June 1, 2005
Question from Maplesville, Alabama, USA:
My 14 year old daughter was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes and OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder) about three years ago. I can’t find help to deal with the two medical conditions she has. If I try to keep her sugars in the normal range, her OCD goes crazy. No one wants to talk about medications because they feel behavioral therapy would work. She lives pretty reckless and demands to have her way, but she has anxiety attacks and pure fits sometimes.
When she feels stressed, she checks her blood sugar, so, some days she will check 20 to 25 times, if not monitored. We have started to limit her strip use because it is so costly. She eats all the time, almost like an addiction. She is very controlling, too. I feel so frustrated and alone, fighting with her everyday just so she can live longer.
What should we do, as parents? Any advice would be better than what we are getting now. The only option the doctors are looking at right now is evaluation in a psychiatric ward for 7 to 14 days. Is this the right thing to do? Please help. I don’t know what to do!
OCD can be a debilitating illness, as you have already experienced. The research on OCD suggests that medications are often necessary, in combination with cognitive-behavioral therapy, to make progress in managing the illness. It is common for an individual to need medications so that they can have more control over their thoughts and behaviors, and so they have the opportunity to learn the cognitive and behavioral techniques necessary to overcome the obsessions and compulsions. I would strongly encourage you to seek treatment from a mental health professional with expertise in children with OCD. Your daughter’s diabetes care will likely improve once her OCD symptoms are under control.