that CBT intervention reduces depression and anxiety symptoms in adolescents with type 1 diabetes. It also shows that adolescents report improvements in diabetes self-management following CBT programs.

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