image of a woman looking serious, not understanding diabetes can be a stressful time by Diabetes Insight Cork Ireland

 Huge Gaps

It should come as no surprise that the majority of studies and research shows that there is huge gap between what people with diabetes know they should do to improve their health, and what they actually manage to achieve. More troubling, however, is that many people say they have not even tried to follow lifestyle recommendations and general diabetes advice.

It’s easy to be apathetic. It’s something we all experience. Some days we just wake up and have no motivation. Nothing seems to matter.

However, in some chronic diseases apathy turns into a clinical syndrome characterized by poor initiation, loss of motivation, indifference and lack of persistence.

Apathy syndrome impairs self-management behaviors, leads to functional decline, poor compliance with treatment and generally poor outcomes in chronic diseases.

Is it Your Fault or Diabetes?

So what is going on here? Is it YOUR fault, or is it actually your diabetes is making you like this? Results from certain studies show that lack of access to health care is not the cause of the situation; more than 80% had gone to the doctor at least three times in the past year. Instead, he says, the survey simply reflects a lack of motivation. Again is it that simple?

Apathy is highly prevalent in patients with diabetes without depression. Apathy may have a negative impact on self-care behaviors and diabetes control. Apathy also exists within health care professionals towards people with diabetes. When like meets like, it is a recipe for disaster.

Procrastination, apathy, lack of motivation, unclear treatment targets, lack of goal setting and motivational interviewing: it is a mixed bag within GP/Hospital visits that end in a person with diabetes leaving a consultation feeling worse than they went in.

Apathy can be devastating for patients with diabetes. Once they lose interest and stop managing the disease, the health ramifications can be dramatic.  Despite all the innovations in treatment and guidelines, only about 10 percent of patients meet the benchmarks for diabetes control (blood sugar, blood pressure and cholesterol).


So what can be done about it?

Apathy is considered an untapped behavioral problem. If treated well, it can have significant impact on management of diabetes. Apathy can also be a sign of wider health issues, which requires time and expertise to discuss. That is why the current health system within Ireland does cannot deal with apathy within people with diabetes, and rather than search for underlying issues, will blame the person with diabetes themselves, reinforcing the apathy.

Dealing with Apathy At Diabetes Insight


Which is why it is vital to access the right services to treat apathy and lack of motivation within diabetes. At Diabetes Insight we provide a novel and exciting approach to dealing with apathy and lack of motivation in diabetes. We provide an integrated multidisciplinary service between a diabetes educational supports & a psychology service.

When a person makes contact with us and admits there are issues in regards to apathy and lack of motivation, we offer them a pre assessment with Helena Farrell RGN, MSc Founder & Clinical Director of Diabetes Insight. If there are psychological issues arising from that assessment that require further expertise, we refer to our onsite psychology service provided by Marie McGowan Reg. Psychol., PsSI, MBPsS, BSc Psychology (Hons), MA Counselling Psychology, MSc Work & Organisational Psychology. Often a consultation with Helena followed by contact via email/phone is enough to get someone back on track.

Contact us

If you feel you need help and support to get you back on track and the issues discussed above are resonating with you, contact us and request a call back by filling in the form below or else ring: (021) 4358960, email:

It will be a decision you won’t regret