DEAR ABBY: I'm 15. My problem is I often mouth off and insult people. When I'm asked to explain why I said what I did, I answer with, "I don't know" or a shrug. It's the truth. It upsets me that I act this way, and I have lost friends because of it.
My parents think counseling and therapy are a coward's way out, and I don't want to go to my school counselors because they'll tell my parents or the state. Is it a blatant choice not to care, something subconscious or a possible disorder? I'm under a lot of stress. I know stressors can cause people to act this way, but I have a feeling it's not caused by stress. What should I do? -- NERVOUS AND AFRAID
DEAR NERVOUS AND AFRAID: Everyone snaps sometimes, but because it has ruined relationships, do talk to a school counselor or other adult you trust about what's happening. Your behavior may just be part of being a teenager, but if the stressors in your life might also be a factor, it's important you understand what triggers your behavior so you can modify it.