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Woman Copes With Anxiety by Filtering out Bad News

DEAR ABBY: Clearly, America is in a state of turmoil. I am horrified and ashamed of the senseless death occurring daily.

I deal with anxiety, particularly regarding fear of death. As a result, the only thing I've found that I can do to cope with current events is to scan headlines, and ask my understanding husband for a synopsis of events that doesn't include major triggers.

However, I feel serious guilt that I may not be fully educating myself on recent events. Am I wrong to prioritize my mental well-being over the gravity of our country's current situation? -- SERIOUS GUILT

DEAR SERIOUS GUILT: Wrong? Absolutely not! According to The Journal of the American Medical Association, 13 percent of Americans now use antidepressants to combat depression and anxiety. Our news media feed so many salacious details into our homes in the interest of high ratings that it's a miracle the majority of Americans aren't in need of them.

If you are getting the news you need to know, do not feel guilty for using your husband as a filter. You are only protecting yourself, and that's not wrong. It's healthy.


DEAR ABBY: I need advice. I'm 23 and have been living with my boyfriend of almost two years. I have never been in a relationship before this one, so I have little experience. I love him dearly, but every time there's an issue between us, it always becomes my fault and I'm always the one to apologize. What should I do? -- INEXPERIENCED IN TAMPA

DEAR INEXPERIENCED: Even a stopped clock is right twice a day. You should not be forced into the role of perpetual peacekeeper by accepting the blame for everything, and it won't improve your relationship.

Because your boyfriend's preferred method of solving disagreements is laying the blame on you, suggest the two of you get couples counseling. However, if he refuses -- and he may -- you will then have to decide whether this is the way you want to spend the foreseeable future because things aren't likely to change.


DEAR ABBY: My sister-in-law "Dani" and my brother have been married almost three years. I recently discovered that Dani has created a fake social media page. She posted some nude photos on it and acts like she's single. I suspect she is getting paid to do live nude video chatting, too.

Abby, I'm shocked over this. I'm sure my brother would explode with rage and disappointment if he knew. They have two small daughters, which leaves me to wonder if she has considered their embarrassment if they ever find out.

She's a good person, so I don't know why she would do this. I really need your advice. -- SHOCKED SISTER-IN-LAW IN THE SOUTH

DEAR S-I-L: It's time to talk to Dani. Tell her what you have learned and ask her why she's doing it. When you do, ask how she thinks your brother will react when he finds out -- if he doesn't already know -- and how this could affect their daughters. This may be a fling, a way to prove to herself that she's still attractive, or a way to earn needed money. But you will never know until you initiate a conversation with her.


Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Contact Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.


For an excellent guide to becoming a better conversationalist and a more sociable person, order "How to Be Popular." Send your name and mailing address, plus check or money order for $7 (U.S. funds) to: Dear Abby, Popularity Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Shipping and handling are included in the price.)

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