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From Loveland, Colorado, USA:

By choice, my 17 year old daughter, who had diabetes since she was 10 years old, just came to live with me. She has rather severe mood swings, and when not in a good mood makes everyone else (step-siblings and stepmother and me) uncomfortable. She's mean, short -tempered, and relatively unpleasant to be around. She doesn't say things aloud to her step-siblings but otherwise intimidates them with looks and sounds. I've tried to talk to her about her attitude in general, but have gotten excuses, and she can't, won't or doesn't have to change. (God knows it's hard enough to raise a teenager these days without diabetes.) I don't think all of this is related to blood sugars, but I certainly don't want worsen them (or her attitude) by laying down the law, and I and am not sure how best to do that with her.

There are also eating issues (too much), sleep issues (sleeps most of day, stays up at night), and diet soda (too many). If you have any ideas or comments on how to deal with these situations please advise me. I can handle dealing with the diabetes treatment, it's her crappy attitude that has me near the end of my rope. We are getting her enrolled with our family practice doctor first and going from there for future treatment decisions.


Your daughter needs help. Her mood swings, over-eating and over-sleeping can all be signs of emotional distress that will not go away without professional help. Although her diabetes may certainly play a role in all of these difficulties, it is unlikely that it plays the primary role.

Please find a multi-disciplinary diabetes team as soon as possible so that they can work with all of you in managing her diabetes (including the emotional aspects of living with diabetes). Ask them who they recommend for family and for individual therapy. If they can not recommend someone, ask your family physician, your pediatrician and/or your local American Diabetes Association chapter for counselors that they recommend. The sooner she gets the help she needs (and the help your family needs in learning how to live with a new person in your home), the better everyone will be.


Original posting 14 Aug 2003
Posted to Behavior


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