Q: My mother doesn’t trust me and hasn’t since I was really little. Though it’s not her fault, I have a problem with lying all the time and it’s usually to get myself out of trouble. I steal things from family members all the time and I regret all of it. My mum has got to the point where she isn’t even talking to me. I feel so bad about what I have done but I can’t think of how to fix it. I am also having many friend issues and have found myself crying on a regular basis. I am never happy with the way I look and I am constantly stressing over school, boys, friends and my appearance etc. My school grades have dropped increasingly and I can’t see the bright side of life anymore. I want to leave home to live in a youth home but I am scared. I have never physically hurt myself though I have come close many times. I don’t want to live but I don’t want to die. Please help.

A: Obviously you have to find a way to stop lying and stealing or you will someday find yourself in trouble with more than your family. It is very hard to break patterns that have been in place for a long time but you need to do everything you can to stop this behavior now. Considering that this has been a problem for a while and that it also sounds like you may be having some symptoms of depression, I think it is important to find a good counselor or therapist to help you with these problems. You could ask your parents or school counselor to help you find a therapist but it is time to ask for some professional help so you can start feeling good about yourself. Admitting that you have a problem is always the first step so you have accomplished something already. I believe that if you get some help and change these behaviors you will start enjoying life again and eventually feel proud of yourself. I wish you luck.