Amy Dickenson, advice columnist for Ask Amy

Amy Dickinson

Seven days a week, letter after letter, Amy Dickinson applies an objective eye to reader problems large and small in "ASK AMY: Advice for the real world."

Dickinson succeeds the legendary Ann Landers (Eppie Lederer) as the Chicago Tribune's signature advice columnist. Chicago Tribune editor Gerould Kern said: “Amy understands the personal issues affecting millions of people in their everyday lives and offers grounded advice for healthy, lasting relationships. She’s also a terrific storyteller.” As an advice columnist, Amy uses her talents as a journalist and her personal experiences to answer each question with the care and attention she would devote to her closest friends. Her advice is rooted in honesty and trust, traits she applies to her writing and her life.

Before joining the Chicago Tribune, Dickinson (a distant relative of the poet Emily Dickinson) penned a column on family issues for TIME magazine and had been regularly featured on National Public Radio's "All Things Considered." A weekly column, carried on AOL's News Channels, frequently drew from her experience as a single parent and member of a large, extended family. In addition, she has appeared as a social commentator on CBS' "Sunday Morning."

Dickinson, who grew up on a small dairy farm in New York, currently lives in Chicago with her teenage daughter. A graduate of Georgetown University, Dickinson also has worked as a producer for NBC News and as a freelance writer for publications such as The Washington Post, Esquire and O magazine.

Amy Dickinson Samples

Nephew is a My Little Pony kind of kid

DEAR AMY: I have a 5-year-old nephew who is starting kindergarten. When we were at the store he picked out a My Little Pony lunch box for school. I want him to love school, make friends, but not change who he is.

Grandmother worries about emotional child

DEAR AMY: My grandchildren stay overnight with me once a week. She said that she doesn't know why, but she feels like crying a lot of the time.

All hung up on weekly phone chats

DEAR AMY: My mother and I agreed on a day and time to chat each week. She places the highest priority on her home, playing bridge and her selected TV viewing. We decided on a specific time Saturday morning to talk.

Man should leave abusive marriage now

DEAR AMY: I am 75 years old and very sad. My wife is very likely bipolar and has serious anxiety and anger issues. She has been verbally abusive and has hit me. I have tried to love her, but she is just impossible.

Boyfriend ponders weighty relationship issue

DEAR AMY: I've been dating my girlfriend for nearly two years. While my girlfriend is a sweet and caring woman who means the world to me, she is very overweight. I care about her, and it is driving a wedge between us.

Son camps on floor while visiting dad

DEAR AMY: My sister is recently divorced. Each of the three boys has his own bedroom.

Stay mentally active to keep thinking skills sharp

Here's another reason to keep straining your brain as you age: a study published June 23, 2014, in JAMA Neurology has once again confirmed the "use it or lose it" theory, which holds that staying mentally active by reading books, participating in ...

Fall vaccination roundup

Consider protection against the flu, shingles, pneumonia, and tetanus. Now that autumn is coming, it's time to prepare for your annual flu shot. Even if you got a flu shot last year, you'll need one again for this year's season.

Do older adults need colorectal cancer screenings?

Some people may need the screening well into their 80s. Keeping your gut healthy as you get older takes more than exercising and eating the right diet.

A word about dietary supplements

Whether you choose to take the supplement form of resveratrol or anything else, keep in mind that the FDA does not approve dietary supplements the way it approves medications.

Can drinking wine really promote longevity?

Recent evidence shows the antioxidant resveratrol in wine does not offer a health boost. Resveratrol has been touted as a longevity promoter—a natural way to slow aging and fight cancer, obesity, heart disease, and diabetes.

Can you avoid carpal tunnel syndrome?

Physical therapy, splinting, and corticosteroid injections may relieve symptoms temporarily. You may suspect that you have carpal tunnel syndrome if you experience numbness, tingling, and weakness in your hand.

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