DEAR ABBY: I'm the proud mom of a wonderful 21-year-old daughter whom I find myself worrying about more and more lately. She just graduated from our local college and is heading to medical school in another state six hours away.
Rationally, I know she'll be fine and can take care of herself, but I am terrified that something will happen to her and I won't be there. My husband and daughter keep telling me nothing will happen and I need to calm down.
My question is, how do I go about staying calm when there is danger everywhere? She's our only child. Aren't my fears justified? Or am I overreacting like they keep telling me? -- WORRIED MOM IN ALABAMA
DEAR WORRIED MOM: You are overreacting. Many parents experience the fears you are having to some degree when their child leaves home. For many of them, it happens when the child boards the school bus at the age of 6. For others it happens when their young adult leaves for college.
While tragedies do sometimes occur, they can happen when a parent is present as well as when their child is absent. These incidents are magnified when they dominate the news cycle. If you are unable to control your anxiety, a licensed therapist may be able to help you regain your balance.