How many have sought counseling

I know this strikes a personal chord, but I'm curious about how many parents have taken their type 1 kids to counselors, or for those of you adults who were diagnosed as a child, did your parents take you to a counselor? 

I know it's a stigmatized thing, but I'm thinking that my son (Kevin, age 6, dx 1/20/10) might benefit.  He's really doing well with it all.  He takes the shots like a man, tells us when he's feeling low... great maturity as it relates to diabetes itself.  BUT, recently he has started to regress to his less mature behaviors that he had outgrow before diagnosis.  Tantrums, wetting his pants, telling us no, hitting.  He's always been a superhero fan, but he seems to be taking it to extremes lately, insisting on wearing his Superman PJs to the store.  I wonder if this offers him an escape. 

Anyway, i definitely want to put a stop to the negative behaviors, but I'm wondering if this behavior is a result of displaced anxiety, anger, etc. related to his diagnosis.  It's been an adjustment for me, and I'm a grown-up, so I can't imagine what might go through his little head.

Any thoughts?

My Mom brought me to a counselor in high school for stress. The lady never talked to me about T1 specifically, but helped me w/ stress reduction. (I guess that doesn't really answer your question, but is my experience...)

I personally don't think it would hurt to get an outside opinion. As a parent, sometimes I feel like I over-analyze everything until I don't really know what's going on, lol.

Can you ask his endo for a rec so you know the person has some knowledge of T1? As a person w/ T1, that would be important to me.

Hi Ann Marie,

The first 6 months or so of a diabetes is probably the most optimistic in terms of doing the things needed but then it becomes a chore. Finger sticking gets old, counting carbs get old, just living in the world of meters and strips gets old and then as the novelty wears off you face the part of diabetes that becomes routine and routine is not fun.

My son was diagnosed at age 14 and we started to bring him to a therapist on the advice of our endo. She advised all her patients to seek therapy because there are so many emotions that are never said. We expect our children to be mature and brave and they spend a lot of time doing that when they want to cry and screem. We were lucky to find a Psychiatrist who specialized in depression and children with diabetes. It was so nice not to have to explain what an A1C was etc. She has done some little things that have helped my son cope when he is feeling stressed like getting some magnets to play with. A simple visit to a craft store for small round magnets that he could just play with has helped alot.

Many times as parents we see the life our children are leading with diabetes from only our perspective. Imagine having to hear so many times to check your blood sugar, watch what you eat, and to experience the numerous finger sticks that get old really fast. We have all stuck ourselves either in training or some other time but we have done it a few times only not 5-7 times a day everyday.

They are kids, they don't need to be mature and its ok to get angry - the thing that helped my son the most was having someone who was not a parent, not a relative, not a school teacher, not a friend but someone who was outside looking in to be able to talk to. Just having a person to tell and talk to was great for him. Good luck.

I don't think there is a stigma with therapy anymore. At least not among anyone that matters!

While I have never attended counseling for diabetes, I have gone for other reasons and I think it is a really good idea! I think it would really help your son understand what is going on and will give him confidence in himself and how he manages his D as he gets older.

The world would be a happier place if more people went to counseling haha

i started counseling when i was 7 years old and went off and on until i was 22. if you truly think your son needs it and will benefit from it, there's not stigma attached to it. i can't say i specifically went for diabetes, but counseling (eventually) helped me. i finally got really awesome counseling when i was 21-22 and i haven't felt the need to go back since then. i also took antidepressants for many years, which also helped me as well. your son is a little young for drug therapy, but counseling might work for him - as well as some group/family sessions. i would also encourage a support group that has other t1 children his age he can connect with. do you know if there is one in your area?

My parents never took me, but once I got to college I was diagnosed with bipolar type 2 and have seen a psychiatrist and been in counseling ever since.  I highly recommend it.  If/when I have kids, I will take them to counseling at some point, just to make sure everything is balanced for them and maybe to take the MMPI (to be sure there isn't any serious issue).  I hid so much from my parents.  I was probably living in both manic or depressed states for 4 years before I got treatment.  I hope my kids will feel comfortable enough to come to me if they are having problems, but if not I still believe they should have someone to talk to.


Since your son is 6 and may not know how to effectively communicate his frustrations yet, I would definitely recommend it.

[quote user="Ann Marie"]how many parents have taken their type 1 kids to counselors[/quote]

I have not taken my daughter (age 9, dx at 4).

[quote user="Ann Marie"]for those of you adults who were diagnosed as a child, did your parents take you to a counselor? [/quote]

My parents did have me see a counselor in my teen years.  (dx at age 2)


My thoughts on your situation - it can't hurt.  It may be just normal 6 year old behavior (he wouldn't be the first super hero I've seen in a supermarket - I had a friend who's kid wore a robe tie tied around his waist as his 'tail' for a year), but I always say to trust your gut instinct as a parent.  You must think he's having trouble getting through the stages of grief, and finding someone he can work through it with is not a bad idea.

See why I love Juvenation so much?  I appreciate all the valuable feedback.  I have contacted a highly regarded child therapist in town and am waiting for a call back.  We'll see how it goes.  Unfortunately, our endo is an hour away, and I did talk to the psychologist at that hospital, but they didn't have anyone local to me they could recommend.  So, I will likely not have someone with a lot of T1 experience, but hopfeully I can get someone with good child counseling experience.

I figure counseling can't hurt.  I kind of wish my mom had taken me to counseling when my parents split up (I was 10).  I think it would have helped me work through a lot of my baggage from that prior to adulthood.  But of course, hind sight is 20/20, right?

Anyway, thank you all for the great input.  It's truly helpuf!

please try it out.

I never went to any kind of therapist until I acquired about 34 years worth of issues, both related and unrelated to my diabetes, and my life fell apart.  Fellowship from self-help groups and the benefits of therapy saved my sanity and my life.

the superhero thing made me smile.  I had a red raincoat that I would tie around my neck by the hood string.  It would billow out behind me when I ran.  I loved to watch it and pretend I was flying, however that left me running one way while looking another.  The day I hit that oak tree was when it stopped.  My nephew Mike wore his halloween Fireman suit for 7 monnths until it fell apart.  My nephew Anthony just ran into a very similar oak tree under very famiilar circumstances, with his raincoat flapping wildly behind him....  I guess my son James is destined for somthing similar,. someday, as well. =)

I was diagnosed when I was 15 years old and after a year of finger sticks and shots, I got angry. At that point my mother suggested that I go and see a couselor. I resisted initially, but gave in later and it was really beneficial. There are so many emotions that you experience having type 1, some that you may not even be aware of and a couselor can put it in perspective.

good luck.

Hi Sonja

I have sent a friend request. Many of the things you have seen a psychiatrist for my son (age 15) is now starting to realize so its new for us. Hope we get a chance to talk - I would love to get your input on some of those things.  Welcome  

I never saw one (diagnosed at age 10).  Nor did I ever feel the need.

I was recently diagnosed as an adult, so I can't speak to the childhood aspect of this, but I can tell you that I decided to go to a counselor.  The first month was just fine.  I was in survival mode, so all of the new requirements didn't bother me much.  But once that wore off a bit, I started getting grieving for my "normal" life, and I started getting angry.

I imagine kids go through similar emotional issues, only they have an even more limited understanding of it all.  I can usually recognize, for example, that I'm not actually angry at my friends for eating pizza, I'm just angry that diabetes has made that kind of diet so much more difficult for me.  Kids (and some adults) don't get that about themselves.  It could help to have someone ask the right questions and help them discover it... and it's usually best for it to be someone unbiased, like a counselor.  (Talking to my husband or my mother helps immensely, but I have emotional reactions to them, and they're too close the the tree to see the forest.)

Oh and, not that he should be wearing his Superman PJs to the store all the time, but your kid is a superhero... and so are you.  I can't imagine how tough this stuff must be for children and their parents!

I never saw a counselor but I was lucky enough to have a great team of doctors and nurses growing up.  I was seen at the Diabetes Clinic at Cincinnati's Children's Hospital from the time I was diagnosed (10 yrs old) until I was 21.  The whole time I saw the same 2 docs and gained a great relationship with them.  I felt comfortable telling them just about anything and they were very good listeners and advice givers.  It also helped b/c one them was also a type 1.

Depression affects a large number of people with diabetes. Additionally, the close monitoring of carbohydrate and calorie intake can lead to disordered eating. Aiming to achieve tight glucose control can predispose one to OCD.

These aren't to scare you. I think counseling is vastly under-utilized. In clinics with multidisciplinary care, I truly believe psych should be one of the required participants.

Just being cognizant of your child's mental health puts you ahead of the game! Way to go! Keep on it. There is a lot of anxiety, anger, frustration, rebellion and possibly depression ahead.

I sometimes wish i could go to counseling, but it costs money. thats defiantly a factor you have to consider. but if I had the chance i would most DEFINATLY go.

I wish i would have gotten counseling as a child! I think you would really be doing a great thing by starting your son in counseling now! Good for you!

I am 32 years old and was dx at 7. I am really trying to get my diabetes in better control and am looking for a counselor that might help me. When i was younger i hated everything about Diabetes and anyone who tried to help me with it. As an adult i took that same attitude and tried to act like i didnt have it but that just isnt the way i want to live anymore. Anyways im just thinking that maybe if i had seen a counselor when i was younger i wouldnt be at the unhealthy point that im at. Good luck to you both!

If money is tight your school likely has a councilor he can see. Then see if you have a local diabetes association that has a support group and maybe even summer camp too. 

If money is tight your school likely has a councilor he can see. Then see if you have a local diabetes association that has a support group and maybe even summer camp too.