Trouble at School

Hi, my name is Brianna, I am 15 and I was diagnosed with Type 1 seven months ago. It hasn’t been easy but I have been getting through it. Recently students at my high school have been very mean to me and have been making fun of me. What do I say to them? How do I get them to stop. Any help is welcome. Thanks!

Hey Brianna,

I’m so sorry to hear this. It must have been hard for you to make this big adjustment. Are people making fun of your diabetes, specifically? Or is it for other reasons? Sometimes people can be so mean-spirited. Do you have any friends who can take your side? When I was in middle school and high school, I had a group of friends who always stood up for me, and that helped a lot.

One thing that might help is to approach one of the people who makes fun of you, just individually on a one-to-one basis. A lot of times, people who make fun of you are doing it because they have an audience and it makes them feel cool. I know that it’s a really hard thing to do, just going up to someone, but it might help if you approach him/her when there’s no one else around and just explain how badly it’s making you feel. Do you think that might work?

Hey Brianna,

I’m sorry you’re having to deal with bullying! I was diagnosed when I was 10, and middle school was AWFUL. I had one classmate who probably spent more time thinking of ways to make fun of my diabetes than he spent paying attention in class- he thought it was hilarious to call me “vampire girl” and would catcall that when I left class to go to the nurses’ office to check my blood sugar. It’s a very distant memory now, but at the time it was infuriating. One thing that’s especially hard about diabetes is that most people think they know a lot about it, but generally don’t understand it at all. It has always helped me to try to educate the people who make jokes or are mean about my diabetes - they usually feel bad about what they’ve done when they realize it’s actually a pretty serious and potentially life-threatening disease. I know it’s hard to do, but that’s what gave me the best long term results growing up. The good news is this: it does get better. I can’t say I never get a joke made about my diabetes that hurts my feelings now that I’m older- but it’s really rare. Hang in there!!!

What are people saying or doing to make fun of your diabetes? What has your response to them been so far?