Jamie Hubley. Phoebe Prince. Megan Meier. Ryan Halligan. Tyler Clementi. Five teenagers whose only connection in life, was a connection in death.
In some instances, these teenagers were depressed, displayed a lack of emotion or energy, and harbored negative and suicidal thoughts due to a variety of circumstances. When someone is depressed, negative thoughts, such as “I deserve to be in pain,” “I have no friends,” or “I should die ” are often dwelt upon. Likewise, Jamie Hubley and Ryan Halligan also had negative thoughts that contributed to their deaths.
According to the Huffington post, Jamie had a blog called, “You Can’t Break… When You’re Already Broken.” The blog featured ominous messages, such as “Sometimes I wish the breeze would just take me with it,” “The only thing worse than being hated is being ignored. At least when they hate you they treat you like you exist,” and “Suicide is always an option.”
John Halligan (Ryan Halligan’s father) stated that Ryan said things like “Well, what’s the sense of living? I’m just a dumbass. I’ll never amount to anything,” especially when he thought he would disappoint his father with unsatisfactory school progress reports, according to PBS.org.
Verbal, mental, emotional, and physical abuses are the main reasons why people become depressed and suicidal. People who are obese are constantly abused by comments pertaining to their weight, such as “Don’t you have a Big Mac to eat or a donut to push in your mouth?” However, as hard as they might try, their weight may not lessen due to health problems. This mental and emotional abuse may cause the person to give up.
People who are considered “nerds” or otherwise “different” may suffer not only emotional and verbal abuse, but physical abuse as well. They may get food thrown on them or constantly be called losers. They, too, are just trying to be accepted. Words and actions really do impact people like Jamie, Phoebe, Megan, Ryan, Tyler, and so many others.
Jamie Hubley was tired of the taunts for being the only openly gay student at his high school. For many of us, high school was tough because we were trying to fit in, to find ourselves, or to just have a friend. Now imagine what Jamie must have felt every day and what he went through. Imagine having to spend every day being the target of ridicule, the one person every bully likes to pick on just for being who you are.
Phoebe Prince had just recently moved to the U.S. from Ireland prior to her suicide. She was bullied and harassed, a student throwing a can at her from a passing car as she walked because of disputes with other girls over her brief relationships with their ex-boyfriends. Disputes over a girl dating a guy you like should never lead to bullying.
Megan Meier was cyber-bullied. She had been talking to a 16-year old boy named Josh Evans on MySpace for a couple of weeks. While talking online to Josh, they seemed to click and her family described Megan as having her spirits lifted.
Megan was then sent a vile text message stating, “Everybody in O’Fallon knows how you are. You are a bad person and everybody hates you. Have a shitty rest of your life. The world would be a better place without you.” This message and the others from “Josh” were actually sent by someone pretending to be a boy named Josh Evans. How would you feel if this happened to you? Many of us, especially girls, would be devastated; however, Megan decided to take her life after reading it.
Ryan Halligan was bullied by his classmates in real life and online. He was sent instant messages from his middle school classmates accusing him of being gay, and was threatened, taunted, and insulted incessantly. Ryan didn’t have any high school experiences. He didn’t live to see his prom.
Tyler Clementi, a freshman at Rutgers University, had a video streamed on the internet of him having a private sexual encounter with another man, according to the New York Times. Tyler wasn’t openly gay when it happened. How would you feel if a sexual encounter went viral? Most of us would be severely embarrassed. Before committing suicide, Tyler posted a status on Facebook that said, “Jumping off of the George Washington Bridge.” Imagine being on Facebook and seeing that status show up. Most of us wouldn’t believe it and would ignore it. A few would try to contact Tyler. But just as they attempted to reach him, he jumped.
Some might disagree as to whether constant bullying contributed to all of these deaths, but no one can deny that it was a major factor. According to Towleroad.com, Councilor Hubley (Jamie’s father) said, “We will not say that the bullying was the only reason for Jamie’s decision to take his own life, but it was definitely a factor.”
To help reduce the number of suicides, you can help by doing several things.
1. Let people know you are there to care for and comfort them.
2. Make them realize that they’re wanted.
3. Never give up or leave them.
4. Show them how much they help you in life.
And 5. Try to help fix the problem that is causing their depression.
Listening is a good way to help people solve problems that cause depression. Sometimes a person wants to vent about their problems to someone, but when you feel alone you start thinking that no one wants to listen to you or even cares about you.
As a society, we can help by being more alert and aware. When someone is having negative or suicidal thoughts, help them instead of avoiding them. By helping a person who is dealing with depression, you are saving a family from losing a loved one forever.
A note from Life As A Human
If you or someone you know may be contemplating suicide, there are many free resources you can contact to find understanding people you can talk to anonymously:
In the US – National Suicide Prevention Hotline
In Canada — Centre for Suicide Prevention
In Australia — Suicide.org
First published at – The Bottom Line Online
Guest Author Bio
I am a college student majoring in Mass Communication with a minor in Journalism and English. I love to write and want to be journalist. I want to inspire people with my writing.
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