Diabetes and depression

I am trying to find out if all kids that are diabetic go through depression? My son is only 11 and is showing severe signs of depression. He does not want any thing to do with his diabetes, school work, chores, or anything else he should do. Does anyone have any suggestions on what to do? I am thinking about taking him to a therapist.



In Groups---parents of children with type1-I read a question close to this one.Her son now 16,by teachermom.....I would like to understand if diabetes is the cause of anxiety or deppression ? I am sorry you are going through this and I think finding someone to talk to would help.Especially if they have d knowledge.

I strongly suggest seeking help of some sort.. even your endo or diabetes educator can offer some help with this situation. It's unfortunate, and I'm sorry he feels this way. Most importantly, let him know you care!

for many teens, pre-teens, and young diabetics, rebelling against their D and suffering from depression seems like a fairly common theme. i know i was one of them. i saw many counselors, but it took until i was 21 and seriously screwing up my life before i was ready to take a step and change things. for some, it doesn't have to go that far. because you are recognizing the symptoms early and are willing to take early action, hopefully he will get better sooner rather than later. he has to be ready and willing to make those changes. if he isn't (or doesn't see it as a problem), he will not get better.

good luck to you and your son. i hope he is able to get the help he needs.

this happened to me a while ago and recently (well along with other matters but thats besides the point) and i went to a theripast and it helped alot. you should go for it! i felt so much better after it!

I went through this several times, especially as a teenager. I am 60, have had T1 diabetes for 50 years. There is a group of psychologists who study solely the mental health issues of diabetes. They are in the Behavioral Diabetes Institute.(BDI.org, I think). They have webinars, classes and provide counseling. BDI is located in San Diego, but the psychologists frequently travel and give speeches/seminars all over the world. You can get a Diabetes Etiquette card from them, with advice for family and friends. For example, they should NOT ask you "Can you eat that?" It is a fun conversation starter.

As a parent, you may not know exactly how he feels, but you should try to empathize a little. Let him know what you suspect he fears and feels. I would suggest that you try to get him help, but also find a way to let him know he is not alone. It is tough enough too fear not fitting in, but adding diabetes on top of that...UGH! Our ,local JDRF chapter in San Diego has Diabuddies, a group of about 20 teens and pre-teens who meet frequently to have fun. In March I am taking this group to a UCSD baseball game (they are nationally ranked in Div II). Everyone knows that everybody else has T1 diabetes, so nobody feels "different." See if you can get that going where you are.

You may find this video comforting: http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/diabetes/Pages/Introduction.aspx

I found out about it on the JDRF-San Diego Juvenation Group site.

I've mentioned this in a few other threads. There are diabetic therapists out there. My sister went through the same thing when she was a junior/senior in high school. At that point she'd had D for 12+  years and was sick of it...sick of our parents nagging her about testing and her numbers/A1c/bolusing. Her A1c was 14.5 or something higher than that at its worst point.

Before she went to college, she went and saw (not-voluntarily) a psychotherapist who specialized in diabetics.

Might I also suggest that the depression and diabetes may also be completely unrelated and that the depression is causing the apathy towards him not wanting to take care of himself. I've been diagnosed with depression (mid 1990s) and I had that much longer than I've had the D (April 2005).

Interrelated or not, his health should be the top priority here, so if it was me I'd probably look into some type of counseling.

Have you suggested to him about possibly joining Juvenation? There are a ton of people of all ages on here who feel or felt the way he does and can understand etc.

Anyway sorry for jumping all over the place there...hope some of that helps



If you feel that your son is having severe signs of depression I recommend you taking him to a therapist as soon as you can. I have been battling depression on and off for 10 years. I didn't even see a therapist until 5 years after my diagnosis and that was because I had a nervous breakdown. I think if I would have seen one righter after my diagnosis I would be in better shape today.

Please get him the help he needs. It does help. I fought my family members to go and after my first consult I did feel better. I actually wrote about it here if you are interested in reading it: http://www.healthcentral.com/diabetes/c/28524/40454/missing-diabetes

Will Insurance cover any of  this if it is d related ?

I think it depends on your insurance carrier.

Thanks Gina,BlueCross Blue Shield

I think you are a great mom for thinking about this and advocating for your son! He's lucky that you've noticed this. When I was in a study about 5 years ago, the researchers were hypothesizing there are higher rates of depression in T1 due to neurological changes related to the disease and also to the stress of daily care. Of course, depression runs in some families, so there could be outside factors too.

Behavioral Diabetes Institute ... interesting, I'll have to look it up!

Meme, I think more and more insurance companies are treating mental health problems like any other medical condition. I have BC/BS and they cover my monthly "check-in" visits to a therapist w/in their network for a lower co-pay than my dr's appts w/o any pre-approval. When I called them, they gave me the number for a separate company who runs their mental health coverage which I think is common.

I don't think all kids that have T1 experience depression, but some research suggests that the prevalence of depression in T1's is generally higher than the rest of the population.

Here is a link about adolescent depression that might be helpful. It contains accurate information.

If you do want to seek services for him, you have to think about what type of person you want to take him to see. The process will be different depending on the professional's background. For example, a therapist could be counselor/social worker/psychologist/psychiatrist. Counselors and social workers typically do a lot of talking aimed at resolving conflicts and coping. Psychologists might do some talking and some behavior or cognitive-behavior therapy to help him develop better routines and thoughts about his life. Psychiatrists will probably give him medication.

If you want my advice, you should probably try the counselor or psychologists before you try medications. However, if he doesn't get better with therapy alone, then medication with therapy would probably be the best solution.

I wanted to say thank you very much for every one's response. I am looking into taking my son to a counselor as soon as possible. I am trying to find one that takes our insurance. You have all given me some really good suggestions and made me feel that I am doing the right thing about getting him help.