If you are being bullied: You are not alone.
Ryan Halligan, Carl Walker-Hoover, Megan Meier, Alexis Pilkington, Montana Lance, Jon Carmichael, Phoebe Prince, Seth Walsh, Asher Brown, Billy Lucas, and Tyler Clementi: All of these young people have something in common.
They all committed suicide after enduring relentless cyberbullying, and other types of bullying. These young peoples ages ranged from 9 to 20.
Webster’s Dictionary defines bullying as, 1: Treating abusively, 2: affecting by means of force or coercion, 3: to use browbeating language or behavior.
One third of Americans have been bullied, have bullied, or both. So for most Americans, it is not a question of whether or not you will be bullied, but when you will be bullied. The focus of this blog post is bullying, suicide, depression, and places you can seek help; another purpose here is to charge you to do something different. Make the difference in the life of someone whom you know that is being bullied, and stand up for them. If you are a teenager, tell your parents, let officials at school know, and if all else fails, file a report with your local police department. If you are a teenager, you may need an adult to help you with this. Go to bullypolice.org and find the laws of your state, and take them with you when you go to the police station. You may be the first one in your town, county (local jurisdiction) to attempt to file this type of report. If you can’t get help in any of these places, call the district attorney’s office. If you are an adult, and this is happening in your workplace, get to know the people at your human resources office, and remember that everyone has a supervisor. It’s like that saying, “The squeaky wheel gets the most grease.” People have to understand that you have a problem, and that the problem is very real. School systems, supervisors, and others not responding to your very real concerns and fears is not an answer.
Get involved in what’s going on in your community, and in your state. Seven months after his son Ryan’s death, John Halligan helped pass Vermont’s anti-bullying law. To date, 45 states have anti-bullying laws (only 15 states have laws against cyber bullying), though these laws are not equal in all states. On the website: http://www.bullypolice.org you can find a list of all the states, and their anti-bullying laws. The website also gives their opinions of the states that have the best laws, giving them A++ ratings.
And if you’re wondering how depression fits into all of this, most people who are depressed do not kill themselves, but depression when untreated often increases the risk of suicide. Sometimes there is a greater risk that a person that is coming out of a sever depression will attempt suicide, because they now have the energy to do so. Some symptoms of depression are:
- Not being able to sleep, or sleeping too much
- Not being able to concentrate, and finding previously easy tasks difficult
- Feeling hopeless and helpless
- Not being able to control negative thoughts no matter how much you try
- Loss of appetite, or you can’t stop eating
- Increased irritability or you are more short tempered than usual.
- You have thoughts that life is not worth living
If these symptoms are you, there are places that you can call for help. There are a number of free websites that offer help for depressed individuals. Often, a local health department can point you toward resources in your area.
If you are feeling suicidal call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255
You can also find out more information about the resources in your area at the website:
It’s time we all take a stand to put an end to the senseless deaths that are arising from bullying.