Q. The first person was my friend and he died of cancer recently after that. The second i still see around town on a regular basis. I have major problems with my step father who is now seperated from my mum. It was a very messy break up that took nearly 2 years to finish and i knew every detail. My mother is also a foster carer and doesnt show me any affection not even hugs. But she shows heaps of affection to the foster kids that live with us. My sister hits me all the time and says nothing but insults. Im involved with drugs, i had a 3month binge of drinking everyday, i smoke a packet a day and i hang out with people that are 18+. I used to cut my wrists, and i used to force myself not to eat. Iv had 2 break downs and everyday i fake a smile. I cry all the time. My self esteem is so low i cant even walk in to a fast food place and order sometimes. My mother and older sister are very skinny and i have a thin build but they are smaller. I often worry about my weight expecially when my sister calls me fat(which is like everyday). Im starting to worry and am getting sick of living like this. What is wrong with me? How can i feel normal? Am i depressed? Should i go to a doctor???

A. I don’t blame you for being sick of living like this. You should be. You are engaging in risky behavior that will only lead you to trouble. I think you know this and that is why you are writing.

While I cannot give you a formal diagnosis over the Internet, it does sound like you are suffering from depression and self esteem issues. I can tell you that what you have described to me is not healthy. And yes, you should absolutely go to the doctor or a therapist or even a school counselor—whomever you feel comfortable enough talking with. Tell them what you have told me. Tell them that you are sick of living like this and you want to know how to change. I think the fact that you realize that you need to change your lifestyle is very insightful for someone your age. I commend you for writing and I encourage you to seek help. Please let me know how things go and if you did take my advice to seek help.