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From Kentucky, USA:

My nephew, age 13 and my niece, age 11 were both diagnosed with diabetes at age four. My sister is a single parent raising them. They have a younger brother, age eight, who does not have diabetes. What kind of behavioral and/or emotional problems can diabetes cause? They both have a difficult time with chronic high blood sugar. My sister has a tendency to excuse their behavior as a symptom of the diabetes. What is it about diabetes that is causing this or is it just manipulative behavior on their part? They lie about taking blood tests, lie about what they ate, are angry, whining, not obeying, not listening, throw temper tantrums, refuse to get up in the morning, etc. My sister's life is a living hell. What part is the diabetes playing in these symptoms? Their doctor wanted them both hospitalized yesterday to get their blood sugar under control. My sister didn't want to do that and promised to sit on them. They will be good for a while but will lapse. How much danger are they in? I'm worried.


I am afraid that if you spend a little time reading previous Ask the Diabetes Team questions and answers, you will become aware very quickly that the kinds of problems that you describe are extremely common. Apportioning behavior to diabetes is usually pointless as it has to be seen in the context of everything else that is happening in a young person's life. You say that your sister is a single parent, the children are now at a pubertal age and that they have had diabetes for many years. All of this is relevant. It may be necessary to seek professional counseling/psychological help and you could perhaps suggest this to your sister.


Original posting 14 Mar 2004
Posted to Behavior and Daily Care


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