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May 29, 2003

Behavior

Question from Dallas, Texas, USA:

My 28 year old daughter has had type 1 diabetes for 14 years, and since leaving home, she has paid less and less attention to her diabetes care and her health in general. Her blood sugars often run in the 300-400 mg/dl [16.7-22.2 mmol/L] range, she eats all kinds of high-carb foods, she is nearly 100 pounds overweight, and even after 14 years, still acts like she's in denial about the whole thing. Her endocrinologist has practically given up on her as she shows no signs of taking any responsibility, and I am at the end of my rope. I worry about losing her every day. I've tried taking her to diabetes education, joining Weight Watchers and exercise classes together, planning menus with her, even buying her food for her. I've tried bribing her, and I've tried just leaving her alone and seeing if she'll take responsibility herself, but nothing works. I thought she might be depressed so I took her to a psychiatrist who prescribed an anti-depressant, but the behavior hasn't really changed. I don't know what else to do and am scared to death of the consequences she faces. Can you give me any advice?

Answer:

I would suggest having her visit the psychiatrist again, or another psychiatrist or psychologist. She needs to have someone work with her in order to understand why she is behaving the way she is. Although denial is a possibility, other reasons may exist. Until she understands why she is behaving in this manner, she may not be able to help herself.

JTL