Friday, November 14, 2008

Poll: Young people and coping with diabetes

Today I saw this article in the top headlines on Google:

Poll finds that yng diabetes patients have trouble coping

The article is about children and teens with type 1 diabetes, and how well they cope with their condition. Essentially, the poll found that half of young diabetics have "difficulty coping with diabetes," and many suffer from depression as a result.

Interestingly, a common complaint was that teachers and school faculty are not well educated on diabetes, let alone prepared for dealing with diabetic students. Since I have postulated before society's lack of education on diabetes has lead to many misunderstandings about diabetes, I am pretty sure I would agree if I had a diabetic child in school (or if I had become diabetic while I was still in school).

The article also advocates websites, blogs, and discussion boards as support for diabetic children and their parents — as long as they are legitimate resources, which the article defines as those being "monitored by health care professionals." However, I would also go a step further, to say that blogs and websites written by type 1 diabetics who are fairly positive about their diabetes should also be considered legitimate resources. Obviously someone like myself can't give professional medical advice, but I do think that our experiences with diabetes can be helpful to others and should be shared.

The biggest and most important thing that I think I could say to help other young type 1 diabetics cope is: Be proud of who you are. Having type 1 diabetes sets you apart from others, but it's not a difference to be ashamed of. In my opinion, it's a difference that will always encourage you to lead healthier, happier lives than your non-diabetic peers. And when you look at it that way, there's not really that much to be depressed about!

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