Diabetes - Type 1 Community
depression in teenage diabetics
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This patient support community is for questions related to juvenile diabetes including Celiac disease, depression, diabetic complications, hyperglycemia / diabetic keto-acidosis, hypoglycemia, islet cell transplantation, nutrition, parenting a diabetic child, pregnancy, pump therapy, school issues, and teens with diabetes.

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depression in teenage diabetics

My 15-year old son is a recently diagnosed diabetic.  In a week we meet with the endocrinologist to determine Type I or Type II.  For a few months prior to the diagnosis, he's been quite depressed.  His grades have slipped, he doesn't seem to care about friends or school, and he wants to sleep all the time.  

I have a huge family history of both Type II diabetes and depression but am wondering if there is a strong correlation with depression in teenage diabetics?  I would also appreciate any tips or advise (I will be discussing it with the endo but would appreciate parent/patient advise).  Thanks.
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We're all volunteers here with lots of experience.  I was also diagnosed at about 15 -- more than 35 years ago.  Type 2 is typically associated with obesity.  Sometimes, at diagnosis of Type 1, our bodies are producing some insulin and our needs for supplemental insulin is modest.  If we are Type 1, however, our own production *will* cease and we will depend on shots/pumping instead.  I mention this so that you're not ever thinking that if you/your son did things differently he might not need insulin.  If he is Type 1, he will.

Depression is not uncommon for teens at diagnosis, while learning to adjust, and as a result of feeling physically drained.  Sleepiness can be the result of physical exhaustion as sugar builds in his blood while the cells in his muscles, skin, and other organs are literally starving for lack of glucose.  It takes insulin to move glucose from our blood into our cells where it's used as fuel.

I recommend that your very next step is to reach out to our sister initiative from JDRF -- called Online Diabetes SUpport Team (ODST), who has a group of volunteers that can work with you 1:1.  To reach them, visit the JDRF website:  www.jdrf.org and click on the link to Newly Diagnosed.  You'll provide jsut a bit of contact info and the coordinator will find a volunteer in your area who can relate to your specific situation.  Since we work closely with ODST folks (some volunteers work here & there), please let 'em know we've sent you.  

It can be overwhelming to absorb so much information at diagnosis, and it can be exhausting to figure out what info (from well-intentioned friends & family) is actually pertinent and correct.  JDRF ODST volunteers can become part of our lifelong support network.  Good luck to you both.
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Thank you!!  My Type II has been relatively easy for me to manage but *HIS* diabetes (I'm betting on Type I because he is so thin) has been a whole new experience - for both of us.  Thank you for the support and information and I will be discussing the diabetes AND depression with the pediatric endocrinologist.  Again, thank you!
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