Diabetes Diagnosis Is Traumatic for Parents
Psychological Support Is Critical to Cope With Child's Illness
Support Is Key continued...
Pediatric diabetes specialist Barney Softness, MD, tells WebMD that the parental grief documented in the study will surprise no one who works in the field. He says much of the focus is on the parents in the days following a child's diabetes diagnosis. Softness is a pediatric endocrinologist at Columbia University's Naomi Berrie Diabetes Center.
"With diabetes there is a lot a parent has to learn in a very short period of time. Some parents are totally freaked out and others jump right in," he says.
Softness says that while a diagnosis of diabetes does change a family forever, after awhile most parents are surprised to find that their lives and those of their children are pretty normal.
"At first there is a real mourning process, but after about a year most of the parents I deal with are in a much different place."
"You just get on with it," she says. "As they get older you get used to letting them go on school trips and sleepovers. At first you feel like sitting up all night chewing your nails."