Teen suicide is a pandemic in this country. Bullying and teen suicide have now become synonymous. In researching bullying and suicide, there seems to be a new catchword that has become part of the growing trend of bullying in schools. It’s called bullycide, which is “suicide caused by bullying and depression.”
In her article “Bullied to Death,” JoLynn Carney wrote, “victims of chronic peer abuse run an increased risk of suicidal behavior. “ She continues, “Many adolescents face being potential victims of violence in their communities, schools and homes on a daily basis. For some young people, those external threats create a hopelessness and depression that can lead to suicidal thoughts or actions.” You can read more about this wherein Melissa Beattie-Moss writes a fascinating article entitled, “Fighting Back: Bullying is an epidemic in American schools—but it can be prevented.”
The evidence to support Dr. Carney’s theory is evident in the recent West Virginia tragedy. The young man was bullied as a kid, and went on to exact his revenge on innocent students. While this is an extreme case, it is nonetheless a by-product of teen depression. Moreover, imagine a kid who is new to a school, a bit shy, appears physically weak, and is consistently victimized by teen bullies. This abuse causes isolation, alienation and teen depression, which may inevitably result in suicide.
More importantly, if a student has low self-esteem to begin with, and is constantly barraged by bullies who reinforce his low self-worth, he then becomes a prime candidate for bullying suicide. Consider this statistic: 86% of kids who were picked on or bullied turned to violence in the schools. However, it should be noted that some of the violence is turned inward, thus creating bullying suicide.
Furthermore, recent statistics assert that over 280,000 kids are physically attacked in secondary schools each month. If a teen in middle school is among the victims of these insidious attacks, and there is no recourse either through official channels or through counseling, it seems reasonable to assume that this child will go through all of the phases of teen depression – and ultimately commit the final act which will end the violence perpetrated on him or her.
Bullying and teen suicide have officially been linked, and it is more important than ever to find a solution to this ever-growing problem. Although teen depression has hit an all-time high, couple it with bullying and you have the makings of an inner-time-bomb that will eventually go off. Bullying suicide, or bullycide as it is now called, is a frightening consequence. Unless and until programs are instituted to address the seriousness and potential life-threatening bullying that is prevalent in most schools today, the teen suicide rate will undoubtedly increase.
By Mandy-Jane Clarke
For more tips on teen suicide visit Stop-Bullies.com