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Bullying and Suicide Can Create A Downward Spiral

Bullying Suicide

I’d like think that with the many highly publicized teen suicides related to bullying in the last few years, society as a whole would really start to make some positive change.  But that’s not the way things seem to work most of the time.  As long as people can get away with being a bully somewhere, it will continue to be a problem in each generation.

Being bullied is abuse, plain and simple.  The stronger, more manipulative individual singles out the weaker, more vulnerable individual (the target).  Instead of using their strength for good, they use it to humiliate and emotionally destroy their target.  And more than likely, the weaker individual already feels self conscious or isolated about their situation (thus making them open to being bullied).

Without support, this will further isolate and shred whatever sense of self they have.  If a targeted individual is bullied long enough, they are may reach a point where they’d just rather quit fighting altogether.  If they’re never going to win, they may see no other choice but to give up completely on life.

When emotion becomes overwhelming, impulsivity rises.  That means that a bullied person is much more likely to act on the “feeling of the moment” rather than logic.  If that feeling is about wishing they were dead, suicide risk can be huge.

Unfortunately, there are thousands of teens walking in these shoes every day.  They shift around in life, trying to avoid one bullying attack after another.  They suffer from anxiety, panic attacks, depression, self harm (cutting, burning), sexual trauma, eating disorders, abuse trauma (prior or from the bullying itself), physical injuries, emotional scars, even PTSD.

For a lot of teens, bullying and suicide aren’t just about newspaper headlines.  These issues make up daily life for them.  I can’t say enough how vital it is for each human being everywhere around the world to do their part to stop bullying right where it happens.

Do your best to bully-proof your kids.  And almost more importantly, teach them how to stand up for others.  In so many situations, just one observant brave peer can make the biggest difference.  When kids learn how to stand up for what they see is wrong, and they have great role models who show the same, we may just have a chance at making my wish come true.

OK, so it may not improve overnight.  But how about we work together to make this generation of teens just a little less vulnerable to bullying?

To anyone out there who has experienced bullying, I stand with you and so do many others.

Readers, I look forward to hearing your responses and getting your input on this important ongoing situation.

Creative Commons License photo credit: Amli2009

Bullying and Suicide Can Create A Downward Spiral

Erika Krull, MS, LMHP

Erika Krull, MS, LMHP is a practicing licensed mental health counselor in Nebraska.

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APA Reference
Krull, E. (2012). Bullying and Suicide Can Create A Downward Spiral. Psych Central. Retrieved on May 25, 2019, from


Last updated: 21 Feb 2012
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