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What should I do if my teenager fails to care for his diabetes?

Adolescence is bound to provide the greatest challenges to both you and your child with diabetes. Diabetes is often more difficult to manage due to hormone changes. Children are coming of age and want more freedom. There will be times when your teen resents you and blames you for all the ups and downs of diabetes. This is a normal part of becoming independent and would happen whether or not diabetes was a factor.

Your teenager may try to rebel by neglecting diabetes care and may even try to deny the presence of diabetes in an effort to fit in and appear just like everyone else.

You might suggest that your child visit a diabetes educator alone. This gives your child a chance to ask questions and establish a relationship that can be helpful in the future as well. When your child is treated like an adult, he or she may act more like an adult. It is critical that your child understands that it is up to her to take charge of her care.

It is not uncommon for children and teenagers to feel depressed. Eating disorders, especially among girls, are common. One type of eating disorder among teens with diabetes involves skipping insulin. This allows a person to eat and not gain weight. If you start to suspect that your child is depressed or developing any sort of coping problem, eating disorder or behavioral problem, seek the help of a professional counselor immediately.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.