I never liked high school. I got named ‘junky boy’ on the first day. I have diabetes … I started doing my own injections in high school and had to wear a special wristband. It didn’t take long for the bullying to get worse. I stopped going out and spent more time alone.
I started getting irritable at home and didn’t want to see anyone, preferring to stay up late when I could be alone. I started to feel really tired in the morning, and soon I wouldn’t get up and refused to go to school.
I felt ‘ill’ all the time and my brother started to call me ‘vampire’. I looked pale and had no friends. My parents had had enough of trying to get me to school and I even remember seeing mum in tears. That was when we spoke to the nurse in the diabetic clinic and it was suggested that I go to see the psychiatry team in hospital. I was reluctant, but I did go and I’m really glad.
When we met the team, we talked about my problems and I was asked to keep a sleep diary. We also tried ‘sleep hygiene techniques’ – these are tips on helping you sleep, but these didn’t work.
The specialist doctor prescribed some medication and arranged for us to meet with some people from education and the diabetic clinic. It felt like the first time that people were listening. I now have a work placement and was lucky to get involved with an organisation that arranges activities for young people with similar problems to me. I met my girlfriend there.
I am really sleeping much better now and go to the special teenage diabetic clinic where I get more support. I still don’t go to school, but I have a home internet package and am hoping to go to College. My mum is smiling for the first time in months.