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September 29, 2005

Mental Health

Question from Leominster, Massachusetts, USA:

My seven year old daughter had a seizure at home a few months back and I realized that is wasn't due to her diabetes. She continued to be completely blank at the hospital for awhile and later had a full seizure again. Then, we transported her to a better hospital. An MRI, EEG, CAT scan was performed which showed normal results except the EEG showing slowing on one side of the brain (normal, they say, after having a seizure). The past few weeks she has started talking about how she wished she didn't have to live anymore. She says she doesn't want to have to watch what she eats and not be able to have anything that she wants. I would just like to know how I should deal with this attitude? Also, has there ever been any connection between seizures that are not related to the diabetes with a type one diabetic or any history of something that might malfunction in the brain that would cause both? Just wishing I had some answers.

Answer:

Your daughter is now struggling with two medical issues: Diabetes and Seizures. It is certainly understandable that she is sad and worried about her health. The most important thing you can do is find a mental health practitioner who has expertise in working with children and families who live with chronic illnesses. Contact your diabetes team and your pediatrician for referrals in your community. The sooner she is seen by someone who works with children who have had similar experiences, the sooner she’ll begin to feel better.

JWB