DEAR ABBY: I'm having trouble with my daily life. I have become more reserved and rarely even look at people. All I do is my schoolwork. I have lost trust in quite a few people over the years, including most of my family members. My parents have taught me to trust almost no one and to always be afraid of strangers.
I recently started high school, and I have only talked with two or three people at the most. I have really bad social anxiety, and I'm treated different from my siblings. I'm feeling like my whole life is just a lie and that I'm nothing. I feel like people can't see me -- that I'm invisible to everyone.
My family controls my life as if they are dictators. I've lost control over any decisions I make and anything I do. I don't know what to do anymore. I'm so lost. Please help me! -- LOST IN EL PASO, TEXAS
DEAR LOST: I agree you need help, because I'm sure there's more to your situation -- and possibly your family's -- than you have shared. However, for you to overcome your distrust of others and the feeling that you are "invisible," you will need to confide in a trusted teacher or counselor at school.
You need more help than I can provide in a letter or my column. Licensed mental health providers routinely help individuals who suffer from social anxiety disorder, but in order to get that help, you will have to find the courage to reach out and ask for it.