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Bullying and Suicide

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At least 16 children in the UK kill themselves each year because they are being bullied

Sadly this number is rising. More and more children resort to killing themselves every year because they feel they can't bare to put up with bullying anymore.

There are a lot of signs to look out for in a person that may be feeling suicidal.

  • Talking about dying - this includes writing about death in poems, essays or stories.
  • Change in personality - sad, withdrawn, irritable, anxious, tired, indecisive, apathetic
  • Change in behaviour - including being withdrawn. Unable to concentrate is also another major sign of behavioural change.
  • Change in sleeping patterns - this may mean the person is tired all the time or on the other hand, is unable to sleep at all.
  • Change in eating habits - overeating or under eating.
  • Low self-esteem - feeling worthless, shame, overwhelming guilt, self-hatred, "everyone would be better off without me"
  • No hope for the future - believing things will never get better; that nothing will ever change
  • Signs of depression - tiredness, head/stomach aches, loss of concentrate, not sleeping.
  • Isolating oneself from other people - a person make keep themselves to themselves if they're feeling suicidal
  • Giving away things that mean a lot to the person - if a person feels something’s in their life are important, they way give away valuable possessions if they're feeling suicidal
  • Alcohol or drug abuse
  • A history of suicide attempts or talks
  • Saying goodbye
  • Becoming suddenly cheerful after a period of depression - people say the happiest moments are before a person kills themselves.

Other things to watch for- Suicidal impulses, statements, plans; giving away favourite things; substance abuse, making out wills, arranging for the care of pets, extravagant spending, agitation, hyperactivity, restlessness or lethargy.


There have been a few cases in the news about people commiting suicide because of bullying:-


Laura Rhodes

Laura was just 13 when she committed suicide. Laura was overweight, and was bullied day in day out because of it. She was also the victim of vicious and untrue rumours. Students kicked her hit her, punched her, tripped her up and knocked books from her hands. With no helpful way to deal with her pain, she comfort ate and by the age of 13 she was wearing size 24 clothes. Like it does many people, the bullying caused Laura to lose all her self-confidence. She used the Internet to find her, and she did. She met 14-year-old Rebecca. Rebecca and Laura kept in contact through text and email and even went on holiday together, and met up on weekends. Both the girls were suffering from depression, and formed a suicide pact. On 6th September 2004, the girls attempted suicide by overdose. Laura was the only one that passed away. Not long after she died, Laura's parents found a letter she'd written. It described one day at school and what the bullies did to her and how she felt. Laura's parents Michael and Yvonne are now working on a children's bill, which means bullying will be made illegal in schools. This law it’s called "Laura's Law". You can visit a site relating to Laura's story by clicking


Brandon Swartwood

Brandon was a sufferer of PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) and depression. He had been bullied for years, and several times had lies told about him. For instance, one bully went to the head teacher and said Brandon had made a bomb threat. The assistance head teacher later said he was convinced Brandon did not make this threat, but the allegation its self was a big enough blow to Brandon, and what it had done to him could not be undone. This is just one of the incidents. On the 16th December 2000, Brandon committed suicide by shooting himself. His mother's story can be read here 


Hannah Kirkham
Hannah Kirkham  from Manchester, was just 18 when she took a drugs overdose because of bullying at her work place, KFC. She was regularly attacked and humiliated and called abusive names such as "fat, spotty bitch". When she left her job, she suffered hallucinations and couldn't even watch KFC adverts on television. Her workmates would spray deodrant on her uniform, then hold lighters against her, and draw on her face and body with marker pen. It is thought that when she left her job, she began self harming, and on 17th December 2003, her mother found her collapsed on her bedroom floor. She died 9 days later.

Many people when they're being bullied do consider suicide. Heart break for families? Yes. For bullies? Guilt. Remorse. Responsibility. Suicide is not the easy way out, it just makes everything worse. You are not "grassing" on your bullies, you're not telling tales, but DO tell someone if you are the victim of bullying. If no one believes you, keep a diary of what is happening, then tell someone. Do not feel ashamed.

I must stress, if you're feeling suicidal, tell someone. Talk to someone who care help you, whether it be your parents, a silbing, a youth worker, a counsellor or a friend. It does get better - I promise it does stop.
Right, so lets face it. You're feeling suicidal. Every action you take, the little negative voice in your head corrects your wrong-doings. You are never happy anymore. You feel like everyone would be better off without you. You can't concentrate on your school work. Nothing seems to be fun. Even cute fluffy animals and funny pictures don't make you smile. Everything is hopeless. You think it won't ever get better. You want to kill yourself. You may think you want to die, but really you just want to be saved. No one can promise your life will automatically suddenly get better if you don't kill yourself, but it could with a lot of work. There are the bad times... but there are good times too. Infact, the good things probably out weigh the bad.

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SBN 2005 - 2008