Lauren Forcella

Straight Talk: Panelists send 'care package' to empty-nest mom

Dear Straight Talk: My husband and I raised a wonderful son who has recently left for college. I had no idea how bowled over by the “empty nest” syndrome I would be. After ...

Straight Talk: Gay girl fears coming out to intolerant parents

Dear Straight Talk: I haven’t told anyone, but I’m gay. I wish I wasn’t and I’ve tried to change, but nothing works. My parents are very religious and think being gay is ...

Straight Talk: Daughter feels left out by dad

Dear Straight Talk: I’m a 15-year-old girl with a twin brother. I love my father very much but he has little interest in doing things with me. Every weekend he takes my broth ...

Straight Talk: Girl just wants to feel safe

Dear Straight Talk: The abduction and rape of Jaycee Dugard has me terrified when I drive home late after work. How I can feel safe? Even during broad daylight, how do you tell a r ...

Straight Talk: Are Adderall and Ritalin the steroids of studying?

Dear Straight Talk: I’m concerned for friends who buy Adderall and Ritalin at school in order to stay up late studying. One of my friends is on antidepressants and I worry abou ...

Straight Talk: When do parents have the green light to snoop?

Dear Straight Talk: We have two wonderful teenage daughters who give us few problems. However, their e-mail and cell phone accounts are in our names and, without their knowledge, ...

Straight Talk: No matter the flavor, hookah still means tobacco

Dear Straight Talk: My 17-year-old son just left for the hookah bar. He said this is a popular social activity where you sit around outdoors smoking flavored tobacco from a shared ...

Straight Talk: Boy bounced school-to-school, feeling suicidal

Dear Straight Talk: I just picked up my 16-year-old son from a street corner after he was incommunicado for a week. He’s very mixed up, and I need help. Right before freshman y ...

Straight Talk: Former heroin addict speaks

Dear Straight Talk: I am writing to “Desperate in Salinas” (Straight Talk, July 19), the girl who was hiding her heroin-addicted boyfriend in her parent’s basement. I, too, w ...

Straight Talk: Avoid being a flake by breaking up properly

Dear Straight Talk: I’ve been going out with my boyfriend since last September. But recently I’ve met someone at work who I like better and we have been flirting. The problem ...