Join the debate. Vote Now on the Dear Abby Poll of the week.

by Abigail Van Buren

Wife's Suspicions Are Raised by Husband's Many Secrets

DEAR ABBY: Since my daughter left home several years ago, I have become extremely anxious on Sundays. In the afternoons it feels like the walls are closing in on me. I feel so depressed I have to leave the house.

If I go someplace that is open and unconfined, with lots of people around, I feel fine. When I return to my house in the early evening and dote on my pets, I get back to feeling normal.

Abby, some people have said I suffer from "empty nest syndrome." Others say it's "cabin fever." Any thoughts on what I can do about this? -- PHIL IN PHOENIX

DEAR PHIL: If your daughter left on a Sunday, that may be the reason you become depressed and anxious on that particular day of the week. Or because you are less busy and distracted on Sundays, you become more aware of the fact you are alone. Whether you're experiencing "empty nest syndrome" or "cabin fever" is irrelevant. Discuss your feelings of depression and claustrophobia with a licensed mental health professional so you can be properly diagnosed and receive help for your problem.