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The psychological states of patients with diabetes mellitus were compared with those of patients suffering from other chronic diseases and people with no diagnosed chronic diseases. These states were assessed by applying content analysis scales to transcripts of their descriptions of their current experiences. Analyses of the diabetics' scale scores re vealed a pattern characterized by much anxiety, depression, anger expressed both direct ly and indirectly, together with feelings of helplessness. The sources of anxiety which proved to be of most importance to them were fears of death and bodily mutilation, as weIl as guilt and shame. They experienced little sense of sharing with most people around them, although they showed considerable enjoyment of dose relationships with family and friends. This pattern of psychological states did not vary with the sex of the patients or whether they were interviewed in a hospital or at horne nor with recency of onset or multiplicity of health problems. It was similar to the pattern of patients with other chronic diseases but differed significantly from that of the healthy group. Acknowledgment The authors wish to acknowledge the contribution ofCarol Preston to the collection and analysis of these data which were made available, inpart, by patients of the Wollongong Hospital and members of the Illawarra Branch of the Diabetic Association of N ew South Wales. References 1. Strong JA, Baird JD (1971) Diseases ofthe endocrine system. In: Davidson S, McLeod J (eds) The principles and practice of medicine.
Depression Emotion anxiety assessment diabetes diagnosis feeling psychiatry