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by Abigail Van Buren

Chatty Teen At A Loss For Words Over Friend's Depression

DEAR ABBY: I'm a 16-year-old guy, and I have a problem. I recently met a girl in a chat room, and we seemed to hit it off pretty well. As we've been talking, she has told me she is suicidal, and in the past three days she has made three attempts to take her life. (As I'm writing this, she is in the hospital.)

Being a sensitive person, I try to talk her out of it, but she keeps shutting me out, and once she's OK, she is a completely different person. I still want to be her friend, but this is getting to be too much for me. Please help. -- WORRIED IN VERMONT

DEAR WORRIED: You are a caring person, but you must recognize that the girl you are corresponding with is emotionally fragile. Right now she is unable to respond to you and, frankly, you are not equipped to help her. It's good that she is in the hospital because that is where she needs to be until she can be stabilized.

If you continue to stay in touch with her and she tells you again that she is suicidal, you should ask her where she is and if she has done anything to herself. Then call 911 and report it so she can get help quickly.

Read more in: Mental Health | Teens | Love & Dating