DEAR ABBY: I'm a 15-year-old girl. For the past year I have been self-injuring. I take a sharp object and scrape the skin off until it bleeds. My mom saw the scars on my arm. I have 15 other ones, but she doesn't know about them.
I have to keep lying to her and it hurts. I want to stop, but I can't. How can I tell her I lied? I know she will be very upset. -- STUCK IN UTAH
DEAR STUCK: Go to your mother, tell her that you need to talk to her about something important, but you are afraid she will be angry with you. Ask her to hear you out before she reacts. Then tell her everything you have told me and ask for her help. That's what mothers are for.
If necessary, show her your letter to me and my response because she needs to understand that when individuals self-injure, it is often to cope with serious depression -- which is an illness -- and it takes the help of a mental health professional to stop.