Annie Fox for Teens... Hey, Terra!

Annie (AKA Hey Terra!) has been around long enough to have experienced a lot of what Life can dish out. But, it hasn’t been so long that she's forgotten what it's like to be your age. Check out some of the thousands of email questions teens from around the world have sent to Terra. You may learn something useful from her answers:

Friends and Enemies:
“None of my friends are supportive and I'm depressed.”

Hey Terra,

I have been depressed for a total of 6 weeks now. My sister says horrible things that hurt me like: "You're going on to middle school and still sleep in my room, oh my god, I wish you would go to hell, I hate you. You're hopeless because you can't even open a gym locker." Those things hurt and they're true. I've also been depressed because I have no friends that would come to my house. I don't do the things I love. and lay around the house a lot. None of my parents, friends, sisters are supportive. Please help me!!!!!!!!!!


Dear Depressed,

I'm really sorry to hear that you are feeling depressed and not getting support from your friends and family. Sometimes we need to let people know that the things they say to us are hurtful. If you haven't already talked to your sister about her behavior, you definitely should. Putting you down may be a habit she has gotten into, but that doesn't mean you have to put up with it. Pick a quiet, private time to talk with her. A time when you are feeling calm and you're not interrupting something she's doing. You can start off with, "I'd like to talk to you." Then wait. She'll probably say "About what?" and then you might say, "About how I feel when you insult me. I feel really sad and depressed when you say those things to me. It hurts. I don't talk to you that way and I don't want you to talk to me that way either. So, will you stop?"

I have no idea what she'll say, but she needs to know how her behavior makes you feel and you need to tell her. If, after you've talked to her (without yelling or blaming or interrupting) the situation still does not improve, then talk to your parents. Tell them what you told me. That you are "depressed" and that the way your sister treats you is not making you feel any better. Tell your parents that you need their help to get your sister to change.

In the fall you will be starting middle school. There will be so many new people there, all of them looking for new friends. It would be a great opportunity for you to make some new relationships. Part of making new friends is feeling good about who you are and what you have to offer.

Here's a little challenge for you: Take a piece of paper and fold it in half. On one side write: I want a friend who is: Then fill in as many things as you can think of that are important to you in a friend. (For example, I want a friend who is a good listener. Or I want a friend who likes to read and talk about books.) Keep writing until you run out of ideas.

On the other half of the paper write: I'm a good friend because:

Then fill in as many things about yourself that make you someone who is a good friend. (For example, I'm a good friend because I know how to keep secrets. Or I'm a good friend because I know how to make someone feel better when they are sad.)

After you made your lists about what you want in a friend and what you have to offer, write back to me and we'll talk some more!

In friendship,


Need some advice? Write to Terra. She'll give you a straight answer you can trust without any lectures.

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