DEAR ABBY: I am writing to you as a last resort. Please print my letter so I can get help. I am a young teen who feels like committing suicide.
My parents work long hours and provide a roof over our heads and food on the table, but we spend hardly any time together. While I have suffered no physical abuse, I've been hurt by my mother's verbal abuse. I think I'm depressed because in a survey I took at school, I matched the profile of a person suffering from depression.
I can't tell my parents, although I have tried numerous times. When I told Mom I wanted to see a psychiatrist, she said "no." I've tried talking to teachers but nothing works. Is there something I can do without involving other people? No matter what I say, no one takes me seriously. My friends think I'm joking when I tell them how I feel.
I want help -- I want to live -- but if there's no help, there's no point. I've thought about suicide a lot and put a knife to my wrist. I've hurt myself by hitting a wall and injuring my hand. Sometimes I cut my fingers, but people always believe me when I say it was an "accident." I'm tired of living a lie, Abby. Please help. -- DESPERATE IN THE U.S.A.
DEAR DESPERATE: Since you did not provide me with your location or telephone number, I am limited in what I can offer. Pick up the telephone and ask the operator to connect you with the local suicide hotline. Tell them EXACTLY what you have told me, and that I suggested you call. They will respond to your cry for help.