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by Abigail Van Buren

Triangle of Love, Friendship Is Broken Apart by Betrayal

DEAR ABBY: I am a college freshman in a city six hours from home. I miss my family, but I've been fortunate to have already made some wonderful new friends.

Lately, however, I've been concerned about the way I feel mentally, so I made a list of my feelings and behaviors that cause me concern. I then explored the Internet for advice. A number of credible Web sites indicate that my symptoms could be linked to clinical depression.

This has me worried. I don't want my new friends to think I'm "weird." Also, my parents are old-fashioned and could very well insist I return home.

Above all, I don't want anyone to overreact. This is all based on my own suspicions. Sometimes I get scared that something may happen to me because I didn't seek help. Who should I turn to, Abby? -- DEPRESSED STUDENT (NO LOCATION, PLEASE)

DEAR DEPRESSED STUDENT: The student health center on your campus is the place to express your concerns. Many first-year college students become anxious in their new surroundings when faced with academic challenges. If you suspect that you have a problem that requires counseling or medication, you are wise to face it squarely and not put it off. Depression is a disease. It is treatable and curable, and those who have it are not weird, so please don't wait.