St. Charles Herald-Guide

Ask Nattie

Nattie Swan - February 28, 2007

Nattie Swan is St. Charles Parish’s best new advice columnist for kids and their parents. Let her help you. Send questions to

I’m lonely and depressed - and to make matters worse, I can’t sleep

Dear Nattie: For a months now I’ve been feeling lonely. I’ve cried myself to sleep many times.

I don't want to be around my friends. I can't sleep, either.

I’ve talked to my Mom and asked to see a therapist, but she says “feeling blue” is “just life” and to get over it. Help! - Sleepless in Luling

Dear Sleepless: It’s true that most teens go through phases of sadness like this.

But if you feel therapy is in order, I think you should try harder to get it.

Ask your Mom again, and if she continues to say this is “just life,” go talk to your counselor at school or priest or preacher at church.

You really should open up and tell them what you told me.

They might agree that you need a therapist and ask your mom to change her mind and think about alternate ways to help you.

Clingy pal is smothering our friendship

Dear Nattie: My friend is so clingy and I was wondering if I could do anything about it without being too mean?

She looks for me everywhere and waits in the hall for me.

I don't want to be mean because she is very sensitive.

How can I be subtle while still getting my point across?

- Suffocating in Destrehan

Dear Suffocating: I think it is really cool that you are thinking of your friend's feelings.

I know that you don't want to hurt her feelings but the truth is that in order for you to get your point across you’ll have to do it.

Don't try to start the conversation with lines like "I don't want to be mean but …" or "You know I'll always be your friend but …"

Using those lines will never get across the point that you want to be her friend but want more space.