There is truly nowhere near as much frustration as when your child just does not want to care about their diabetes anymore. At one time or another, almost every child will get to a ‘brick wall’ and just think enough is a enough. The heart-break of that time is such a huge mountain for any parent.
What is crucial here is that you fully realize that your child is not a stupid child. You MUST MAKE YOURSELF understand, as much as possible, why they are feeling this way. Whatever YOU feel is nowhere near what they feel. Understand this point.
Our hearts always break beyond measure when our kids are going through a rough patch and if I have one piece of advice for any parent is to be ready for any course of action needed in advance; and to remember clearly that friction plus friction will only result in heat. You know your child better than anyone. To go on a full-frontal attack could be incredibly damaging. Balance. Understand what is going on and offer choices. Help comes in many forms. Know those forms.
Tired of diabetes could be just tired of the pump, or the cgm, or shots, or eating a certain way. A little adjustment made as a series of choices could get your child back on track. Don’t be so rigid, understand that they are hurting. They know what they must do as far as management. They know what will happen if they do not do what is needed. I know you ‘know’ all these things but sometimes your own anxiety makes you act/react ‘at’ the solution coming quicker than it’s able to come. It’s not always, or perhaps usually, a ‘quick-fix’.
Speak to your endocrinologist if needed, a professional may be needed for them to discuss what they are dealing with; a therapist can be as important as an endocrinologist. Depression has levels. Keep an eye out on how deep is your child falling? Should someone be diagnosed with a chronic disease, I would be worried if they did not show some sort of depression (as Dr. Polonsky says). How could they not?
Sometimes their wanting the mental pain to just stop is more than the day-to-day management requirements. I am NOT a MENTAL HEALTH professional but I can share with you that even if YOU SPEAK to a mental health professional, along with your endocrinologist—-you may become educated on a course of action to try.
You may not be the central point of this process, be ready to accept that if you are advised; but more than anything else……..PLEASE do not just think it will just work itself out.
I’m not speaking of the every-now-and-again “Hey I need a break.” Those happen and as you speak to your child, look to see if it may be just a weekend of ‘being without’ diabetes as much as one can be; while having it. Listen to them. Speak WITH them and not AT them. Let them know you will do all it takes.
Some professionals, like Korey Hood-PhD, have type 1 diabetes themselves, and are in the business to help those cope with living day-to-day. No one knows more than someone who is dealing with it. And there are professionals who do not have it who also have expertise in dealing with how to deal with depression; some probably live somewhere around you. Ask. Seek. Meet.
I’m not under the belief that things ‘just go away’. They subside; but if not taken care of they will come back again, and again, and again. As I stated, you know your child. Is it as simple as them discussing something with someone else who has experience with dealing with diabetes? Is it a professional conversation with your endo or CDE? Or is it a discussion with a mental health professional? Find out what is needed?
Nothing is wrong with ‘just talking’ with someone. THAT is always a good place to start. Just talk. Not long term, not short term……..just try it. One step at a time.
I’ve always felt that the psyche of diabetes is as crucial (and maybe more in cases) than the day-to-day management itself. Keep your eyes open—wide open–and stay educated on how to approach this problem. I assure you that at some time or another, and at some level or another, you will be glad you were familiar with some of the signs. And just as important are some courses of action that you may know about…………. BEFORE you need to use them.
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