Behavior Therapists...should i be pushing for one?

i had previously posted about my son being recently diagnosed and really well-adjusted considering the circumstances....well, hello reality!! the summer is over and we have started school with all his old friends and one very new 'enemy' ...his type 1 diabetes. the last two weeks his behavior has been atrocious. i swear it is enough to convince me of the existence of pod people/ body snatchers! i keep telling myself he is going through so much and he needs time and support and compassion but when he is freaking out and snapping at me, bullying his brothers, or talking back to his dad with very average blood sugars i feel like my brain is going to implode! i literally cry in bed because i am exhausted from trying to hug him into happiness. i called around to a few psychologists inquiring about therapy. i do not want him to feel any more burden or anger or embarrassment but i think he may need this a normal dynamic to a D-lifestyle?

Good news -yes, it is completely normal. Our endo actually has a psychologist on staff to meet with patients and parents.  We have been to him many times and it helps enormously.  Diabetes is its own animal and affects everyone in the family.  He once told us to treat and parent the same as before - don't let the diabetes change that.  Course, we didn't listen and gave in to tantrums, etc.We have learned some hard lessons. Like you said they do go through alot and blood levels change behavior. If you can find a psychologist who works with juvenile diabetics and understands what he is going through.

You didn't mention how old your son is.  I did okay with my diabetes until I was about 14, then I rebelled against it for the next ten years by not testing and skipping shots.  Unfortunately that's pretty common for diabetic teens.

I met for a couple years with the psycologist at the juvenile diabetes center, but it was a waste of her time and mine.  My parents never wanted me to feel diabetes was a disability, which is good.  But I wish they had asked me if they could do anything to help, instead of being disappointed that I was struggling.  Every person struggles to live healthy every day.  I wish my parents had been a little more upfront with me about what personally challenged them, instead of acting like I should be perfect because I had the misfortune of being diabetic.  

Every diabetic has to make peace with having the disease and figure out how to make it work in real life.  I think it's something that happens with time and experience.

This has been posted a bunch and it addresses some of the emotional struggle teens have with diabetes.  While I can't guarantee everything will work out for your son, there are many of us out there who got past the anger, frustration and bad control of our youth and who are totally fine now.  I've had D for 34 years with no complications.  Wish I could have been more mature during my struggle with diabetes.  But realistically, I was a kid and handled that stress like a kid.  

jennagrant, I just wanted to thank you for all your knowledge and your ability to write it in a way that helps me out so much!  My 13, soon to be 14 year old daughter is struggling/rebelling and I worry that I am not doing the right things for her.  When I read your posts, they really help me to help her.  This October will be our 3rd year with diabetes in our life.  I have read your advice you have given to parents dealing with 504 plans, behavior are a blessing to us parents and I wanted to thank you for that!


My son was dx at age 14 which was 15 months ago. He did really well for about 3 months. After that he was mad at the whole world for his illness. We started counseling 1-2x a week. One of the things she told me was that it is a grieving process just like a death and acceptance is the hardest part. He ended up on antidepressants and 1year of therapy. He is actually doing pretty well. The best you can do is be supportive and let your child now that u love them no matter what. Believe me there were days I di not think I was going to make it. But I did. My son was so mean and hateful for about 3 months that to is much better. I did realize after dx he is not the same kid I had before. But all in all he’s a great kid. Good luck I hope it gets better for you!!!