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I live with my grandmother and cousin because my mom died when I was seven, and my dad has a drinking problem. My cousin lives with us because she and her mom don’t get along. Things get so hard sometimes and I just don’t know what to do. I seem happy, but most of the time I feel depressed.

 

I get good grades, but my last few tests have been a real bummer. Also, I transferred schools two towns away, but since I don’t see my friends in school it feels like I moved across the country. I want to be happier. Can you help?

 

Hey girl,

 

I'm really sorry to hear that you're having such a hard time with your family and at school. A lot of people hide their real feelings beneath a smile—and you sound like one of them.

 

I think one of the best things you can do for yourself is to find someone to talk to, even if it's just a friend you can vent to when frustrating things come up. Also, you might really have depression, but regardless, you’ve got a lot to deal with, so you should ask your grandma or another adult to help you get help. Seeing a therapist or a school counselor could give you a safe place to share your feelings. Depression can be a really serious problem and shouldn’t be left alone.

 

If all your friends are at your old school, try making friends at your new school. I know that can feel overwhelming if you're not very happy in the first place, but you could start small by joining a student group at school or asking some kids you know from class if they want to study with you. 

 

xoxo,

Alissa

BY ALISSA SCHELLER ON 11/19/2010 7:00:00 AM

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