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by Abigail Van Buren

Family Flees in Face of Man's Angry Obsession With Sports

DEAR ABBY: I went through a difficult depression during the time I was pregnant with my daughter. As a result, I seriously considered placing her for adoption and kept the pregnancy hidden from friends and co-workers. During my third trimester I took a leave of absence and cut off contact with my friends completely.

Now, two years later, I'm happy to report that I received therapy and treatment for my depression and anxiety. I am living a happy life with my baby girl.

The problem is, I told no one outside my family about my daughter or the situation, even though everyone noticed my abrupt change in behavior. How do I begin to share my story? Will people be able to forgive me for cutting them out of my life during a difficult time? -- BEGINNING AGAIN WITH BABY IN TEXAS

DEAR BEGINNING AGAIN: Because of extreme cases in the news, most of us are familiar with the hormonal imbalance that causes postpartum depression. A condition called pre-partum depression is not as well known, but is also well-documented. I'm pleased you were able to get treatment and resolve yours.

Share your story -- and end your isolation -- by telling your closest friends about your experience. If they are truly friends and care about you, they will embrace and accept you and your daughter and give you the support you need after your illness. And if they don't -- then you will have to accept they are not true friends and go on with your life.