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by Abigail Van Buren

Teen's Feelings of Depression May Be Legacy From Mother

DEAR ABBY: My mother died when I was 7. I'm 13 now, and my father just told me Mom suffered from bad depression toward the end of her life. He also said that it would worry him a great deal if I had depression, too.

I'm afraid I do. I get sad easily and I have thought about suicide, but I don't know why. It could be the stress of my family life, but it can't still be about my mother's passing, can it? That was six years ago.

I actually scare myself sometimes, but I don't think my depression is bad enough to see someone about it.

What do you think? -- SCARED IN SOUTH CAROLINA

DEAR SCARED: It's time to talk to your father. Depression can run in families. You also need to tell a professional exactly what you have told me. Please don't put it off. The sooner you get professional help, the sooner you will feel better.