With bullying no longer taking on the traditional form of physical violence, verbal assaults and cyber bullying is also on the rise in today’s society. Because bullying today allows for much more anonymous options when posting and sharing news and updates of our lives online, the actual act of verbally assaulting and threatening others with the use of computers and mobile smart phones is also on the rise. Understanding bullycide and how to go about preventing it altogether is a way to keep yourself, your children, and entire household from becoming potential targets and ultimately, victims of the bully behavior itself.
What is Bullycide?
Bullycide is referred to as the action of an individual taking his or her own life due to being bullied, stalked, and harassed (both virtually and even physically or in person). Bullycide continues to contribute to thousands of deaths annually, making it an even more pressing issue for both parents and children who want to protect themselves from any threats and negative situations. Bullying can include everything from physically taunting and assaulting another to verbally attacking an individual and using social media to shame or humiliate the victim.
Over time, the effects of bullying can and often trigger low self-esteem, low confidence, and the ability to keep one’s spirits held high, leading to anxiety, depression and in some cases, even suicide attempts. Bullycide has been known to effect individuals of all ages and gender, regardless of racial and cultural backgrounds. Because many children and teenagers are most vulnerable with their identity and view of self, bullying is often much more impactful on today’s youth.
Why is Bullycide on the Rise?
Bullycide has drastically risen in the past decade with the advent of the internet and social media communication. Using mobile smartphones is another platform for bullies and those with negative intentions to reach potential victims with verbal assaults and threats. Bullycide is on the rise due to the ease of having the ability to access profiles and personal information that an individual has posted or shared publicly using different websites, blogs, and online communities.
Social media is another factor in the rise of bullycide, especially as it is one of the easiest platforms to access anonymously when a user is looking to stalk, harass, or verbally assault another person online from home. Social media bullying can often lead to embarrassment and shame, especially when photos, rude and mean comments, along with negative words about you spread to those you are connected with, including friends, family members, and even co-workers.
Signs of Being Bullied
The signs of being bullied vary along with the individual who is being harassed and bullied themselves. Understanding some of the most common signs of an individual being bullied is a way for you to identify whether your child is in need of help while providing additional resources and ideas to resolve the situation altogether. Types of bullying include: verbal, physical assaults, and even cyber bullying that is done online and with the use of social media.
With the use of the media and the limelight sharing stories regarding suicide, celebrities, and teens, this can also contribute to the idea of suicide becoming more normalized and heard of, especially among impressionable young people.
Symptoms and Signs of Individuals Who Are Contemplating Suicide Due to Bullying:
- Social withdrawal and loss of interest in everyday activities, hobbies, and events. No desire to communicate with family, friends, or anyone close to the individual who is suffering.
- Feelings of sadness, hopelessness, and the inability to cope with any problems or life challenges they may be facing at the time, regardless of how severe or minuscule they may appear to outsiders.
- Cutting off contact with everyone in their lives, as those who are contemplating suicide due to bullying often feel alone and begin to feel as if they are a burden to their own family members and friends.
- Carelessness with schoolwork, job performance, maintaining relationships, and even maintaining personal hygiene and household cleanliness can also be clear signs of depression and an individual who is contemplating self-harm or even suicide.
- Expression of carelessness when discussing death. Also, often mentioning suicide while feeling sad and depressed are also common indicators that an individual may be having suicidal ideation themselves, regardless of their age, social status, and how they appear to be happy or content with life. Many individuals who are contemplating suicide at any time in their lives do not do so publicly, making it even more challenging for loved ones and friends to get the help necessary for their friend or relative to get the support necessary to move forward.
- Lack of support from friends and peers can also lead to avoidance and the inability to get the necessary emotional and mental boost to carry on without allowing the bullying take its toll
- Increased anger when discussing specific individuals who have been known to bully or haze other people
- Discussing how they feel they are a burden to others and that the world would “be better off without them”
Taking Steps to Prevent Bullying Altogether in Your Local Community
- Preventing the act of bullying others is not always an easy task, especially when you feel alone on your journey or misunderstood by those who are in charge and have power or authority. Preventing bullying in your local community is possible by launching support groups for both parents and children who have been equally affected by any form of bullying, whether it is verbal or if has been overcoming physical assaults and attacks.
- Spread the word of group meetings and counseling opportunities for bullied children and adults throughout your city to help with spreading the message you want to get across and share with others in your community.
- If you are in school or college and you have been bullied or if you are experiencing an encounter with a bully now, seeking help is also possible with guidance counselors and therapists available. Talking directly to a professional is not only a way for you to learn more about available local resources, but it is also a way to feel a weight lifted off of your shoulder so you have the ability to begin reliving your life without fear of being bullied or dealing with potential bullies in the future.
- Ask questions when you truly want to know more about what is being done in regards to bullying within your local community, whether you have been personally affected or if you are looking out for your own family or friends. Inquiring and remaining adamant on your pursuit to provide additional protection for victims of bullies is a way to start a movement to increase the overall safety of your loved ones, whether they are your children or close friends.
- Create a local organization that helps to prevent bullying, providing tips on how to avoid bullies and how to spot the signs and symptoms of an individual who may be a bully to others when you are not in their presence. Offering solid information to local parents is a way to help with preventing bullies from attacking innocent children, adults, and even the elderly. The more informed your community is in regards to bullying and how it affects both children, parents, and their surrounding family and friends is a way for you to ensure you are taking as much action as possible to help protect your loved ones and anyone you know in your own city or town.
- If you have children in your home, always advise them to avoid sharing personal details and contact information about themselves any time they are online, chatting, or even joining a new blog, website, or forum. Ensuring your children are not leaving behind any identifiers is a way for you to ensure you feel safe and protected when you are not available to monitor your kids while they are browsing online at all times.
- May seem obsessed or overly-indulged in the topic of death, suicide, the afterlife and religion when in depressive states and when struggling with suicidal ideation
- Changes in music and clothing tastes along with traditional conversational behavior is likely to change in an individual who is struggling with the idea of suicide or for anyone who is severely depressed.
- Avoiding close friends, phone calls, school, work, and everyday responsibilities can also be a severe sign that a loved one you know may be suicidal or suffering from bullying attacks.
Understanding the impact bullying has on young children, teens, and even young adults today is necessary to keep from having others in your life contemplate suicide and taking their own lives. The more you understand about bullycide and how it is impacting children and young adults today is a way to empathize more while also finding additional resources to get you or your child and loved one the assistance and support they need to move forward with their lives without suicidal ideation any longer.