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For Teens & Young Adults

Building a Support Network

By in For Teens & Young Adults

Diabetes is something that is best not handled alone. Finding people you trust, and then being open and honest with the people in your life about what it takes to manage diabetes, are both important.  As they say, we all need somebody to lean on.

So where do you go for support?

  • Your Parents: Your parents are the best place to start. In many cases, they are eager to help (ok…let’s face it, sometimes too eager).  Set boundaries and be specific about how you want them to help.
  • Friends: Try to find a trusted friend at school who knows what you go through. Someone who knows what it looks like when you’re low and might even carry some glucose tabs in their backpack “just in case.”
  • Others Teens with Diabetes: There’s nothing like talking to people who just “get it” without you having to explain. You might be lucky and have a friend at school with diabetes, or just someone who also uses an insulin pump and you can “wave from across the campus.” If you are feeling alone, attend diabetes camp, participate in a local JDRF event, or plan a family vacation at the Friends for Life Conference.
  • Other People in Your Life. You might be surprised to find people who really want to know more about what your life is like with diabetes, but they are afraid to ask. You may have to make it “okay” for them by being the one who opens up first.  You might be surprised by how many people wanted there for you, but didn’t know how to help.

Even though it may be hard, opening up to others can be a great first step. Diabetes is a part of your life and what makes you uniquely you, and you’ll find that your relationships will be more authentic when you are open and honest about yourself.


Updated 6/15/20

This document is not intended to take the place of the care and attention of your personal physician or other professional medical services. Our aim is to promote active participation in your care and treatment by providing information and education. Questions about individual health concerns or specific treatment options should be discussed with your physician.


Sources of Support

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Diabetes Camps and Conferences