TEEN TOPICS – WEEK #78: Is it better to be open about, or hide your diabetes?

Annelies (age 15)

I think that it’s better to be open about your diabetes. It’s a part of you, and it’s not going away, so why hide it?

Andrew (age 15)
I find it better to be open about your diabetes, that’s how I am personally, and that’s because it allows you to be more open in general. If you are constantly worrying about hiding your diabetes it can take a toll on you emotionally. In addition to the negative effects of hiding your diabetes, being open about your diabetes also makes people around you more comfortable with your diabetes which can make you feel more confident.

Cameron (age 18)
I think it depends on how you feel about it personally. It’s not a bad thing to be open or quiet about your diabetes. It all depends on how you view it. Personally, I’m open about it, but I think that’s mostly because I’m an extrovert (which means I’m outgoing).

Caroline (age 15)
I think it is much better to be open about your diabetes. For a long time, I didn’t want anyone to know that I had Type 1 and that made it really hard for me, looking back on it. I was always having to go to the bathroom to check my sugar or going behind something in the nurse’s office to give myself a shot because I didn’t want anyone else to know. I feel like it is harder on you to hide your diabetes, and I think you shouldn’t care what other people think about you because everybody is different, special and unique in their own way. Sometime, diabetes happens to be the way that you are different than others.

Christina (age 15)
From my diabetic journey, I have come to realize it is so much better to be open about your diabetes. It took me a long time to learn this, but it feels so much better when you feel you don’t have to hide a part of yourself from people at school. Now, I can nonchalantly share that I have diabetes without being embarrassed and freaked out that I will be judged. Instead I take a second to educate someone and feel better that I can do what I have to do to take care of myself and not have to hide it.

Claire (age 18)
It’s ALWAYS better to be open. Yes, it can be embarrassing to talk about, and even frustrating when you get the repetitive, “Oh, so you can’t have sugar?” Or the, “Wow, you must’ve eaten too much sugar as a kid.” Or from the really gutsy people who say, “Oh, well you’re not THAT fat.” Yes, it can be annoying to even bring it up, but as far as your overall health goes, it’s better if as many people around you know what’s going on and what to do in case of an emergency.

Erin (age 18)
I think it depends on the situation but I think overall, it’s better to be open in case something happens such as super low/high blood sugars.

Haley (age 14)
It’s probably best to be open about diabetes. I think if I started trying to hide it, I would just create more stress for myself. Also, if people know about it I have more opportunities to educate them about the disease and if I ever needed help they would know what to do.

Ian (age 15)
It is best to stay private. You eliminate the possibility of discrimination, and you can truly say “I don’t want sympathy” without being hypocritical.

Jon (age 16)
In my opinion it is better to always be open about having type 1.  There is really no reason to hide that you experience life in a unique way where you have to monitor your blood sugars.  It is also good for others to know in case of an emergency.  I have found most people to be very understanding and nice about the fact I explained what I’m doing when I stop to check my number or treat and the reason I need to.

Jordan (age 19)
I think it’s better to be open, because it’s better for your safety, and it lets people know the responsibility they have to help you if you are having a problem. I also don’t think it’s anything to be ashamed of, so why would I hide?

Julia (age 15)
I think it’s better to be open about diabetes. That way if I need help with something people will know what to do.

Laura (age 18)
I guess it just depends on the person. I’m mostly open about it, if need be, but if I’m in a situation in where it’s not needed information, I just keep it to myself. The best option of the two, of course, would to be open. That way if there happened to be an emergency people would be prepared.

Lexi (age 16)
I feel it’s best to be open about it. I like explaining it to people and getting their reactions.

Maggie (age 17)
I am open with my diabetes. I don’t hide it at all and I teach everyone how to take care of me in case there is an emergency.

McKenna (age 16)
It is always best to be open about your diabetes.

Skylyn (age 17)
Having diabetes for over 9 years, I can say that I have done both. When I was younger, in elementary school, I mostly hid my diabetes. I didn’t want people to know and thought they would treat me different if they knew about my diabetes. Now, I don’t really care and I let people know soon after meeting them that I have diabetes. I have learned that most people don’t really care either. I haven’t ever been treated badly or anything because of my diabetes.

Vanessa (age 16)
I’ve always been really open about it. I would tell my friends and everyone around me that I had diabetes, and if they had questions I was more than happy to answer them and educate them. I hate how so many people are uneducated about the disease and think they know what it is off of the same “if you eat too much sugar you’ll be a diabetic” saying that people have always said. I feel like the more I open up about it and tell people, the more people learn. That makes me feel good knowing I’m educating people about it.


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