Currently, a disease is ravaging America as it turns into an epidemic. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC; 2017), in 2015, there were approximately 23.25 Americans that were diagnosed with diabetes. This number has been climbing steadily for over a century. An epidemic as fast growing as diabetes is studied rather closely.
This disease can affect anyone at any age, though the types of diabetes varies from person to person. While it depends on how the individual is effected by the disease, they are always affected. The way they are raised by their parents, the way they live their daily lives, their self-control, and even their personality all determines how affected the patient is. Psychological effects happens to patients of all type of diabetes and, in the case of type one diabetes, extends to the parents of young diabetics.
As a brief summary, four types of diabetes exists: type one, type two, gestational diabetes, and prediabetes. Type one diabetes is considered to be a genetic disorder and happens at a younger age in most cases. With type one diabetes, no insulin is produced whatsoever and in order to stay alive, a type one diabetic must inject themselves with insulin when they ingest carbohydrates (CDC, 2018). With type two diabetes, the body does not make and use insulin very well.
A type two diabetic injects insulin to compensate for the lack of body produced insulin. Type two diabetes is not genetic. Gestational diabetes occurs in pregnant woman who have never had diabetes (CDC, 2018). Gestational diabetes generally goes away after the baby is born. However, babies can be born with an increased risk of health complications (CDC, 2018). Lastly, prediabetes is simply when a person has higher blood sugars, but not high enough to be diagnosed with diabetes (CDC, 2018). While these different types of diabetes have different circumstances, they all affect an individual psychologically.
Psychological development occurs most significantly during childhood and the adolescent period, especially during adolescence. Diabetes becomes a lifestyle in the way that one has to live their life with diabetes, especially type one, which requires a daily strict regimen. Without this regimen, the person would have severe health problems which could cause death. If the child is diagnosed with diabetes early on in their childhood and is incapable of injecting themselves and care for themselves, then the parents must do it.
This may become a problem for some parents, as they feel they are hurting their young children and the child is most likely incapable of understanding why the parent is hurting them. According to an article written by Whittemore, Jaser, Chao, Jang, & Grey (2012), there are four common themes that parents experience while raising their child with type one diabetes. Explained below is the psychological effects of parents and their experiences.
Difficult diagnosis is the first barrier for parents raising a young child with diabetes.
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