DEAR ABBY: A woman I work with is pregnant. While this may seem like exciting news, it is the opposite. She is already depressed and often talks about suicide.
My real concern is for her baby. She often says how, if she has a girl, she'll drown it, suffocate it, etc. She says it openly. Everyone in the office has heard her make these statements.
The baby's father is an alcoholic, and he is the one who wants the kid -- not her. She already has an older child she has nothing to do with.
I feel something should be done to keep her baby from being harmed, but what can I do? Can Child Protective Services be of any help when it comes to an unborn baby? Or should we co-workers speak up and ask her to seek help? -- WORRIED IN ILLINOIS
DEAR WORRIED: Of course you should speak up! Hormones have a lot to do with the way people think and react -- as anyone knows who has had anything to do with women who suffer from PMS. Your co-worker should be urged to level with her OB/GYN about the feelings she is experiencing.
I discussed your letter with Child Protective Services and was informed that no intervention can be done until a baby is actually born. However, when your co-worker goes to the hospital to have her child, you should notify the hospital officials because, if necessary, an intervention can be done, and CPS can become involved when she delivers.
It goes without saying that when anyone talks about suicide, that person should be advised to discuss their feelings with a counselor at one of the suicide prevention hotlines. Both numbers are toll-free: (800) 784-2433 and (800) 273-8255.
DEAR ABBY: I am a 22-year-old woman, fairly mature, intelligent and stable. I'm 5-foot-3 and wear a size 5 or 6.
I have this friend, "Tish," who is stunningly gorgeous. She looks like a model, stands about 5-foot-8 and wears a size 1 or 2. She dresses stylishly and has the figure to pull off many outfits that I never could. Tish is also a nice person who has never said anything to put me down. I feel no ill will toward her, just inferior when I'm around her.
I have had super-short hair most of my life, but have been growing it out for the past year to "reinvent" myself. When I saw Tish last week, she had donated her shoulder-length hair to Locks of Love and now sports an ultra-chic haircut that makes her look better than I ever did. I cried for almost an hour after she left.
I know my feelings are stupid and childish. Not only do I feel ugly externally next to Tish, but also internally ugly for being so hung-up on appearance when she hasn't done me any wrong. How can I get rid of these unwanted feelings? -- PALE IN COMPARISON
DEAR PALE: You say you feel inferior when you're around Tish. How do you feel when you're not around her? And why are you constantly comparing yourself to her?
It's important for your future that you figure out what's behind it, because unless you do, your feelings of inferiority will extend beyond this one individual. When you begin to like yourself more, you'll feel less "pale" when you're around others -- including your friend Tish.
Please discuss this with a licensed counselor, and if that's not possible right now, then it might be better for both of you to spend less time together.
Good advice for everyone -- teens to seniors -- is in "The Anger in All of Us and How to Deal With It." To order, send a business-size, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $6 (U.S. funds only) to: Dear Abby -- Anger Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Postage is included in the price.)