On Bullying and Suicide

person on beach in water

I didn’t want to wake up. I was having a much better time asleep. And that’s really sad. It was almost like a reverse nightmare, like when you wake up from a nightmare you’re so relieved. I woke up into a nightmare. 
Ned Vizzini

With the recent death by suicide of Daniel Fitzpatrick, who did leave a note saying that bullying was the cause of his choice of suicide, the wound of those that kill themselves due to bullying opened up again. No matter it seems, how often we tell people ‘it gets better’, they continue to doubt this through the actions of suicide. Those of us who have been in depression or C-PTSD from child trauma know that with depression can come a feeling of end of life. In fact, there are scientists studying whether a dormant gene we all have could possibly be involved.

For those that think suicide is mainly a childhood problem, this study from CBN dispels that idea. It tells us.

Every seventeen minutes, someone in the United States commits suicide. Each day approximately 86 Americans commit suicide, and 1,500 people attempt suicide. Suicide is the nation’s eighth leading cause of death. For those 15-24 years of age, suicide is the third leading cause of death. More Americans, an estimated 31,000, kill themselves than are killed by homicide.

For every completed suicide, there are twenty-five attempted suicides. An estimated 750,000 suicide attempts annually affect the lives of millions of family members. The number of survivors grows 186,000 each year. For every suicide, at least six other people’s lives are affected.

So that is quite a sobering set of numbers. It seems to be a much larger issue. Another interesting issue is that of the suicide note. We tend to think that most people leave a note. Not true it seems. This study points out:

Between 10% and 35% of people who commit suicide leave behind a note.

I think this quite important, because one of the issues in bullycide (suicide due to bullying) is that we don’t have an accurate count of how many people kill themselves due to bullying. Not everyone leaves a note. But as we see from one study, for young people it is the third leading cause of death.

What’s the good news in this article? I wish I could tell you. I am not going to share clips from final YouTube notes or other new ways young people are communicating. I just think it is important that we open the dialogue about bullying and suicide. We know that a bullying survivor is 7-9 times more likely to consider and carry out suicide. That should be enough to realize that there is something needing to be done, when tied with the above statistics.

That something, in my opinion, is to try to identify both bullying survivors and bullies and work with them on psychological recovery before it is too late. Unfortunately, for many, they made the ultimate decision. But that can be changed with better programs of bullying recovery. I am on that mission and I certainly hope that one day, I can say I helped changed these statistics. Who is with me?

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About bullyingrecovery

Alan Eisenberg is a Certified Life Coach with a niche in bullying and abuse recovery, Bullying Recovery activist, and author of "A Ladder In The Dark: My journey from bullying to self-acceptance". and "Crossing the Line". He has been writing and speaking to various audiences about the issue of C-PTSD and Bullying Recovery. Mr. Eisenberg has been featured on several print, radio shows and podcasts on this issue, including NPR and in the Boston Globe
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  1. Pingback: On Bullying and Suicide | Bullying Stories

  2. Many children endure traumatic events throughout school, and therefore become victims of grave repercussions such as becoming victims of depression, anxiety, low self-esteem, schizophrenia, and addiction, and higher suicide rates. Roughly around 80 percent of individuals that have committed suicide had depressive indications. Plenty of other initiatives can definitely be taken along with the ones that are already in place in efforts to possibly reduce drastic effects such as suicide, homicide, mental illnesses, and health problems One study conducted by National Center for Mental Health Promotion and Youth Violence Prevention, states that out of 64 percent of students surveyed responded that they would not report any bullying incident. Perhaps a vast decrease of suicidal rates would be seen, if laws were implemented in which bystanders were prosecuted, more projects were made emphasizing in providing mental screening, parenting classes, and affordable mental healthcare were all easily attainable for all.

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