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March 26, 2001

Behavior

Question from Honea Path, South Carolina, USA:

My seven year old daughter, who was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes about eight months ago, has been making comments a lot lately about not wanting to live and that she just can't take it anymore. I am becoming really concerned. Should I seek professional counseling for her?

Answer:

Any child who says that they don’t want to live should be taken seriously. It does not necessarily mean she wants to kill herself, but it does mean that she is feeling more stress than she can handle, and is completely overwhelmed. Counseling will help her learn strategies to help her more effectively cope with the stress of living with diabetes, and she should then begin to feel less overwhelmed. Please contact your diabetes team and/or pediatrician for a referral to a mental health counselor, and do it right away!

JWB