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March 25, 2005

Behavior

Question from Kent, England:

My seven year old daughter has had type 1 for just over a year. Her levels have been very unstable and she is regularly high. Since her diagnosis, she has become increasingly angry and violent towards me, her father and younger sister, sometimes resulting in physically attacking me. She has been referred to a behavior counselor but resents seeing her. How can I restore a happy environment to the whole family? I am really beginning to resent her behavior and am fed up with trying to hide the bruises from my colleagues as it is embarrassing admitting being hit by a seven year old. Will she improve or are we stuck with this behavior? Does anyone else have this problem? If so, could they tell me how they dealt with it?

Answer:

I am glad that you are asking for help. Individuals with diabetes may become more moody and irritable with high blood sugars, but the behavior you are describing does not sound normal. I think your daughter should continue meeting with the counselor. Your child sounds very angry and she needs to learn healthy and more acceptable ways to cope with her anger. Is the counselor also working with you and your husband so that you both can reinforce what the counselor is working on outside of the counseling sessions at home? I worry about your child’s safety as well as the safety of you and the rest of your family. I would also recommend that you talk to your health care team about these concerns. They may need to make more insulin adjustments so that she has fewer high blood sugars.

DB