From Alaska, U.S.:
I'm looking for information on diabetes related anger. Any information will be helpful. Thank you.
I have never seen a specific paper or book article on diabetes and anger but, thinking about it, I suppose there are two distinct categories.
The most obvious is changed behaviour related to hypoglycaemia. Some of my patients become raging animals when hypo. I confess that on one or two occasions that I have witnessed this, my first instinct is to be a strong disciplinarian until my brain takes over and tells me to check a sugar. I might say that the patients rarely remember their agression or language - just as well.
The latter is fairly easy to understand and to deal with. However, the second area is more difficult - that of the person with diabetes who can't come to terms with the illness and who is angry that he/she may be prevented from leading a normal life and following their chosen career.
This type of anger is also common. It doesn't necessarily happen at diagnosis because a young child will often just accept what is done to them. I see a lot of very unhappy teenagers who have had diabetes for several years before the anger boils over. This is completely normal behaviour - indeed I would be rather surprised not to find some degree of it in all my patients. Usually, talking through the problems can help - perhaps with the diabetes team or maybe with others of the same age with diabetes. A few patients will require professional help from a psychologist or psychiatrist - this doesn't mean they are "mad."
Original posting 8 Jul 96
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