Diabetic or a person with diabetes- what's in a name?

Just a thought... I really prefer to not be called a diabetic.  We are people first who secondly live their lives with a disease- diabetes.  My seven year old really dislikes being called diabetic she feels like someone is calling her a name.  Out with labeling people by their diseases.  We don't say epileptic anymore it's a person with a seizure disorder.  We don't say asthmatics we say someone has asthma.  Lets start here and celebrate ourselves as individuals first who live a very full life and happen to have type 1. When people ask if I'm a diabetic and see my pump I always answer " no Ihave diabetes".  Some people look at me funny but it allows me the opportunity to educate people about what we prefer.

I don't mind being called a diabetic. This actually comes as a bit of a surprise to me because I usually dislike labeling, like you said, especially when it comes to something personal such as having juvenile diabetes. But thinking about it after reading your post, though I can see where you're coming from I feel it is a way of advocating for myself.

The definition of diabetes is "a person who has diabetes." And because I not only live with it every day, but also dedicate myself to looking after it and keeping my blood sugars in range, taking insulin, etc. I feel that is what I am. Yes, I am a person. But yes, I am also a person with diabetes. Even after a quick three years it has influenced me and become who I am. When I'm cured one day, I reevaluate who exactly "I" am. But until then, "I" am a diabetic, and I am an advocate for that. By being a diabetic rather than having diabetes I feel I am more connected with it, and people realize it. When I say I'm diabetic, then they know it is something I deal with, what is my life, and recognize that personal connection.

That's just my opinion, however I can see it both ways. A really great post, Jewels Doskicz, it really makes me think about that and it's a fantastic point.

I was just going to post this very topic!!  My thoughts are completely the opposite.  I much prefect to say "My daughter is diabetic" than "My daughter HAS diabetes"  Interesting!!!   I'm trying to understand why I feel the way I do...  I hope others comment, I'd like to hear more thoughts, especially coming from people with Diabetes, not so much the parent of someone affected (like me).

I hate the term "person with diabetes". i think today's world is waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay to politically correct. it's gone a little overboard IMHO for everything.

I don't care when people call me a "diabetic". i AM a diabetic because i HAVE diabetes. it's not all that i am, but it is one of many words i use to describe myself.

i would never, and have never, referred to myself as a "person with diabetes". too wordy, too...government for me which makes it feel too cold and "horrible medical experiment" like. just another statistic.

When I was a teenager (20 years ago) I insisted on being called a "person with diabetes." 

But now I've decided I am what I am... a diabetic.  Just like I'm short and kind of stubborn. 

I kinda agree with everyone else.  Being called a diabetic has never offended me, even though I had doctors that strongly encouraged my parents to use the phrase "person with diabetes."  I personally feel that they are both labels, and accurate at that.  Either way, diabetes does not have to control my life or define who I am and people will know that by the way I live my life and take care of the disease I have, not by what I refer to myself as.  Just my opinion :)

as long as you aren't being mean, you can call me whatever you want :o)

Wow, all of these are good points. 

I used to feel like saying 'I am a t1 diabetic' kinda made me feel less 'sickly' than 'I have diabetes', but recently I have noticed that no matter how I say it, people stil kinda have a stigma that they will build on.  I really like the earlier post "I am living with diabetes"--that's so true.  It's something I live every minute of everyday.  It's usually in two hour blocks at a time, but anything can happen and I have to be prepared to counteract what highs or lows may occur. 

I love this discussion and have seen it all over as of late!

I am 100%, totally, without a doubt a diabetic. I am a diabetic as much as I am a teacher (and not a person who teaches), an athlete (and not a person who does athletics), a female (and not a person of the female gender) and a Canadian (not a person who lives in Canada). To me, being diabetic is my identity and I love it. I am offered amazing opportunities and have met the most fabulous people because of diabetes and I am not ashamed whatsoever at the label. I am so proud to be a diabetic. I am actively working to bring a whole new meaning to the term and to bring a new understanding to what it means to be diabetic. I'd like to think I've succeeded in my own community and (hopefully) beyond!

I totally respect people, though, who prefer to be 'people with diabetes'. Not all people want to identify with the disease and that's totally cool, too!

But personally, I will be a diabetic forever. (A shout out, though, to those people who try to show me respect by using 'person with diabetes' to refer to me. I know you're doing it with the truest intentions!)


There is another thread on this exact same topic that I read recently.  My favorite suggestion from that thread was from Dan, who suggested "auto-immune beta cell disorder patient"  haha.  I think that label would be useful if you want to confuse people.  :-)

I use the "auto-immune beta cell disorder patient" Or "I have a condition where my immune system does not recognize my body as being "me" " That one works REALLY well. You get a cockeyed look and lots of questions. only after they ask lots of questions will i tell them "Well it is called type 1 diabetes"

??? hehe sooo fun.