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March 8, 2021

Mental Health

Question from Unknown:

Hi have a 15-year-old child with type 1 diabetes who has been struggling with mental health issues over the last year. What is the relationship between type 1 and mental health/anxiety and what is the long term prognosis/treatment? What age/gender are higher at risk and is there a risk associated with the age of onset of diagnosis?


From: Marissa Town, BSN, RN, CDCES

In general, research suggests that women are at greater risk for depression, anxiety, and diabetes distress than men. Younger age is also related to higher diabetes distress. Lastly, depression risk is higher among children around the time of diabetes diagnosis and 2 years later. Here are some studies that discuss these differences:

1. Understanding the sources of diabetes distress in adults with type 1 diabetes

2. Psychosocial status of children with diabetes in the first 2 years after diagnosis

We would highly recommend discussing your concerns with your child’s health care team to see if your child can be evaluated for anxiety/depression/diabetes distress/etc. Adolescence is one of the most challenging times for diabetes; adding the stress of the pandemic is not helping.