Thursday, May 26, 2005

Dear Abby:

I am 12 and in the eighth grade. I have thought about suicide many times, and earlier pulled out a knife and almost slit my wrists.

If I tell my parents, they won't believe me. They'll think I'm making it up to get attention. If I talk to the school counselor, she'll tell my parents for sure.

I'm afraid of myself when I'm home alone sometimes. Can you please help me?

Afraid of Myself, Pennsylvania

You need more help than anyone can give you in a letter. Preoccupation with suicide is serious and calls for help from a mental health professional.

Because you feel your parents may minimize the seriousness of your suicidal thoughts if you tell them, ask a trusted teacher or school counselor to help you. Perhaps if they hear it from another adult, your parents will treat the news with the seriousness it deserves.

Another option would be to call a crisis hotline when you are tempted to injure yourself. Just pick up the phone and ask the operator to connect you. I wish you luck and a speedy recovery from this illness.

Dear Abby:

A few months ago, I was out shopping when I got the urge to use the washroom. When I got there, the line was out the door. There was about a 10-minute wait.

As I finally neared the stall, the woman ahead of me in line began to bounce. I could empathize. But right before a stall became available, a woman in a wheelchair rolled in and parked next to us. (Of course, the handicap stall was the next one available.)

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