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Question:

From Pocono Summit, Pennsylvania, USA:

My son, who just turned eight, was diagnosed in April with type 1 diabetes. He has adjusted well, has taken charge and knows what he needs to do. He is an active, smart kid who is fun to be around. Recently, he has turned into a child possessed! He is moody, defiant and has lost interest in a lot of the things that he likes to do. I am thinking of a psychologist, but would like to know if this is a usual behavioral change in children with diabetes. He is giving no trouble about his meds or his care, just life in general!

Answer:

I think seeking the advice of a psychologist or other mental health professional with expertise in children with a chronic illness is an excellent idea. Living with diabetes does not change your personality, so there might be many non-diabetes issues that could be distressing your son. Of the possible diabetes-specific issues, he might be feeling overwhelmed by the burden of self-care. It is highly unusual for any child as young as your son to take on the responsibility of the daily diabetes regimen, as it requires so much emotional energy and effort, and is not at all a developmentally typical responsibility. So your son may be reacting to the burden of diabetes. Seeking the advice of a professional might help you sort out what's causing your son to struggle, and help your family feel like you have your happy, sweet son back.

JWB

DTQ-20040119083312
Original posting 21 Jan 2004
Posted to Behavior

  
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Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:09:54
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