Help With Bullying – Feelings of Suicide

While bullying doesn’t lead to suicide it can exacerbate the feelings of helplessness and despair that lead to suicide. Bullying can also cause PTSD because it’s basically long term exposure to repetitive emotional trauma.

Stressed Businesswoman --- Image by © Royalty-Free/Corbis

Here is a question that appeared on Quora and my answer:

I have a very serious problem that’s making me really sad, and sometimes I feel extremely sad, sometimes a bit happy, and rarely, suicidal. What should I do?
I don’t often feel suicidal, and I don’t want to be a burden and risk death, but sometimes, I am just really upset. I feel like I have no support, so I just go to school miserably (school’s the reason why I feel extremely upset, bullied before, and I don’t think it’ll ever stop). My parents might get overly sad if I tell them this, so I don’t want to tell my parents. I have no other person to solve this problem but myself; I can’t make myself tell anyone. If anyone has any advice, I would greatly appreciate it.

My answer:

First – don’t commit suicide. Decide to live, just not like you have been and then learn what you need to do to change things.

Second – ask for help. You aren’t alone. Thinking you are alone is a fallacy. You aren’t alone. There are people who will help you if you request help. You may have to ask repeatedly, but eventually you will find people to support you. Be persistent. If you are going through hell, keep going, don’t stop and wallow. Get help where you can. You have to be proactive about that. People can’t read minds, you need to say – I need help. Here’s the cool thing. Once you admit that you need help, a huge part of the weight that you’ve been carrying will lift. You will feel better almost immediately.

Third – tell your parents. There is a lot they can do to help you. If what is happening is at school, they can help with the administrators in a way you can’t as a student. Plus, you need professional mental health care and your parents need to arrange that for you.

Fourth, yes your parents will get sad and anxious, that’s because they love you – let them help. Don’t hide from them because you don’t want to disturb them. If you are occasionally considering suicide, you need help. Go seek it. The only way out of the situation you are in is to seek help. You will be glad you did.

Let me tell you a little story. I was stalked. My stress levels soared, I was anxious, I developed a nervous bladder (which was a medical manifestation of the high levels of stress I was experiencing). I starting having panic attacks (2 or 3 every day – I literally work up and had one and would have one right before falling asleep and then 1 or more throughout the day). After 3 years of suffering, I finally found a therapist to help me with my stress. She taught me breathing exercises and helped me understand what was triggering my stress and within 3 months, I stopped having panic attacks. What you are going through is stressful and you need someone who can help teach you how to cope with the high levels of stress you are experiencing. Given that not everyone experiences this sort of extreme stress – you need a professional who can advise you and teach you these coping skills.

Finally, you need to have a strategy to get the bullies to leave you alone. It can be done, but it’s extremely hard to do. Check out the free materials on this website. Get the free e-book: why bullies bully and what you can do to stop bullying. Take advantage of the free toolkit offer. This will help you understand the behavioral dynamic that is playing out and how to start controlling it. This material is based on operant conditioning and will teach you how to train your bullies to leave you alone using the same techniques people use to train dogs. And yes it works. There is also a free program for your parents to help them better understand HOW to talk to the school so that the school will support you during this time.

The key to everything, once you start, is consistency. But you have to start or you will stay in the same emotional space you are currently in. Good luck.