How do we avoid marital stress through all of this?

My husband and I are so worried about our son, who was diagnosed a little over a year ago and also suffers from anxiety and is having a very difficult time in school that we fight all the time… the stress of all of this is taking a huge toll on our relationship. I am not blaming my son because he is innocent but we are trying everything… testing for ADD, anxiety, counseling, working with the school, etc… Everyone says it will get better but it seems to have gotten worse after the first few months… I am doing everything to stave off depression but it hits me hard sometimes and I’ll just start sobbing… I’m angry with friends whose kids are healthy and I just don’t feel joy much anymore. My 18 year old daughter is stressed too… my son would be perfectly happy to stay home and play video games, facebook, etc… This disease and his anxiety have caused him to isolate himself… I just pray we all get through this… I just needed to vent…

Hi! :slight_smile:

I’m sorry,that your Son was dxd. Diseases shouldn’t happen to any Child. It’s not surprising that you are feeling stressed but none of you’s are to blame. Each one are just reacting naturally.

I could name 14 out of 20 Kids that I know who would just love to stay home and play video games. These games are addictive for young minds…and old ones. Some People are introverts and somee extroverts. Some are anti-social. Some are social butterflys. Thankfully we are all different. It makes for a much more interesting world.

You haven’t said much about your Son but that is Good that he has Professional/Medical People to talk to, when he needs to. You and yoour Hubby may need the same outlet with someone who is experienced in that field. I hate to ask but was your Son put on any meds for his anxiety? I don’t know how old he is.

You and your Hubby are the foundation of your Son’s Life…and your Daughter. Keep them both close. You and your Hubby need to stick together. Talk, compromise, sometimes agree to disagree. But you must come to an agreement when it comes to the rules of raising your Son and the different paths that he will need to take in order to mature into a hopefully healthy young Man. Being totally strict or totally do-what-you-want will not help. Every Child needs some leeway and thinking that they have won or has made the right decisions and to be praised, of course. Kids hear when their Parents are arguing in the same house, even when they are pretending to be asleep. This stresses them out and they take the blame for it when the argument is about them which makes things worse. .

You and your Hubby may need to get help too and even your Daughter. To make sure that your mental health is as intact as possible. No one is 100% in everything but we all have to try with whatever help that is out there. This is tough stuff. I wish so many Good things in the years ahead for your Family.

This doesn’t necessarily apply to your Son but is interesting and hopeful. I know some of both extremes. Most are quite intelligent.

" Contrary to what most people think, an introvert is not simply a person who is shy. In fact, being shy has little to do with being an introvert! Shyness has an element of apprehension, nervousness and anxiety, and while an introvert may also be shy, introversion itself is not shyness. Basically, an introvert is a person who is energized by being alone and whose energy is drained by being around other people.

Introverts are more concerned with the inner world of the mind. They enjoy thinking, exploring their thoughts and feelings. They often avoid social situations because being around people drains their energy. This is true even if they have good social skills. After being with people for any length of time, such as at a party, they need time alone to “recharge.”

When introverts want to be alone, it is not, by itself, a sign of depression. It means that they either need to regain their energy from being around people or that they simply want the time to be with their own thoughts. Being with people, even people they like and are comfortable with, can prevent them from their desire to be quietly introspective.

Being introspective, though, does not mean that an introvert never has conversations. However, those conversations are generally about ideas and concepts, not about what they consider the trivial matters of social small talk".



(I m going offer the same thought I offer ot most every new diabetic. I suggest this because had I have been given a chance to do it, my life would have been much better. Here goes, counseling. People on this site are likely tired of hearing me say it but I I think it is the start of acceptance and without that one is firefighting. My suggestion at this point is to fine an adult therapist who works with grief patients. I realize you have not lost anyone, but you have lost the appearance of self control.

After the family settles, you should enroll your son in individual therapy about how adjust. I strongly suggest the later. It will make a big big difference in the long run.

rick phillips

I am so sorry for your sons diagnosis and his anxiety issues as a mother I know how hard it is to see your child struggle. I too have diabetes and am also diagnosed with an anxiety disorder which the diabetes has exacerbated tremendously always worrying about bg levels, what I have to eat, what if I go high/low, etc it is a constant struggle mentally and can be very overwhelming. Has your son been to a physciatrist for treatment yet? I too when I am going through a time where my anxiety is at it’s worst feel much more comfortable just staying at home and not leaving the house and as hard as it is the only way to overcome this is to FORCE him to get out of the house more and more which my Husband who is my rock did for me in the past. It’s a very shameful and embarrasing condition because you feel like no one else understands or you do not want them to know because of what they may think…only someone who has had anxiety can truly understand!! I highly highly highly recommend “The Linden Method” that and my faith were the only things that have gotten me through diffucult times of high anxiety. Please make sure you at least google the linden method and if at all possible ORDER IT FOR HIM it is worth the money trust me!! I have gone back to it multiple times as anxiety tends to come in “waves” where you tend to get better and then all of a sudden have severe anxiety again.

Also I in the past have gone to an “anxiety coach” who taught me cognitive behavioural therapy which is a huge coping tool as well but I still highly recommend “The Linden Method”.

Hope he finds some relief soon…anxiety and diabetes are both very isolating illnesses that can make you feel like you are the “only one”. Best of luck and keep us updated!

Very good insight about introverts… it totally makes sense… I think in reality, my son is dealing with it in his own way. My concerns are that some days he just won’t go to school, says he’s tired… it’s as if he just needs a day off. Usually, he goes back the next day. He misses, on average, about 1 day a week. Not good but it could be worse… He failed a couple of subjects and has to make those up in summer school. He is smart, just lacks motivation. We think he may be ADD. I think it is almost harder for me and my husband to watch because we know his potential… also my older daughter is a super high achiever, straight A’s, type a, etc… not that she’s perfect but we’ve never had to worry about school with her. My husband is frustrated and when he gets frustrated, he gets angry and wants to find someone to blame (usually me)… My son doesn’t want to go on meds. He does take Atavan when he needs to go to the dentist or is just really nervous. If he doesn’t start improving with behavioral counseling, we may revisit the option of medication… this is all very complicated and I have been told that I am doing everything I should be doing but I still feel like I’m not…

My son doesn’t have diabetes, but he has special needs. And school has been really difficult for him as well. As a teenager, it is all hard. Your relationships with social peers become more important than your family and you just don’t want to be be different. Your son’s reaction is perfectly normal. And you personally may not have come to terms with your son’s diagnosis. He has a chronic disease. You may go through very similar feelings that people that actually have diabetes go through. Denial, anger, depression, bargaining, and finally reaching acceptance.

Why is it bad that your son isolates himself at times? Maybe he won’t have a lot of close friends and be a social butterfly at school. And maybe it is ok to let him spend some “quality” time at home playing video games.

I have a good friend, she was diagnosed at age fourteen. A terrible age to become diabetic. She went through real denial, and did everything that she could to never let anyone else know, including not treating. And it made her terribly depressed and a nightmare at home. But in the end, she has come through fine, she is a now much more accepting about things, talk about diabetes with her friends and a responsible young lady off at college. Have some faith and confidence. During the teen years, you lose “control” of your kids as they emerge as responsible adults. They won’t make the choices you would and attempts to make them accept your choices result in conflict. Continue to urge your kids to make good choices and support them but have faith, your son will be fine.

Thanks for the words of wisdom. My son is 14, a Freshman in High school and was diagnosed at age 13. I often think it would have been better if he was diagnosed younger… just because he would have had time to adjust to the disease before going through adolescence and having to transition to high school… bad timing… But then I realize that every year of not having the dx was a healthy year of growth…

I was 11 when I was dx, and being a teenager with Type 1 was really hard. I had anxiety issues, too, which I overcame with counseling & medication. One thing that helped me TREMENDOUSLY was going to diabetes camp. Actually, when I was first diagnosed with diabetes, the second thing my doctor told us after he said “you have diabetes” was “you should go to diabetes camp this summer”. Best advice we ever got! I was really scared to go at first, but absolutely LOVED it once I was there for a couple of days. I met so many other kids just like me, dealing with the same stuff, and it was a huge self esteem booster and helped me be much less anxious about diabetes. Also, it gave my parents a much needed break from constantly caring for me while I was there. So it was a good thing for everyone! There are diabetes camps in almost every state in the U.S., I think. You can google “diabetes camps” to find one near you, or I’m sure your local JDRF chapter would have a list for you. Often, there are lots of scholarships or other financial assistance to help kids get to camp. If that is something your child might be interested in at all, I would highly suggest it.

Additionally, I second all the things that others have suggested (family or couples counseling-specifically about dealing w/ chronic illness & grief, re-visiting the more regular medication issue for your son’s anxiety, and especially reaching out to other families in your situation, etc.)

Good Luck! You and your family are not alone in this!

I’m sorry to hear about what sounds like a brutally difficult situation.

All I can add is that our 12 year old generally seems to be genuinely happier when she is grounded from using the computer. We like that she is adept at using it but the tendency to zone out seems pretty insurmountable. Fortunately, when she isn’t grounded from it, her temper often will get her regrounded in a couple of days. If we’d ever see a situation where she’d look up Johannes Kepler or dragonfish or CERN or whatever, we would probably be less heavy-handed with it but we have seen very little of that and lots of what amounts to IM ‘garbage’ “I’m bored” “I’m bored too” [never, “let’s go for a bike ride!” or “let’s play tennis” or whatever…"].

I know… it’s the generation… my daughter is constantly checking her phone for texts too… We’ve taken away his computer game access for various reasons and it’s a really good incentive for him to straighten up but I don’t think we could ever completely take it away… he and his friends love it so much and it’s almost a social thing…

Thanks for the insight. He refused to go to camp last summer. He’s not a camper type and never went before so we didn’t push the issue but I agree it would be good. We are going to “Friends for Life” this summer in Orlando. It’s a huge convention put on by JDRF… he is not getting a choice… it’s going to be “family vacation”. My son can be really stubborn and if he doesn’t want to do something it’s impossible to “make him”… hopefully he will outgrow that attitude soon!

They are challenged hanging out “IRL” since their whole communication paradigm is engineered to avoid parents who, at least with 12 year olds, pretty much have to be involved to drive them anywhere? We are always like “if you want to do something this weekend, get things planned ahead of time, or maybe CALL THEM since talking is still faster than txting!!” so even if they start early the plans collapse 1/2 the time because half of the kids “commit” and then discover that their evil parents had other plans for them? I dunno. It amazes me. She does ok w/o the computer and it really seems to improve her disposition. If she “needs” it for something, we are always willing to negotiate. Which, of course, involves talking to us! Pleasantly please!!

Peggy, I was 16 when diagnosed. I was a teen with a Divorce going on when Diagnosed,.So I know how my Ilness affected the family. I wanted to go hide and stay away. It is normal, it is a very difficult diagnoses for Parents and the Child more. We think everyone is watching us, going to judge us, it both happens. We can feel like a Freak when no one we know has this. There is no special feeling of having this to our self. I know if I had FB or games to paly back then I would have choosen this. Its easy, friends on FB are Blind to know us for real in so many ways. Kids are all kids, and they can share what they want and still have fun on there.
Having a Parent that gets so frustrated and takes it out on the other Parent, the children know. So your son just may be harboring this and blaming his self and he doesn’t have the tools to know how to deal with Grown up problems, so he wants to sleep or hide out.

I agree, find the JDRF in your area ASAP, he can find others his age with it, and they can be a great influence on him. And your Husband and you can get involved and maybe even his sister. Make this a Family thing, and it may open doors none of you were ever expecting.

Fighting, yelling and becoming mad doesn’t resolve anything. Maybe all this vocal stress and frustration need to quiet for awhile and then come back and talk…

I hope you all can find Peace in your lives.


I was diagnosed and I was released from the hospital on my 17th birthday. It was tough, really tough. But i want you to know your son is reliant and will make it through. I repeat my idea, above, and offer it with a twist now that I know he is older.

I am a 36 almost 37 year diabetic and i desperately wish my family wold have sought out therapy for me when I was DX’d. Had they done that I feel my lief would have been easier and my acceptance of the disease better. So if my sons or grandchildren developed the disease i would immediately suggest they get to a therapist. your son is 14 and I suggest the same. I know you will say that he is not mentally challenged, a good kid, so on so forth. I am sure he is. But when your life suddenly looks very short and very different this is the time when a person especially needs help.

Before I was DX’d I had never drank after, I consumed as much alcohol a si possibly could. It is not that I was trying to heal myself, rather I was trying to run away. It nearly ruined my life,and it sent me into a 20 year tail spin. I always suggest grief counseling, after all it is a loss, mostly of ones self. Even if it is a quick round of talk therapy and its only purpose is to make it alright later in life, he will be better off and so will you.

As a friend of mine once said, people will deal with pain, they can do it productively or unproductively. It is is better to show the productive path, so that one day if things really go south the individual will have a productive way back.

i liked that, so i took up alcohol, and did nto deal with it. It was a mistake.

rick phillips

I sort of had the opposite experience, I was dx’ed @ 16 too but was pretty focused on not letting diabetes get in the way of stuff. I consumed quite a bit of alcohol too but mostly in a sort of festive, party atmosphere (learned how to play bass and guitar, 80s college rock, strobe lights, Black Moses, etc …) and kept diabetes in line and enjoyed myself tremendously and still do. I shifted gears as I got older I sort of wallowed in the doldrums for a while, reading and eating and gained weight but then got into exercising and have had a good time with that? Except for the doldrums (even then, now that I think about it, I had some fun with a book club?), I was kind of engaged with others? I’m a bit more solitary now which makes me a bit shaky but I think that computers are a poor substitute for reality. Said he. On his computer? :-]

My son was perfectly fine and then he was in a car crash no fault of his own and had a severely crunched pelvis I had to take care of him for a year. He is reasonably fine but I the diabetic never recovered from the stress and my disease got a lot worsts. Maybe one day I will become zen buddhist see if that helps.

Fighting with my favorite female was never part of our marriage she is my best friend why would I fight with her.

Peggy you need to do something to reduce your stress or you may fall sick also and then you will really be in a pickle.

Thanks for your insight. My son is getting counseling though it’s been sporadic. I also talk to someone about twice a month and it does help. I am a big believer in therapy. I was seeing a therapist even before the diagnosis and I am actually a pretty well adjusted person. Mental health is just like physical health and cannot be ignored. I think anyone can benefit from counseling from time to time!

The teen boys are all obsessed with this computer game called “World of Warcraft” or something… they play online together and get to all different kinds of levels… It is truly addictive but they all do it and it’s become a great negotiating tool for us… All I have to say is “if you want the game, then you will.(insert chore, homework, etc…).” pretty pathetic huh?

Words of Wisdom… I am trying but it’s hard to convince another person who is also under stress, that they are being unreasonable… We still have good days but it’s been a real challenge getting through this intact…

This is were Jesus approach is best “turn the other cheek”. during an argument it is best not to try and show that your point of view is correct the more so if it is actually is correct. My favorite female was not in a good mood this morning and quite belligerent. I declined to participate. He did not get much sleep last night, also her A1c was 6% not good for a non diabetic. I told her welcome to the club and that we should do something. She is not co-operative and the doctor was not helpful by saying it is fine. I think she is concerned but reality has not seeped in yet.