From London, UK:
I'm a 17 year old girl who has had diabetes for 4 years, although I have only been on insulin for 2 years. I find it extremely hard to cope and feel extremely worried. I don't always take my injections when I should and constantly binge when I am out on my own. How can I get out of this habit? I know that there are nasty things that can happen to you, but I always think that it won't happen to me. I really need some urgent advice.
Am I the only one who feels this way? I don't feel as if anything is wrong with me. Sometimes I even forget that I'm diabetic. Please help me, as if someone doesn't help me soon, I will become very ill in the future.
At 17, you are not without understanding of what diabetes is and what can happen if you ignore it. It sounds like you, like many others in your age group, simply prefer to put it in the back of your mind and hope that you'll be ok. Is that accurate?
Many folks can adopt a "denial" type of stance regarding diabetes and stick with it until complications arise. I don't recommend that approach. It is like waiting for a disaster before packing up your most valuable items. You are the most valuable part of the health equation. Without your help, your parents and doctor are lost in their efforts on your behalf. I advise joining or creating a personal growth group where you and other teens with diabetes can challenge each other to create a life worth living in spite of diabetes. If you felt less alone, you might find the dedication you need to master your diabetes. If this does not sound like something you can do, try to locate a counselor/clinician with special skills who you can strategize with to manage your diabetes better.
In any event, your letter indicates that you know exactly what you are doing and that you desire support. Go out and find a way to connect! We will still be here every step of the way to offer encouragement as you grow stronger in resolving to get your diabetes back on track.
Original posting 15 May 2000
Posted to Behavior
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