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August 23, 2000


Question from New York, USA:

I have a five year old daughter diagnosed with type 1 approximately three months ago. She seemed to adjust well at the time. Now, however, she is having a more difficult time. She has taken on a whole different personality. She has suddenly become very weepy, crying almost everyday at school saying that she misses me. She also cried when I took her to her gymnastics class saying she wanted to go home because she missed her father, even though we just left our house. Before this behavior started, she never shed a tear at school or any other activity she has participated in. She has always been very outgoing. It breaks my heart to see her this way. Is this in some way the diabetes?


It might be that she is just realizing that diabetes is forever, and she does not like that. So, it’s not the diabetes, per se, but how she is coping with it. I would sit down with her when she is in a good mood and there aren’t many other distractions. Let her know that many children get angry and frustrated with diabetes, and that you are wondering how she is feeling. Be a good listener — do not try to speak for her or quickly assure her that she doesn’t need to feel upset. Also mention that lots of kids with diabetes become worried that something might happen to them (lows, perhaps) while they are away from home, and that you are wondering if she worries about that too.

I also strongly recommend that you speak with your diabetes team and get a referral for a mental health professional who works with kids with diabetes. One or two sessions with someone can be very helpful.