From Toronto, Ontario, Canada:
I'm 16 years old, my 11 year old sister has had diabetes for about eight years now, and I know it has taken an extreme emotional toll on me, as well how I see it. My sister is a very demanding and needy person, and as I grow up and need more advice on what I should do with my life, my sister seems to be attracting all the attention from my parents. I have been asking my parents for mental help for a while now, but they seem to be in denial, and I believe that they fear that they don't want a man in a white coat to tell them that their daughter is depressed. I'm feeling lost right now, and don't know what to do. I have searched the Internet and bookstores but have found no useful information on coping with diabetes as a sibling. Any suggestions?
You are very wise to ask for counseling, and I encourage you to continue to seek such support. I do not know the laws in Canada, but you may be able to seek counseling without your parents' knowledge or approval at 16 years of age. Also, your school may have a psychologist or social worker who can at least provide you with appropriate referrals, if not provide you with the counseling you are seeking. Also, your physician (pediatrician or internist) may be able to help you with referrals.
As far as your sister goes, having diabetes does not make anyone a needy and demanding person. So, your sister may have been this way no matter what, or she may have learned to use her diabetes in some way that is manipulating your family. Either way, I would encourage you to seek counseling for yourself, and learn ways to cope with your family situation, regardless of the diabetes.
Original posting 16 Jul 2003
Posted to Other
Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:09:45
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