Role of a Psychologist in Type 1 Diabetes

Dr. Ashima Shukla (Counselling Psychologist, Mind & Body Medicine Specialist & Wellness Coach) explains that during teenage, children experience physical and hormonal transformations. At a time like this, if they are diagnosed with diabetes, they are struggling with two things: fluctuating hormones and blood sugar levels. Therefore, parents have to observe whether symptoms such as moodiness and irritability are because of the growth spurt, or because their sugar is low. Hormonal growth spurts can often lead to mismanagement of diabetes. Additionally, if these symptoms are paired with those of depression it is important to seek the advice of a psychologist.

Aside from this, Dr. Ashima asks parents to work towards increasing the confidence levels of their children as the life of a diabetic child is very different from that of his peers. You have to encourage them to pursue art, music, dance, and theatre for creative expression, and motivate them to exercise regularly. Finally, Dr. Ashima states that because diabetes is a long-term disease, it is important to involve your children in its management by allowing them to make decisions about what and how much they would like to eat while impressing the importance of discipline.

Dr. Anchal Bhagat (Senior Consultant Psychiatry & Physiotherapy, Apollo Hospital) states that parents are often surrounded with fear when they learn that their child is diagnosed with diabetes. However, this fear can be dispelled with information. He recommends parents to not scare the children as fear cannot be the definition of anyone’s life and instead, helping them discover a way around diabetes. Speaking about the strengths and opportunities before discussing the limitations can empower children.

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