When your child was diagnosed with diabetes, you figured out what was wrong and you knew you could move forward on your own with the help of friends. After you realized that it was T1 diabetes, you went online and spoke to people and figured out what to do. You knew you should probably take your child to the doctor or the hospital but you also knew you could figure this out on your own……..right?
Of course not. You went to a doctor and created a medical team because you wanted, and needed, to have the best care possible for your child.
But when it comes to the mental health of your child, how do you approach that aspect? We all know that seeking professional help for your child’s mental health is a sign of weakness. You can do this on your own. You can figure it out and you have the support all around the world…….why ‘make such a big deal about it’, they will just snap out of it. Right?
You have to understand that your child has been given a life sentence. I know that is hard to hear but their entire world has been rocked. Imagine being diagnosed from your child’s perspective. Little league on Monday, Tuesday in the ER and by Friday an entire life has been changed……at the age of eleven. Think about that point for a minute.
Honestly, I would be worried if any child did not experience some-sort of depression after being diagnosed. Watch your children carefully. Becoming withdrawn, depressed, sleeping all the time, and socially pulling away from everyone including you may not ‘just be the diabetes’. Talk to your endocrinologist. Ask them for a professional that you and your child can see. Find one.
Just as your child’s physical well-being is crucial so is their mental health. Weak is not the person who seeks help when needed, weak is the person who turns a blind eye. You also have to allow your child to speak to someone WITHOUT you. Someone they can confide, let-off steam, listen to, and be guided.
And while you are at it, do a self-check also. As parents we have been given a lot to deal with as well. Nothing to say a session or two (or more) is not needed for you to understand your feelings in all of this ‘new normal’.
For the life of me I never could understand the neglect of this aspect in the diabetes world. Keep an eye on your children…….please. Keep an eye on you……please. Tending to the mind is as crucial as tending to the body. There is so much wonderful help out there. If needed, seek it out, and take the steps necessary.
I know this is not an easy subject but it is something that will not go away if we just don’t discuss it. So here we are.
What will you do about it?
I am a diabetes dad.
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