Worried about my daughter getting depressed

My 9 year old daughter was diagnosed last year and I worry that she is going to live a life of depression. She gets upset, angry, cries a lot and asks why did she get Type 1 diabetes. No one in our family has it and she doesn’t understand why she got it. She hates checking herself before every meal and snack and when she’s feeling low or high. It is so frustrating to her. Sometimes she’ll tell me she thinks God is punishing her. I tell her God is not punishing her, it just happens. My husband and I have cried so many nights and worry about her and pray that there is a cure soon. I think there is one out there. They are so close to having one. I think they have the cure in Europe or Asia. I just think the RX companies don’t want us to have a cure so they can make billions from our children. So I wasn’t sure if I should put her in mental therapy counseling. Are there other parents out there going through the same thing?

Hi @Diana,

I feel for you! Certainly your daughter will have some days, or hours, when she is feeling down and will constantly ask “why me?”.

My suggestion to you is for you, your husband, any siblings, family and friends to be positive with her and do NOT focus on what she MAY not be able to do, but rather concentrate on what she can do. In 60+ years with T1D, I have done everything I’ve wanted to do except being commissioned a Naval Officer [I had qualified but was able to conceal my diabetes until the final medical exam].

Growing up I was treated as just one of the family and wasn’t really told the “dreaded” aspects of diabetes - in the 1950s before real progress was “invented” for treatment my family was told I may live to be 25, now I’m 77 and done everything. Possibly you could try not to be too demanding of her - but do insist that she take all her insulin, no exceptions; checking her BG could be relaxed some and work on “best judgement” from your limited experience observing her - home blood tests were non-existent during my first 30 years.

Good luck to all of you, she really will be fine. Encourage her positives.

to echo a little in what @Dennis has said, your daughter will watch you. If you are in despair, she’ll feel alone an din despair, if you take good care of yourself, she’ll feel differently about taking care of herself.

@diana, please let me be absolutely clear. the is no cure for type 1 diabetes, not in the US, and not anywhere on planet earth. there are research focus areas in immunology and cell regrowth, but there is no cure. Furthermore, no one is close to a cure either. There are no companies indicating they are in Phase I clinical trials for anything having to do with a cure for type 1 diabetes. A Phase I clinical trial would be an early (3-7 years with positive trial results) indication that someone or some group was close to a cure.

I completely identify with your daughters point of view. It took me a long time to get out of the “victim” role. It can be debilitating. It can be related to depression. I really think the way to deal with it is to ensure she has a safe place to talk about her feelings. If she looses interest in things you know she loves, becomes withdrawn, or shows any other signs of depression I urge you to consider some kind of therapy for her.

as down as I was, I eventually found a way out and with support and with therapy, I was able to turn my life back around again. one major thought was to stop wasting my life waiting for a cure. I gave up 7 years clutching to the idea that a cure would save me. This is a portion of my life I cannot get back. Another change in thinking was to help others. a third was to force myself to get involved and to never isolate. Please reach out to the JDRF and to see if there are local chapters and local involvement… anything so she doesn’t feel isolated. there may be summer camps she can participate in where having diabetes is the norm.

good luck and please check back in

So sorry to hear that. I guess trying online counseling and read some tips for depression. :slight_smile: might be helpful :slight_smile:

Thank you so much!

Thank you for your info.

Your daughter is depressed. It can be a very isolating disease. I would say therapy is a good idea especially someone trained in chronic illness issues. I think there are camps for T1 children, which might help since children don’t like feeling different from peers. I am probably going to sound negative. I have been depressed for 23 years now. I started therapy this year with a social worker who “gets” it. I am on an antidepressant. I do go to a couple of depression support groups. I know as an adult my options are different. I think the important thing is to stay as calm and positive as possible. All this time I have told hundreds of people what I have and only 1 person said that is so cool. It usually is something completely negative about dialysis, kidney failure, blindness, amputation.

I was diagnosed at 14. It was a very strange experience. I consider it traumatic. I was very sick before being diagnosed. I was irritable, tired, and lost a lot of weight to the point bones were showing. I passed out in class and my mom was told I needed to get checked for taking drugs. Others speculated I was anorexic or bulimic. I was a teenage girl. My mom took me to doctor for drug test and the next day she said we have to go to hospital immediately. I remember thinking it’s okay people get sick then they get better. Nope. Denial, anger, sadness, bargaining and all the usual emotions. My mom freaked out and never left the hospital. To this day she always is on edge thinking today might be the day I die. My dad checked out… Never asked about blood sugars, doctors appointments, bought my meds or would even know what I take.

It is a journey and I wish you best of luck. Maybe support group for you? It isn’t easy.

Hi! I’m so sorry to hear your daughter is having a hard time with the diagnosis. Have you checked into summer camps for kids with diabetes or support groups in your area? I was 11 when I was diagnosed and for the first couple of years I had my moments where I asked why me. The best thing that happened for me was meeting others with diabetes. Sometimes it can feel like you’re the only person in the world that has it and it can be really hard feeling that way. My endo even recommended a pen pal group when I was a kid where I emailed a girl my age and it was extremely helpful! Venting to someone who truly gets it can make a world of difference!

Hi @dthornto. I’m so sorry to hear your daughter is having such a hard time adjusting. Some people find it helpful to speak with a counselor to help them adjust to their diabetes (or whatever been you prefer).
I went to diabetes camp several summers when I was a child. This is probably a good time to research ones in your area and check them out.
There are posts on the forum with kids looking to make friends who have diabetes, as well as parents helping their kids find them; so look through forum topics on friends - while many are related to teens there may be ones for younger children, or you could start your own.