In an updated clinical report, American Academy of Pediatrics highlights the role bullying, internet use and other factors play in adolescent suicide.
Bullying and cyberbullying are major risk factors for teen suicide. Both the bullies and their victims are at risk.
According to a report from the American Academy of Pediatrics it urges pediatricians and family doctors to routinely screen teenagers for suicide risks.
In a recent NPR article:
“Pediatricians need to be aware of the problem overall,” says Benjamin Shain, a child and adolescent psychiatrist and lead author of the report published online Monday in the journal Pediatrics. “They should be screening for things like mood disorders, substance abuse as well as bullying.”
Shain says that online bullying is particularly damaging because it’s hard for the victim to get away from it.
“It’s in black and white, you can see it, everyone else can see it, it doesn’t go away,” he says. “You’re not safe in your own house.”
Although this study involves adolescents, aged 15-19 years old, we must not ignore the fact that verbal abuse of bullying and cyberbullying can have the same affects on young adults, parents and seniors. Teens may not be mature enough to handle some of the intense humiliation, however there are instances, such as revenge porn or business owners that are struggling with internet slander of disgruntled clients and adults feel like they are on the verge of an emotional breakdown.
Cyber-take-downs are detrimental at all ages. Adults are expected to handle them better than youth. It’s always been curious to me if there have been any that have died connected to cyberbullying, stalking or otherwise. I’m sure with the headlines we have read, there are many silent sufferers in the world.
It’s so important to reach out to someone if you are having difficulties. I can’t stress that enough. We now live in a time where shaming, harassing and being cruel to others has become a natural pastime and it has to stop. Until it does, we have to be the ones to be the change. We have to be sure we are the upstanders that will turn it around when someone needs you.
When I went through this over a decade ago, no one heard of Internet defamation — cyberbullying was rarely spoke of, today there are no excuses.
We have youth dying over this. We have adults hurting each other with their keypads. We have politicians acting like children. We have some celebrities that aren’t using their platforms as a positive role model – while others are great mentors.
Have you been harassed online and seeking help? Reach out to Online SOS.