From Georgia, USA:
How do teens deal with diabetes?
As people are different, teens with diabetes are different. The teenage years are a challenge for many reasons, diabetes adds to the challenge. First of all physiologically, the hormones of puberty appear to make a teen resistant to insulin. Higher doses per body weight are needed to achieve the desired effect.
The teen years are a time to become who you will be, test the waters, and separate from parents and "authority figures." Hopefully with open communication and a loving relationship between parent and child, having realistic expectations, giving the teen the chance to make some mistakes and learn from them things will be okay.
From the parents' vantage point, it is very difficult to "let go" after all these years of primary responsibility for diabetes care. A careful, step-by- step transfer of care will help a smooth transition into adulthood. Knowing that teens are moody and that what works one day may be the opposite the next, will help.
I also find that when I work with teens, it is important to help them set priorities (i.e., it is essential to take your insulin, but if you skip a blood sugar it is not the end of the world). I also find, that we assume that teens know more than they do about their bodies and about their diabetes. They are pros and the skills of diabetes, but could sure use some help in the concepts!
Camp, groups, etc., are highly recommended to help teens in their journey of coming to terms with themselves and with their diabetes.
Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:08:56
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