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Did your child need counseling after diagnosis?

Discussion in 'Parents of Children with Type 1' started by kvnc, Apr 3, 2014.

  1. kvnc

    kvnc Approved members

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    Ive been so busy carb counting and giving insulin that I haven't been able to concentrate on my daughter's emotional heath. She said that she doesn't care that she has diabetes and I can tell she likes the extra attention she is getting. I imagine that will get old fast and she'll have a delayed reaction.
     
  2. Toterra

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    yes yes yes yes yes yes yes....

    And don't forget yourself.

    Edit:
    I am going to elaborate a bit. My son had already had some therapy last year due to some acting out issues. Personally I am suspicious that he was acting out in no small part to his blood sugar being off nearly a year pre-diagnosis. The therapy was good and gave us a lot of great advice, as well as helped us deal with the school. In the end he had a fantastic school year after the therapy.

    Once he was diagnosed we were determined to send him back to the same therapist. He seems perfectly fine to us, but has revealed that he has things he is willing to mention to the therapist that he isn't to us. I wish he felt that he could tell us, but I am glad he is able to share them with someone.

    For myself I have started counselling as well. This has been a trying ordeal and it therapy can only help. Why not?
     
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2014
  3. Sarah Maddie's Mom

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    Nope. Which is not to say that she doesn't have some bad days, but generally speaking I'd say that an emotionally healthy kid can absorb the dx without necessarily needing counseling. I'd take it a step further as say that unless the mental health professional is trained in helping kids with chronic illness, it could do more harm than good. We all know how confused the general population is about what Type 1 really is and even a good therapist who doesn't know D, or thinks they know more than they do, could be damaging.
     
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2014
  4. Mommy For Life

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    My DD was 8 years old when she was dx'd. About a month post dx I took DD, my husband, and I to see a counselor. It was more of a let's get on the same page visit. Emotionally, we all had some rough periods of adjusting. Looking back, I might have been the winner on taking the most time to "adjust". :wink:

    It is not a cliche when folks say "kids are resilient!" DD just needed to get back to her normal...school, friends, play dates, sleep overs. Every one of those experiences brought us to feeling like, "this is going to be okay....we will be okay...SHE will be OKAY." Continue to "check-in" with your DD. If you are seeing signs that she may benefit from talking with a counselor, then make an appointment. Adjusting to d-life is not easy, it will take some time. All the best to you and your family! (PS If you haven't already gotten one, you should pick up a food scale that has a built in database of foods. That helped me so much with carb counting. I thought I was going to pull out my hair counting out 55 goldfish for 19 carbs!)
     
  5. mamattorney

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    I have not taken my daughter to counseling. She has accepted the diagnosis well (as far as I am concerned) and she actually seems to, well, embrace is the wrong word, but she doesn't seem to see it as terribly negative. It's more of a unique characteristic. She's very open about it and seems like if she were older, she would be the type to be a T1 advocate.
     
  6. Mom2CNC

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    I think every child & adult handles things differently. If you think your child (& your family) would benefit from talking to someone than I am all for it. We have a therapist in my town who specializes in seeing T1 families. I did speak with her several times over the phone after my DD was dx. I didn't go see her only because my insurance didn't cover it and I couldn't afford to go at the time but I really would have liked to. I had a hard time because being T1 myself, I knew what she was in for. And it is not easy.

    I know many people kick in to cheerleader mode for their kids, including me. Everything will be great! It's all good! We can do this and everyone should be happy! But it is not the way everyone feels inside. Personally my daughter is not always happy about being T1. Sometimes she doesn't want to pretend everything is great. I am always here for her and listen to her feelings and tell her it's okay to feel sad if she wants to. She does a fabulous job of doing what she needs to do but if it came to the point where I thought she would benefit from a therapy session or two, we are there. It is a very emotional disease. You do what you think is best for you & Good luck!
     
  7. mamattorney

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    I wholeheartedly agree.
     
  8. caspi

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    My son was just shy of his 8th birthday when dx'd and he never had a delayed reaction. As mentioned above, kids are resilient and sometimes just getting back into their normal routine is all they need.
     
  9. Charliesmom

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    He was little when diagnosed but we are going to talk to the endo about it. I think we will all benefit.
     
  10. StacyMM

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    My daughter was diagnosed at 2 and is now 10. In that time, she's been to see a counselor for 2 series of appointments. Once, when she was younger (maybe 6?) we took her because she was having a lot of sadness about diabetes. SHe was in school and realized that most kids didn't have diabetes and she was getting lots of questions from other kids. She went 4 or 5 times, IIRC, and it was very helpful. They talked her through coping techniques, encouraged journaling, listened, walked through why and how kids ask questions and good ways to respond. She went back later (8, I think) for 2-3 visits. This time, it was anger. She was tired of diabetes. Felt alone. Really, really wanted a cure and was disappointed in not getting one. After a few visits, she felt done with it and we quit going. She knows that if she ever wants to see someone again, she just needs to ask.

    DS is 10. He has no interest in talking to someone and I don't see any reason to push it so he's never been.

    It really depends on the kid and the situation. If you think it would be helpful, look into it. Our counselors have been through our children's hospital child life department and it's nice because they are more familiar with issues that kids with chronic diseases face.
     
  11. KHS22

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    I'd take the cues from your kid.

    Mine, started showing signs of anxiety, obsession etc. Makes sense, at her age, she can;t tell me shes stressed about diabetes, but she's anxious to the point of interfering wtih our lives. Ie. cleaning her bedroom obsessively and not being able to sleep if something is out of place.

    Luckily, our peds team has a psychologist as a part of their group.S o we got a referral to her, to help us know how to help our daughter process this and worry less.
     
  12. Beach bum

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    We are nearly 9 years in and my daughter has talked to someone twice. It wasn't that she was having trouble coping, it was more she just wanted to vent. We find that every few years she asks to talk to someone, but she does get to discuss diabetes at camp, so that helps immensely. I'd definitely let your child lead this. If she's having trouble coping you can always suggest talking to someone neutral.
     
  13. missmakaliasmomma

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    My honest thought is that a lot of time, your child will react to things as you would. We make diabetes no big deal in my house. I have never said " this sucks" (to her face lol ) so to her, it's not really a big deal. Maybe we'll have a problem later on, I don't know. Usually a positive attitude brings more positive attitudes.
     
  14. nanhsot

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    Yes. Diagnosed as a teen, that's a pretty big life change. He needed help dealing with some anger and to find coping mechanisms to deal with rages he feels when high. He went to a counselor with T1 for that.

    Diabetes camp has helped a lot, connected him with peers and gave him lots of support avenues.

    He's in counseling now but I believe it's more college stress than diabetes, but I truly hope they are touching on that as well. We treat diabetes as a normal part of life here but no matter how you look at it, it's intrusive and a pain in the rear, especially in the teen years.

    Keep an eye on your daughter, trust your instincts. If she needs counseling it's not a failure or anything you did wrong. And she very well may not, and that'll be a good thing too.
     
  15. quiltinmom

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    She may, or she may not. It is a whirlwind roller coaster at first, and sometimes emotions surface after the dust settles.

    There are many people who seek counseling for things like this...so many that there are counselors who specialize in helping people (kids especially) deal with lifelong conditions like diabetes. If you need counseling, you should look around for one who specializes in the age of your child, and if you're super lucky, you'll find someone with type 1 diabetes experience. :) But hopefully you wont' need it. She may do just fine. In my opinion, the way a child copes with stuff sometimes (not always) has to do with the way the parents face it. So if you can keep your personal feelings away from her (unless the situation is right) and just try to be positive about it around her, she may sail through with just you as her "counselor." Yes, there will be hard days, she may cry over it eventually, but that just means she's human. :)

    Good luck. It gets easier.
     
  16. obtainedmist

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    Molly, 17 at dx, had a very difficult time for the first few months. She was sad and embarrassed about being different and giving herself shots in front of kids at school. Though she didn't see a therapist, she did get on the treadmill often (on our urging) to get out of her sad moods. The endorphins did help tremendously and set a really good habit for her! I wouldn't have hesitated to take her to a therapist, but she wasn't interested. My husband, on the other hand, saw a therapist at our clinic because of worry over the dx! The pump helped her feel more "normal" and a first boyfriend (who was an angel) helped too! There are still bumps along the way, but on the whole, she has adapted to the whole thing and sees it as just a minor hassle in her life.
     
  17. glko

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    We are 7 months in and my son has done remarkably well, dxd at age 9 last fall. We watched closely for signs of depression, anxiety, withdrawal, etc but if anything we agree that diabetes seems to have made him more resilient and better able to even cope with the minor stressors of school and life. But each child responds differently so if you are thinking maybe she needs to talk then she probably does.
     

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