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by Abigail Van Buren

Teen Responds To Bullying And Depression By Cutting Herself

DEAR ABBY: Our beautiful, talented teen daughter started cutting several years ago. She is getting help for her depression and the bullying that contributed to it, but she no sooner lets one set of cuts heal than she makes more. Sometimes I think she does it to try to limit people's expectations of her.

Abby, we talked to her about drugs, sex, distracted driving, all the things we thought were important, but cutting wasn't even on our radar! We have now learned cutting involves more than 14 percent of young girls, and to some degree is a social issue, in that they learn about cutting as a coping mechanism from each other. At a young age it can seem exciting, edgy and rebellious -- even a way to "fit in" with a group.

Please advise other parents to talk to their children about this and, please, ask for feedback from people who are former cutters. She may listen to what they have to say, as opposed to her dumb old parents. -- HEARTBROKEN MOM FROM ANYWHERE

DEAR HEARTBROKEN: If your daughter is under a doctor's care and continuing to harm herself, it's time to consult another one because this one hasn't addressed the root of her problem. If readers who have conquered a cutting addiction would like to chime in on this, I will either print their comments or forward them to you.

Read more in: Teens | Mental Health