Q: I am fifteen years old and going into tenth grade. We just dropped my brother off at college, and i babysit regularly for the neighborhood kids. the problem is, with school starting soon and babysitting and pressure to do well i am starting to feel crushed. i feel confused and anxious about babysitting and while i enjoy doing it, i am worried because i wait for a child’s bus at a pizza parlor. i eat pizza while waiting for the kid. last yr, one of the clerks starting giving me free pizza and that makes me feel like i dont deserve it and i shouldnt take it. also, last yr i started to cut. i dont cut deep, but i cant stop and i dream about cutting pratically. when i told some friends they got mad and threw dirt at me and one passed it off as a fad. im naturally very skinny and i feel insecure about my thinness. half the time i eat and eat and eat, but then i refuse food and tell ppl that im not hungry just because i feel i need disciplince. at times i want to vomit up everything in me to have a clean slate. i imagine committing suicide but feel like i have too many responsibilities to do it. i cant bear the thought of school or seeing friends and i feel urges to just slice myself open. but i keep hearing about how cutting is a fad and i feel like if i say anything it will be passed off as such. i feel ashamed because i think i want to be messed up and that just depresses me even more. im lying to friends and not calling them back and i just want to crawl under a rock and die. i dont know what to do. talking with friends hasnt helped.
A. I am sorry that you are going through such a difficult emotional time lately. It must be hard to experience all of those confusing and frightening thoughts and feelings and not have anyone to advise you on how to best handle them. First, you should stop getting advice from your friends. I know they mean well and they are trying to help but the truth is they are in no place to give advice. You need to talk with trained professionals who can help you deal with these problems. You should first tell someone like your parents about what you have been experiencing. Tell them you want to get help to learn how to handle your behavior and emotions. If you do not want to talk with your parents, go to a counselor at school, a teacher or someone at church (if you attend) who you trust and tell them you want to get help for yourself. It would do you a lot of good to have a professional to talk to about what you have been going through. Stop accepting advice from your friends about these issues and seek help from a professional. Cutting is dangerous and is not a phase. Please keep me informed on how you are doing and if you did seek help from a professional. I wish you the best of luck and please write again to give me an update and if you have any more questions.