Justin Delgado is husband to Kacie Doyle-Delgado, diagnosed at age 11. After more than a decade together, he considers himself to be an expert carb counter and Dexcom inserter. He graduated with his Master of Science in Finance from the University of Utah in 2013 and has been working in commercial banking since then. He attended his first Friends for Life conference in 2015 and is looking forward to volunteering with the teens.
April 15, 2005
Behavior, Mental Health
Question from Corning, New York, USA:
My daughter just turned 20 last January. She was diagnosed at age 10 with type 1 diabetes and, two years later, with a thyroid problem also. Since high school, I noticed a change in her. Her grades went down, she had fits of rage from time to time, could not handle stress and was lazy. She even performed her fits of rage in front of her endocrinologist when she was about 15. He basically said things will level out when she turns 18. This past summer, I started noticing an even bigger change. She could not get organized; her room was worse than ever. I caught her bingeing on sweets and junk food. Then, I noticed her bank account was going down. She went through $3000 in a matter of a month on junk food and lottery tickets. I had her in counseling and found she was not telling the truth to her counselor. In November, she ran off and got married just because "she felt it was the right time". She quit school soon after and will not even get a job. The lies and manipulating are unbelievable. She was in DKA and told me it was not due to her diabetes. She was also telling everyone that her thyroid was all better she did not even need her medications for that any more. She is refusing any kind of help. I am thinking she may have been depressed all these years and, now, it has gone further. I have even read that all the highs can cause a change in brain function. What can I do to help my daughter?
You have asked a difficult question and, unfortunately, I do not think there is an easy answer. There is a possibility that your daughter was depressed and/or is depressed now. What you described reminds me of some of the symptoms of depression, like school problems, anger, binge eating, and problems with medical management. Individuals with diabetes have about a two times higher risk of being depressed. Also, untreated thyroid problems can effect a person’s mood.
You said that she is refusing help of any kind, but I do not think you should give up on trying to help her. Maybe you can tell her that you will be there for her when she is ready to accept help. You can also ask her if there is anything you can do to help her that you have not tried yet. Also, will she let her husband help her? Is he also concerned about your daughter? Maybe he needs to be the one to encourage her to get consistent medical follow-up and maybe he can help her with some of her diabetes management tasks and/or remind her to take her thyroid medication if she needs medication. I also hope at some point she will be willing to see a counselor (psychologist or social worker) again.