Depressed and suicidal teen


Depressed and suicidal teen


your avatar   "Dance is my light", 13 years old

I've been really stupid in school this year and haven't been completing and turning in my homework. I can't say why - I just wasn't doing it and I used to be so good in school. My friends and family love me but now I want to get out of life and I'm afraid I need serious help. Dance is the one thing keeping me going. No one knows I've tried to commit suicide once before. My mom is now threatening to take dance away. I want to tell her how I feel but I'm afraid she won't take me seriously. I'm only 13 and I'm failing 8th grade.

Am I depressed? How do I get help?


    Bob Rich, Ph.D.

My dear,

If you used to be good in school, then you still have the intelligence and abilities to do well. You used to be as happy as anyone, and enjoyed dancing above all. Now, you are so sad and down that you want to end your life. This is serious, and nothing to dismiss.

With the little bit of information you have written, I cannot say why the change happened, but there are some likely possibilities. Has anyone you cared for died? A grandparent, a friend, a pet? This could even have been a year before the changes started. Has anyone been bullying you, making fun of you over and over, refusing to be friends with you for no reason, perhaps forcing you to do things you don't want to do? Another possibility is that bad things may have happened to you when you were a baby or a very young girl, and something more recently has affected you in a smaller but similar way.

Now the question is, what can you do?

First, we need to make sure you are safe. If thoughts come to you about wanting to kill yourself again, you need to be ready to get rid of them. Imagine that, maybe a year ago, a monster has moved into your mind. This monster feeds on misery: yours and other people's. It is making you miserable so it can eat. And if you kill yourself, it'll have years of fun, eating the misery of your family and friends.

So, you can easily tell which thoughts are yours, and which the monster has put into your mind. And, whatever the monster tells you to do, you do the opposite.

My dear, I recommend that you show this email -- your question and my answer -- to your mom, and ask her to take you to a therapist. A few sessions with a good psychologist will have you on top of your problem.

With love, your new grandfather,


This question was answered by Dr. Bob Rich. Dr. Rich has 30+ years of experience as a psychotherapist. Dr. Rich is also a writer and a "mudsmith". Bob is now retired from psychological practice, but still works with people as a counselor.For more information visit:


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