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Child Adolesc Psychiatr Clin N Am. 2003 Jul;12(3):439-58, vi.

Psychological aspects of diabetes mellitus.

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Yale Child Study Center, National Center for Children Exposed to Violence, Yale University School of Medicine, 230 South Frontage Road, New Haven, CT 06520, USA.


Diabetes mellitus (DM) presents itself in two forms: insulin-dependent (type 1 DM) and non-insulin-dependent (type 2 DM). Although type 2 DM usually has an adult onset, in recent years there has been a significant rise in the number of children diagnosed with type 2 DM in the United States. Reasons for this increased frequency are believed to be a larger percentage of children who are overweight, a family history of diabetes, and a considerable increase in the use of psychotropic medication in children. The diagnosis of DM is a significant stressor not only for patients but also for their environment. Children with DM are sometimes stigmatized by their peers and relatives who do not understand the illness or are frightened by it. Some children also may need to alter several of their customary routines and are often scared to participate in activities in which they were previously engaged. The family's response to the diagnosis of DM may have a negative effect on glycemic control. Differences have been found in the way patients with type 1 DM and type 2 DM cope with and adapt to their diagnosis.

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