My life is a mess and I cannot control my anger

I am 17 and my life is falling apart because I am angry all the time.

I am 17 and my life is falling apart because I am angry all the time.

My parents got divorced three years ago and I was living with my mother until the beginning of this year. Now I live with my father and I had to start at a new school.

I have not made any friends and I hate everything about the school - the teachers, pupils, even the buildings.

I have tried to control and manage my anger but it does not seem to help and I explode at people all the time. It is bad enough at home with my dad, but when I exploded at a teacher last week I was sent to the principal, who called in my parents.

They said I am a troubled and problem pupil and told my parents I should go for therapy.

I just hate my life and everyone in it and I think about suicide every day. Please tell me how to change my life and be happy, at least some of the time.

Miserable, Midrand

Have you thought about why you are angry? Did it start with the divorce or were these feelings there before? If you can pinpoint your anger to one particular thing, it will be easier to avoid that thing and to stay in control.

If you can't put your finger on exactly what makes you boil try to change the way you manage your feelings. Instead of exploding, hold your breath and walk away until you are in control.

I say hold your breath because that way you can't open your mouth to say anything.

Thinking about suicide is silly and will only hurt people who love you, and your parents do love you, whether you believe it or not.

Perhaps it will help you to see things differently if you sit down and write a list of all the good things in your life. You are fed, you are loved, you are being educated at a good school (the fact they cared enough to call your parents in points to that), you are young and you have your future ahead of you.

Many people don't have what you have, so count your blessings instead of wallowing in misery and focussing on the tough stuff. Try to live the old saying about seeing the glass as half full instead of half empty.

And do not resist seeing a therapist because it will help to have an unbiased ear listen to your problems. Discussing your problems and anger with a professional will do a lot of good, and you must continue with therapy until you see good results.

Now, chin up and stop feeling sorry for yourself.