If things get difficult at school



Sometimes even if everyone has tried their best, things don’t always work out as well as you want them to. So if there are things at school that are worrying you, tell someone as soon as possible so it can be sorted out before there’s a big problem.

Here are some tips that might help.

If children at school say nasty things about you and your diabetes

Some people really don’t understand diabetes and they say silly things about it. So let’s set the record straight about some of the things people say:

  • You didn’t get Type 1 diabetes because you ate too many sweets.You didn’t get Type 1 diabetes because you ate too many sweets.Eating sweets doesn’t cause Type 1 diabetes and anyone who says it does doesn’t know what they’re talking about. Type 1 is caused by some of your body cells attacking the cells in your body that make insulin and that means those cells can’t make insulin anymore. We don’t fully know why that happens, but we do know it’s nothing that you or anyone else has done, and it’s certainly nothing to do with eating sweets.
  • You didn’t get Type 1 diabetes because you used to be fat.You didn’t get Type 1 diabetes because you used to be fat.People who are overweight are more likely to get Type 2 diabetes (the one that’s more common in grownups) and some people think that it’s the same for Type 1. But that’s because they don’t understand that Type 1 and Type 2 are different conditions caused by different things. So it’s nonsense to say you got it because you used to be fat.
  • You can’t catch diabetes.You can’t catch diabetes.We’ve talked about what causes diabetes and it’s nothing to do with catching it from someone else like you can a cold. Otherwise there’d be a whole lot more people with it than there are already – think how quickly a cold goes round your class!

You might hear other things about diabetes that upset or worry you. If you do, the best thing to do is talk to your Mum or Dad or nurse about them and they’ll put you right. Don’t keep it to yourself and worry about it, as chances are you’re worrying about nothing.

If you are bullied because of your diabetes

Bullying does happen at school, and it’s often because of jealousy or not understanding. If you’re being bullied it might be because people think you’re getting more attention at school, or getting special treatment, or they might be frightened they’ll catch diabetes.

But bullying is wrong, whatever it’s about.

If you’re being bullied, you really need to tell someone. That might feel hard, but it’s the only way to stop it. And speaking up can stop it happening to someone else too.

All schools take bullying very seriously, so talk to your Mum or Dad and your teacher and they’ll definitely deal with it.

If diabetes is getting you down

We all feel fed up about things sometimes – it could be something we don’t want to do or somewhere we don’t want to go. It’s normal to feel fed up with having diabetes too.

Maybe it’s feeling different from your friends. Or if you’ve had diabetes for some time maybe you feel down about having to do injections or hypos getting in the way of having fun.

If you’re newly diagnosed you might feel worried about it and how it will affect you, particularly at school when your parents aren’t around.

But talking to someone about it will make you feel better.

If you want to talk about it

There are lots of people who can help you, and different people can help you with different problems. There’s your Mum or Dad, brothers and sisters, a friend, your nurse, a teacher, or a school counselor if there is one.

Your parents can also ring the Diabetes UK Helpline, where they can get helpful information and support to help you at school. 

Ask Libby

If something's worrying you or you just need some answers, get in touch and we can help.


Remember Libby, the specialist nurse Nadeem saw at his clinic visit, and who keeps popping up all over the site? Well, she works for Diabetes UK too, and so do lots of other people who can help, so just email in and one of us will be able to help you.

We won't tell anyone else, so don't be shy or worried.

It's easy

Just tell us what's on your mind (remember to tell us your age) and we will give you an answer.

Plus ...

The Diabetes UK Helpline is open 9am to 6pm, Monday to Friday, on 0345 123 2399 if you or your family need to talk to someone who can help with your diabetes problems.

Please remember to ask for permission from whoever pays the phone bills before you call. See the on the phone page for call cost details.

blue-splat blue-star pink-star splat splat splat splat