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December 3, 2000

Behavior

Question from Spring Creek, Nevada, USA:

My seven year old daughter was diagnosed with type�1 diabetes shortly after her third birthday. She was an extremely happy baby and toddler but, it seems that since she was diagnosed she has acted very angry and withdrawn. Is this common? Should I be worried that she suffers from clinical depression? Depression runs in my family.

Answer:

It sounds as if you’re saying that your daughter has been sad and angry for four years. It is so sad to think of a child suffering for so long. Although it is possible that diabetes has some role in this, it’s not very likely that this is only because of diabetes. I strongly encourage you to seek the advice of a mental health professional who works with children and families. You may wish to contact your diabetes team for referrals to professionals who work with children with diabetes, but if there isn’t any one close by your community, then working with a child clinician should be a very good place to begin. Please get your daughter some help as soon as possible. She has been unhappy for a long time.

JWB