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Amanda, 13 1/2, is not one of the "in" kids whom everyone wants to sit next to. "What's wrong with me," she's wondering, "and how will I deal with the anxiety of the first day?" I always hate the first day of school. Not the shopping part - that I like. It's fun to get new clothes and shoes. And I love wrapping all my books so everything looks perfect, and getting all the new notebooks and pens, and cool erasers. But I hate thinking about who I'm gonna sit near. I know that all the "in kids" are gonna stick together, and I never fit with them. I wish I could be part of that crowd and that everyone would fight to sit near me. But I'm just a loser and always have to go over to someone and ask, "Do you wanna sit next to me?" It makes me so nervous.

Published in Emotional Reactions

Dr. Michael Tobin Comments on: Teenage Suicide. Ellen is seriously suicidal. Why? How did she reach that point? Do her problems seem to be more severe than anyone else's? Okay, her parents have problems - they fight. But how many children grow up in families in which parents fight and suicide never even crosses their mind? Other kids may think that she's even popular. So how come a kid like Ellen thinks seriously about killing herself? I think the answer can be summed up in one sentence: Ellen feels absolutely and totally cut off, alone. Ellen feels that she's in a world in which she has no connections with friends, with family.

Published in Emotional Reactions

My sixteen-year-old daughter told me that a girlfriend of hers told her, in confidence, that she was thinking of suicide, and has actually tried it several times. She threatened to really go ahead with it if my daughter tells her parents that she is thinking about it. My daughter, in deep distress, came to me. What should we do? Worried in Washington Dear Worried in Washington: This is one matter that you can't take the time to play around with, using trial and error. The good news is that your daughter's friend has issued a cry for help and has not yet done the deed. There are several tracks of parallel action to be taken immediately.

Published in Emotional Reactions

Ellen, 15, is a bright, attractive well-liked high school sophomore. Nevertheless, she has plunged into despair and is contemplating suicide. In this three-part series she talks about her feelings, the problems at home and at school and the help she receives from her friend, Jenny.

PART ONE It's like a pain that hurts so deep down inside I can't find where it starts and where it ends. Sometimes I can't stop crying, and other times I can't find any tears, and I just shake with sorrow. I Can't Go On: A Therapist's Comments Ellen is seriously suicidal. Why? How did she reach that point? Do her problems seem to be more severe than anyone else's? I just feel so alone.

Published in Emotional Reactions

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