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Tips for Teens with Diabetes: Diabetes and Your Feelings


Many teens like you deal with diabetes every day. Most of the time, it’s not a problem. But sometimes, you just want diabetes to go away. Do you ever…

  • Ask “why me?”
  • Think you are the only one who feels sad, mad, alone, afraid, or different?
  • Get tired of others teasing you?
  • Blame others for your diabetes?
  • Feel ashamed?

These feelings are normal.

Everyone feels down some of the time. But do not let diabetes keep you down.

It is ok to ask for help. Talk to your family, other teens, a friend, a school counselor, and your health care team. Write down your feelings.

Tell your school about your diabetes. Give the school a copy of your diabetes care plan.

You can do all the things your friends do!

Do you want to meet other teens who feel like you do?

  • Ask your health care team about a support group, or find one online.
  • Go to a diabetes camp or weight loss summer camp if you need to lose weight. Some groups have money to help payfor camps.
  • Write or email a friend who has diabetes. Ask your parents to help you find a friend online if you don’t know anyone who has diabetes.

Ever worry that your friends may have wrong ideas about diabetes?

Tell them that:

  • You have diabetes.
  • No one can catch diabetes from you.

The more people know, the more they understand.

Good friends help each other out. If other teens make fun of you, just walk away.

Take Action!

Set goals.

Start with small changes such as “I will tell my new friend about my diabetes.” When that is going well, add a new goal such as “I will dance or bike ride every day after school” or “I will check by blood glucose more often.”

Make new goals a bit harder, but not too hard.

Do not say you will never eat a burger or a candy bar. Instead say you will eat only one a week.

Share your goals with your family or friends.

Ask them to help by being more active with you.

Reward yourself by doing something that makes you feel good. Rewards can be anything—not just food.

Imagen de una familia o padres, hijo, hija y abuelos caminando en la playa

What’s healthy for you is healthy for your family.

Your family can help!

It’s easier to manage diabetes when your family works with you.

Ask your family to:

  • Help you when you feel down or need to talk.
  • Eat healthy foods:
    Fruits and vegetables; whole grain breads; low-fat meat, milk, and cheese; brown rice; and beans.
  • Get moving by being more active.
    Play basketball or soccer, ride bikes, or go for a walk—together. Being more active helps you relax and lower stress.

Imagen de una muchacha escribiendo

If you try these ideas and you still feel down, tell your family and your health care team so they can find more help for you.

​Write down three goals:
Pick goals that you think you can do. When you do them, add three more. You are on your way to feeling good about yourself and your diabetes.


The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ National Diabetes Education Program (NDEP) is jointly sponsored by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) with the support of more than 200 partner organizations.

This information is not copyrighted. The NIDDK encourages people to share this content freely.


November 2012


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