DEAR ABBY: I recently had a baby, and I have been diagnosed as having postpartum depression. I have tried all of the prescribed medications but took myself off them because of the side effects.
The issue I'm having is I read a news story about a tiny baby who was scalded to death years ago by his mother. I think about that precious baby all day long. I cry, I scream and I have anxiety about hot water.
I started following the case closely (it's in another state) and have been spending my hard-earned vacation money ordering depositions and other documents from the case. I want some kind of closure on this, but I can't seem to let this poor baby go. My money is limited, which is why I can't/don't see a therapist. Any advice? -- OVERWHELMED IN GEORGIA
DEAR OVERWHELMED: Have you informed the doctor who prescribed those medications that you stopped taking them, and why? If you haven't, you should.
It is important that you talk with a mental health professional about your obsession over the death of that baby and how it is affecting your life. Because money is limited, contact your county department of mental health and ask what services are available on a sliding financial scale.
Please don't wait to reach out. Your own baby needs love and care, and that should be your focus.
DEAR ABBY: I recently started a band with some close friends. At the beginning, everything was going great because we all have similar tastes in music. However, recently the lead singer has gotten more and more attention-seeking.
It started out small where he would make jokes on stage and try and get a laugh out of people. But now he's getting really outlandish, wearing crazy outfits and overall just acting ridiculous. How can I help him get back to just caring about the music and leaving the antics behind? -- EAST COAST MUSICIAN
DEAR MUSICIAN: You have my sympathy. Tom Hanks wrote and directed a movie about this subject in 1996. It is called "That Thing You Do!" If you can locate it, I am sure you will find it interesting.
As destructive as the hardships of being constantly on the road have been for performers in the music and entertainment business, EGO can be equally so. Your bandmate may be trying his best to upstage the rest of you or may think a gimmick could excite your audience. Try talking to him about it, but accept that you may have to replace him. If that's the case, be sure the person you hire has the same vision for the band that you do, so this won't happen again.
DEAR ABBY: What is the best way to approach a co-worker regarding body odor? A number of people in my office have noticed it, and it's creating a problem when someone has to sit near him during a meeting. We don't want to cause hurt feelings, but we really need him to be aware. -- KEEPING OUR DISTANCE IN PENNSYLVANIA
DEAR KEEPING: This could be a medical problem rather than poor hygiene. Because it's a delicate subject, one that could be embarrassing for everyone concerned, this should be discussed with HR, the person's supervisor or the boss -- depending upon the size of the company.
What teens need to know about sex, drugs, AIDS and getting along with peers and parents is in "What Every Teen Should Know." Send your name and mailing address, plus check or money order for $8 (U.S. funds) to: Dear Abby, Teen Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Shipping and handling are included in the price.)