I’m 16, weigh 260 pounds and play football. I am a junior at my school and I have been depressed for the longest time. I have a bunch of friends but I only have one or two friends that live up here, I can explain everything to him. But I’m not always around him so half the time I have to vent out stuff by just hiding it and acting like it never happened until it all builds up and I just have a breakdown. I’m Black/white so I’m mixed, and one of the few in my school; I live in a redneck county. In my school a bunch of my friends say the n word, and at first it didn’t offend me because I didn’t care, but lately I’ve grown more and more hatred towards them but then I forgive them. They say “dumb n…” or get off me n… I just give them a weird face and they say “I’m just kidding” but it hurts and I don’t wanna tell them that because they would call me something.

I also haven’t had a girlfriend for a couple of months, my ex dumped me because I was trying to talk to a different girl but I didn’t care. The one girl I did cared about played me three times, we made out and she told me she loved me and would stop speaking to me for a long time, I started cutting myself then but quit. Help me.

A: I am glad you took the opportunity to write. This is a tough situation, but I think your desire to change is your strongest asset. Let’s work with that.

I think your coach might be the best person to approach with these issues. You obviously have been accepted on the football team, and I think the coach is in a position to help. A team is the place where a feeling of acceptance and mutual respect can be experienced and nurtured. No doubt your coach has some influence in the school and this might be a way to let him know about, and get him onboard, with dealing with the prejudice that exists.

I would also broaden your circle of friends and acquaintances, and join more clubs and activities. I realize this is difficult to get started, but having a larger pool of people to connect with will be important for your growth and healing.

Finally I would talk to the school’s guidance counselor about the cutting. Most schools have counselors who are familiar with this kind of reaction in someone your age, and my guess is he or she would be able to help.

Wishing you patience and peace,
Dr. Dan
Proof Positive Blog @ PsychCentral