DEAR ABBY: I'm a 15-year-old boy in ninth grade. I have depression, and I don't know what to do. I always feel like I'm not good enough for anything, even though I have had a 4.0 GPA since seventh grade. I have repeatedly cut myself, but I wear a bracelet so no one can see it.
I don't want my family to find out because I'm afraid they will treat me like a poor little kid who is too easily offended. I don't know what to do or who I can go to for help. Thank you for any help you can give me. -- DROWNING IN DESPAIR
DEAR DROWNING: When a person is experiencing so much emotional pain that he (or she) is self-injuring, it's time to get professional help to deal with it.
Ideally, you should be able to talk to your parents about the depth and duration of your depression. But because you feel you can't, talk with a trusted teacher or counselor at school about it, or an adult relative you feel close enough to confide it to. Cutting is not the answer because it only brings temporary relief from the issues you have that need resolving.
I care about you, and I'm glad you asked me this question. Please don't postpone following my advice.