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February 28, 2009


Question from United Arab Emirates:

My son was diagnosed with diabetes about two months ago. Recently, his personality has changed. He loses his temper quickly and seems angry most of the time, with a constant frown on his face. He’s always yelling at his siblings and has become insensitive to their feelings. It’s seems like he’s intentionally being mean to everyone. I know it’s the stress of having diabetes, but how can I help him to relax and to be happy?


From: DTeam Staff

You have noticed a significant change in your son’s mood and behavior since he was diagnosed with diabetes. This can be so upsetting to see and, as parents, we can only imagine how difficult it must be for our children! Have you asked him why he has been angry and mean lately? It is often very helpful to have this type of conversation (on a calm day, away from siblings and distractions), as children will typically provide answers that adults did not expect. This can be the beginning of a partnership in working towards a solution to help him feel better. Also, it may be helpful to contact your diabetes team and see if they have a social worker or psychologist that is part of the team who can talk with you and your son. Sometimes a few meetings with a mental health professional can provide you and your son with some strategies you can all use to help him feel better.


[Editor’s comment: Have you checked his blood sugar when he has been especially angry? As a parent of a child with diabetes, who is now a young adult, I know that high blood sugars sometimes cause children to act out. I am not a medical professional and do not know why this is, just that it is behavior I have observed. I know other parents whose children also act up when high. The best you can do is try to avoid high blood sugars, which, of course, is the goal we all have.