The Amanda Todd epidemic has taken Facebook and Twitter by storm.

Amanda Todd was a 15-year-old Canadian teenager whose suicide was attributed to cyber-bullying through the social networking website Facebook.

Amanda posted a video on YouTube on the 09/07/2012 in which she used a series of flash cards to tell of her experience of being blackmailed, bullied, and physically assaulted. Amanda mentions sending an image of her breasts to a man who later circulated it around the internet.

Her suicide sparked a lot of contreversary – with many of my twitter followers tweeting that that she asked for it and deserved to die. I don’t think I can put into words how disgusted I was reading my news feed.  I think anyone that makes fun of suicide is scum off this earth. Amanda Todd made one mistake that ultimately led to her taking her own life. One mistake that turned everyone against her. One mistake she couldn’t rectify.  I don’t applaud her for showing her breasts to a stranger – but I’m nobody to judge her and neither are you.

Have you ever made a mistake you wish you could take back?

Suicide is still a taboo which creates ignorance. The less people know they more they speculate  – if you even understood a fraction of what some people go through on a daily basis then you would never ever begin to judge.  At one time or another we all hit rock bottom and we may wish we were dead – but crossing the line and taking our lives is completely different.

Ultimately this this is about the thousands of people who commit suicide a year.  In 2010 there were 5,608 suicides in people aged 15 years and over in the UK. That’s a staggering figure. Care minister Norman Lamb said: “Over the last 10 years there has been real progress in reducing the suicide rate, but it is still the case that someone takes their own life every two hours in England”. Every two hours – pause and think about that.

Imagine what the statistics would be like globally. I don’t dare think.

A friend of mine posed an interesting question as to why people commit suicide. I’ve been racking my brain and Google and I can’t give you a straight answer.

There is hardly any evidence to explain why some people commit suicide especially when other people in similar circumstances don’t.  According to the NHS website there are some factors that make someone more vulnerable include:

  • life history – for example having a traumatic experience during childhood, such as a bereavement
  • lifestyle – people who misuse alcohol and drugs are at increased risk of suicidal thoughts
  • job – poor job security, low levels of job satisfaction or not  having a job can increase a person’s risk of dying by suicide
  • relationships – people who are socially isolated and have few close relationships with others have a higher risk of dying by suicide

You can find a few other factors – http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/suicide/Pages/Causes.aspx

In an ideal world we would be able to prevent suicide – but we live in a pile of shit so unfortunately we can’t. However individually we can make changes in our lives. We can speak to the person in our class nobody talks too; we can volunteer for purpose based charities. Small acts of kindness may go a long way. We need to mourn the lives of those who have committed suicide not ridicule.

Suicide affects every age group and the majority of stories aren’t heard.

The world works in a cause and effect way. Everything we do and say has effects.  Instead of calling someone ugly – smile at someone because it may just change their entire day.


3 thoughts on “Bullying

  1. Chantal says:

    This is a good example that clearly shows how much power society can have over individuals and their actions.
    Our disintregated society plays a massive part. We cant eliminate suicide but like you said, acts of kindness and a revolutionary change in attitudes and norms can help rebuild social solidarity in our society on a macro scale, to bring the suicide rate down.

    Very good, Nat :).

  2. Neil says:

    Sometimes I questioned how can some people be so heartless. I’d never wish death upon anyone.
    She did not deserve this. The world need more open minded people.
    For the number of mistakes I want to rewind? I’m afraid there aren’t enough time turners for that.
    I think suicide is an illness of the mind. Caused mainly by depression or/and being traumatised.
    She wasn’t mentally strong enough. Her mind gave in to the depression.
    Suicide is a very touchy subject. You always have to be careful when you talk about it.
    But I believe you should be able to make fun of anything in a light hearted way. Except suicide, though. Everyone are always dead quiet when I tell a suicide joke.
    It’s such a dark subject. I prefer to think of it as a way of keeping the population down.
    In 2007 in the UK, on average, 1890 babies were born. That’s nearly 79/hour.

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