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Teen knows she needs to get help

Dear Abby: I really need some feedback. When I was 13, I would cut myself. I stopped around 15 after an attempted overdose that didn't work. I did it because my parents were stressed due to money problems and ignored me or yelled at me a lot. I was also bullied in school. I had just moved here, so there was no one to turn to.

Suddenly, in the last week, I have begun binge eating. I see no hope for me graduating, no hope for my life or my future. I wake up wanting to go back to sleep or overdose. My wrists have throbbed at the thought of wanting to cut again, and last night I had a dream of jumping off a building. All day I have had the same daydream of hitting the ground. I cry randomly for no reason. I have thought of multiple ways to kill myself.

This just started. I can't see why I can't be happy. My brother is coming home from Afghanistan. I should be ecstatic.

I plan on talking to a counselor tomorrow because I am not sure how to handle this. I don't want to get into such a state that I'll let myself overdose again. Thank you for your time. I just need some guidance on how to handle this.

-- Wavering Girl in Watertown

Dear Wavering Girl: You are also a smart girl to be reaching out for help. I hope by the time you read this you will have spoken to a counselor about your feelings, because it appears you are suffering from a severe depression, which can impair a person's judgment. Being bullied at school and worried about graduating would be enough to trigger it. The behaviors you describe mean you need to talk to -- and probably be medicated by -- a mental health care professional.

If you had given me your phone number, I would have talked with you personally about this -- and, with your permission, spoken to your parents about it. Your counselor can help you reach out for the help you need, but if you experience more suicidal impulses, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline by calling 800-273-8255.