Dear Annie: I am a 23-year-old mother and I’m depressed all the time. I can’t sleep, I can’t eat and I’m mad at myself for taking it out on everyone I know. I thought it was because of being around my 7-month-old daughter so much, so I went back to work, but now I only feel worse. I worry about her until I get home.
I’m losing my mind. I’ve even started to think how I could end it all. My boyfriend of almost four years has tried to help, but I think he’s getting tired of it. I can’t talk to anyone I know about what’s going on because they will judge me as a bad person and try to take away my baby. I have no insurance. What can I do? — Miserable in Kentucky
Dear Kentucky: The birth of a child can create hormonal fluctuations that cause post-partum depression. No one will judge you if you get help. The important thing is that you recognize you are depressed and want to get better. First talk to your gynecologist. Then check out your local hospital psychiatry departments and outpatient clinics and university and medical school programs. If your job offers an employee assistance program, make an appointment to speak to someone. You can also try the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance (dbsalliance.org) at 1-800-826-3632. In the meantime, exercise. It can lift depression and you can do it for free. Please get help. Your daughter deserves a healthy mother.
Dear Annie: I have two sets of antique English china. Even after researching the value of the sets, I didn’t have a clear picture of how much they were worth. One of my two daughters-in-law liked one particular set, and I told her she could have it when I was ready to clear out my china cabinet.
Since then, I’ve discovered that the set she wants is quite valuable. The second set doesn’t appear to be worth as much. Now I’m worried that by giving the more valuable china to one daughter-in-law, it will seem like I’m showing favoritism.
I can’t go back on my word, but I don’t want to hurt the feelings of my other daughter-in-law. I’m upset and not sure how to handle it. — Ready to Break All the Dishes in California
Dear Dishes: This situation calls for complete disclosure. Invite both daughters-in-law to your home. Tell them Daughter-in-Law A has asked for China Blue and you said she could have it. However, since then, you have discovered that China Blue appears to be worth more than China Sea, although you aren’t certain. If the difference in value turns out to be substantial, you might offer to give a second heirloom to the other daughter-in-law, but whatever you do, make the arrangements in front of both of them, be sure they agree, and then put it in writing.
Dear Annie: Thank you for proving you are human after all. The majority of your answers and suggestions are right on, but your answer to “W.W.” about wearing a wristwatch made for a good laugh. You said right-handed people wear watches on their left wrist and vice versa.
First, hardly any watches made these days require winding. But a left-handed person wearing a watch on the right wrist would need to be a contortionist to set the time. A more logical answer would seem to be a combination of doing whatever with their dominant hand while checking the time on the other arm. — Kaneohe, Hawaii
Dear Kaneohe: Quite a few readers wanted to know if we were contortionists, and we have to admit, we tried winding a standard watch on our right wrist with our left hand and thought about joining the circus. Most left-handed readers said they simply remove the watch when they have to wind or set it. But actually, we were thinking of watches specifically made for left-handed people that have the winding mechanism on the left side of the watch. Anyone who is interested can find them on the Internet.
Annie’s Mailbox is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, longtime editors of the Ann Landers column. E-mail your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org, or write to: Annie’s Mailbox, P.O. Box 118190, Chicago, IL 60611. To find out more, visit the Web page www.creators.com.
Published in The Messenger on 12.20.07