WHO WE ARE
BDI, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization located in San Diego, California, focuses on addressing the social, emotional, and psychological barriers to living a long and healthy life with diabetes. To better understand and overcome these obstacles, BDI is actively engaged in research examining the psychological aspects of diabetes and evaluating innovative behavioral interventions. In addition, BDI directly offers an array of unique, behaviorally-oriented products and services for: people with type 1 diabetes; people with type 2 diabetes; parents of children and teens with diabetes; spouses and partners of people with diabetes; and interested health care professionals. Products and services include print materials; online courses and modules, face-to-face workshops and seminars, professional training programs, and an online library of resources.
We invite you to explore the resources available to you from BDI. We also welcome your suggestions for additional resources that might be added to our web site. Thank you!
A live webinar for people with type 2 diabetes, sponsored by Onduo. Along with Dr. Ron Dixon (Head of Clinical Affairs at Onduo), Dr. Polonsky has been invited to speak on “I know what I’m supposed to do, so why can’t I do it?” There will be plenty of time for questions and answers as well. https://onduo.zoom.us/webinar/register/4515875878200/WN_9qfw8LjjT2KOlDJz6I-E4g
May 4, 2020, At noon PDT (3 pm EDT).
A live webinar for healthcare professionals, sponsored by Tidepool. Dr. Polonsky and Tidepool’s Adam Brown will be discussing “Mental Health Tips Diabetes in Age of Telemedicine.” https://tidepool.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_33h0aQJzR42_4qkk1BVURg
May 14, 2020, At 10am PDT (1 pm EDT).
Welcome to BDI’s May update!
In these strange times, how are you doing? We need to hear from you!
- We are tentatively planning to release two new videos this month, where we will be answering your concerns and questions about diabetes-related emotional issues. We plan to do one video for healthcare professionals and one for people with diabetes. But we need your help. What kind of concerns and questions do you have? Please send your questions to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We will answer as many as we can. Your names will be kept confidential and not included in the videos.
- May 4, at noon PDT (3 pm EDT). A live webinar for people with type 2 diabetes, sponsored by Onduo. Along with Dr. Ron Dixon (Head of Clinical Affairs at Onduo), Dr. Polonsky has been invited to speak on “I know what I’m supposed to do, so why can’t I do it?” There will be plenty of time for questions and answers as well. https://onduo.zoom.us/webinar/register/4515875878200/WN_9qfw8LjjT2KOlDJz6I-E4g
- May 14, at 10am PDT (1 pm EDT). A live webinar for healthcare professionals, sponsored by Tidepool. Dr. Polonsky and Tidepool’s Adam Brown will be discussing “Mental Health Tips Diabetes in Age of Telemedicine.” https://tidepool.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_33h0aQJzR42_4qkk1BVURg
A new publication:
- Polonsky was pleased to serve as a co-author on “Semaglutide improves health-related quality of life versus placebo when added to standard of care in patients with type 2 diabetes at high cardiovascular risk (SUSTAIN 6),” published in Diabetes, Obesity and Metabolism. This paper provides more evidence pointing to the remarkable value of this class of medications, known as GLP-1 receptor agonists. Semaglutide, also known as Ozempic, is one of the better-known ones. See: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/32227613
A few words about grief and loss in the era of COVID-19:
As one of our colleagues recently told us, “I miss normal.” Sound familiar? As if the stresses and strains of living with diabetes weren’t difficult enough! Now in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, many of our friends with diabetes have been telling us about the more immediate stresses they are facing: “quarantine fatigue”, financial fears, relationship challenges, and so many things that have been changed, lost or remain unknown.
What we are now all going through brings up so many diverse different feelings, but the biggies for many people are grief and loss. We tend to think that feelings of grief only happen when a death occurs, but a person can suffer a similar sense of loss and pain from a change that results in “a wish for different, better or more.” The numerous losses that are being experienced right now are both tangible and intangible.
Tangible losses can include a loss of income, social connections, the previous “normal” way of life or not being celebrate (or be part of) important events– like graduations, weddings and meetings, and of course, deaths of people we know. Intangible losses can be just as painful, and because they are often hard to name, can be more even more difficult to acknowledge and process. These types of losses are things like a loss of safety, a loss of a sense of control or ability to envision your future.
The experiences of loss and resulting grief can lead to a wide range of reactions. You may experience sadness, anger, anxiety, disappointment or feel disconnected. You may feel less productive and distracted. It is totally normal to have tough feelings about difficult losses and changes. Welcome to the club! But grief reactions can get overwhelming and sometimes do transform into a more serious issue (like depression) that requires help to feel better.
Tips for facing grief in the era of COVID-19:
- It’s ok to be grieving right now and to be feeling whatever you may be feeling. You’re not bad, weak or weird to be feeling this way. Allow yourself some space to be sad, angry or disappointed.
- Name the losses you are experiencing out loud (or write them down). This can help to give proper respect to the changes and losses you are facing. It can help you see that having tough feelings about what you are going through is expected and healthy.
- Practice self-compassion. Make sure to see that having a difficult time, being distracted and feeling uncertain is ok. Be patient and gentle with yourself.
- Be careful about numbing feelings with alcohol and other substances. Numbing grief often just delays the pain. Recovery from grief requires facing the losses and making peace with them.
- Say goodbye to what is gone or changed. This is a very important step in grief recovery. This may feel silly when thinking about your losses. Try not to minimize them. Let them all be important, whether big or small. Acknowledge what is different and say goodbye to it. Then you are left with what is. Recovering from grief is a process. It takes effort and a willingness to move forward with what is, not what you wish it was, in this current moment.
- Make the effort to connect with others. We’re all going through this together; chances are good that others in your network are feeling the same way. Connecting with others can help you remember that you are not alone.
- Keep perspective. These difficult times will pass and things will get better. Hang in there!
A great resource for help with grief is the “The Grief Recovery Handbook” by James and Friedman.