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by Abigail Van Buren

Opinion Splits Along Gender Lines Over Bathroom Decency

DEAR ABBY: My friend recently committed suicide and although I'm still mad at times, I'm no longer sad all the time. My problem is I'm having a hard time dealing with stress.

Before, when things got hard or my workload went up, I'd work harder to get it done. Now I just become overwhelmed and all I want to do is go to bed. Is this normal? I have never had a friend die before. -- SAD IN SAN DIEGO

DEAR SAD: Please accept my sympathy for your loss. When someone close to me suffers an emotional shock -- and the death of a friend or loved one qualifies as one -- I remind him or her that shock can affect not only the emotions but also the body. That's why it's important to get extra rest and eat properly.

When a person grieves, it's not unusual to be less resilient, so listen to your body. When you become overwhelmed, chicken soup and extra rest may be in order, and it's not a cliche. However, if these feelings persist for more than a few weeks, please discuss them with your doctor because they could be a symptom of a treatable form of depression.