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April 15, 2003


Question from Lancaster, California, USA:

Although my almost 14 year old son was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at the age of nine, is very smart and understands this disease, he has never really accepted it as being part of his life. The friends he had in elementary school (and accepted him for who he is) all went to different middle schools. He was teased and bullied for most of the seventh grade which caused a lot of stress and he was also going through puberty so his blood sugars were out of control most of the time. Although the bullying was brought to the administrator’s attention, it was never really resolved.

His attitude in eighth grade became more like — can’t beat ’em, might as well join ’em. To my knowledge he never has teased anyone, but he has become very depressed and meaner towards anyone who confronts him about his diabetes.My son is on an insulin pump now, and his blood sugars are more under control, but he is still very depressed.

We have been going to counseling for over a year, and his counselor wants him to be tested for medical depression. If he is put on drugs for his depression, will they interfere with his insulin?


From: DTeam Staff

If your son is depressed, he needs to be evaluated by a psychiatrist for medication. Often times, medication is extremely helpful in both helping the depression get better, and improving blood sugars (because if you are less depressed, you are more likely to be motivated to take care of yourself). The research on depression suggests that individuals who are on medication and who are in counseling do better than individuals with just medication or just therapy.