Being a teenager and trying to figure out where you fit in and belong is already hard enough, without the added stress of a medical condition that sets you apart from the rest. A recent study has shown that young people with diabetes are four times more likely to be hospitalized for mental health treatment than those without the disease. “Depression is two to three times more common among young people with diabetes than those that don’t have the disease”, says Tina Drossos, a clinical psychologist at the University of Chicago Medicine.
Managing the disease is tough at any age, but teenagers may find it particularly challenging to constantly test their blood, monitor their carbohydrates and manage their insulin levels. These tasks get in the way of normal teenage life, and this can turn into mental issues like anxiety and depression.
“It was definitely not something that we were expecting,” says Amanda Frost, a senior researcher at HCCI, who worked on the study. “HCCI researchers will examine the trend more closely in future work.”