March 8, 2000
Question from Orange, California, USA:
Is there any research concerning the incidence of depression in adolescent diabetics? My son (age 12, diabetic for 11 years) has serious anger and depression, and I feel it is very strongly related to his diabetes. We have been going to counseling, however I’m just curious about research in this area.
No, there really is not much research on depression in adolescents with diabetes. There is quite a large body of literature on depression in adults with diabetes, however, and Patrick Lustman, Ph.D., has written extensively on this issue. It is not clear whether it is diabetes itself that has an impact on mood or whether it is coping with a chronic illness that involves multiple daily demands that impacts on a person’s mood. You may wish to go to your local library or to a medical library in your community to research some of his articles. A good summary of research can be found in a 1994 (volume 7, number 3) issue of Diabetes Spectrum, published through the American Diabetes Association.