Stressed, fatigued, irritable, constant viruses, aches & pains, despair, depressed, thoughts of suicide? Read this
"Suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary situation"
Cases of adults driven to suicide
Cases of children driven to suicide by bullying
Britain has one of the highest suicide rates in Europe. Each year in the UK over 5000 people take their life. The Samaritans estimate that in the UK there is a suicide every 82 minutes. The charity Depression Alliance estimates that each year there are around 19,000 suicide attempts by UK adolescents whilst more than 2 million children attend GP's surgeries with some kind of psychological or emotional problem.
Each day, two people under the age of 24 commit suicide. In 1997, 1757 young adult males committed suicide whilst only 412 females committed suicide. One reason is thought to be because males choose more lethal (and thus successful) methods of suicide such as hanging, shooting or jumping in front of a train. Around 200 people commit suicide by train every year, with another 50 killing themselves on the London underground. The death of Brian Drysdale at Ufton Nervet in Berkshire in November 2004 was believed to be a suicide. In the UK, suicide has taken over from road accidents as the number one cause of death for young adult males in the age range 18-24.
Suicide statistics show that in the UK at least 16 children kill themselves each year because they are being bullied at school and no-one in authority is doing anything about it. [List of cases] The number of adults who commit suicide because of bullying, harassment and violence is unknown, but my guess is that bullying is a factor in a significant number of these 5000 suicides.
The suicide rate for 18-24-year-old males has jumped from 58 deaths per million of population in 1974 to 170 deaths per million in 1997. In October 1999, the government reported that the number of young males who commit suicide each year in the UK had doubled over the last ten years. With the support of other organisations including the Football Association, the government announced a programme aiming to cut the suicide rate by at least 25% in 10 years. One of the problems of young male suicide identified was men's reluctance to confide their problems in others, even their peers.
In inner city areas, over 43% of children have considered suicide and one in six children under the age of 11 have attempted suicide. Common causes cited include bullying, abuse, poverty, homelessness, and alcohol abuse.
France also has a high suicide rate; each year there are around around 200,000 attempted suicides by 15-25-year-olds, including 40-60,000 suicide attempts serious enough to warrant hospitalisation, and around 800 successful suicides.
A UK Mental Health Foundation survey published in February 2001 revealed that half of university students showed signs of clinical anxiety whilst more than 10% suffered from clinical depression. Although specific causes are hard to identify, those most often cited include student loans and debt, bullying, constant academic expectations through tests and exams, plus the sudden pressures of being away from home.
Looked at from a spiritual perspective, perhaps the best reason for not taking one's own life is that despite the apparent overwhelming odds at the time, you have a mission to complete in this lifetime. If you do not achieve it, you'll have to come back and live your life again, and again, and again, until you achieve whatever it is you're here to achieve. Those who work with past life experience say that contrary to many religious teachings, a person who commits suicide is not punished on the other side, but welcomed with love like everyone else, and when the being feels ready, is helped and encouraged to incarnate again with the objective of learning the lessons that the individual needs to learn in order to move on to the next level in spiritual development.
Back on earth, after a suicide the coroner will often conclude that "the balance of the mind was disturbed". However, I believe there is one cause of suicide which has until now been overlooked. Abuse in all its forms - bullying, harassment, stalking, domestic violence, sexual abuse etc - causes prolonged negative stress which cumulatively amounts to psychiatric injury. A prominent symptom of psychiatric injury is reactive depression, which gives rise to thoughts of suicide.
People kill themselves for a variety of reasons. Sometimes drugs and alcohol are a factor, as are social factors, poverty, deprivation, mental illness, etc. However, whilst some people decide to end their life because of despair, others take their life because they see it as a "logical step". I've often thought that the former category (despair) is the result of "mental illness", whilst the latter (logical step) is because of "psychiatric injury". The difference is important because injury has an external cause - in other words, something - or someone - is liable. The differences between mental illness and psychiatric injury are often not recognized; understanding the differences could alter the verdict, perhaps from suicide to manslaughter. To see the differences between mental illness and psychiatric injury, click here.
Bullying, harassment and abuse cause injury to health, which is often diagnosed as stress and anxiety but may also include depression. The page injury to health tells you how negative stress injures your health, including the sequence of events that precedes suicide. Prolonged negative stress can culminate in a cocktail of symptoms often congruent with the diagnostic criteria for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD; these include anxiety, anger, reactive depression, tearfulness, disbelief, panic attacks, fatigue, sleeplessness, migraines, joint and muscle pains, excessive guilt, suicidal thoughts, loss of self-esteem and self confidence. Suicide can also result from overwork, which the Japanese call karoshi. In the year 2000 there were 33,000 suicides in Japan.
Bully OnLine provides unique insight into both the tactics and effects of bullying and harassment and reveals the main perpetrator of bullying, the serial bully. Everyone, whether dealing with suicide or not, has experience of at least one person in their life with the profile of the serial bully. It may be at home with a violent partner or family member, or at work with an aggressive co-worker or boss, or with an aggressive neighbour, or at school with the school bully. Living or working with a serial bully can drive you to suicide. Click here to see who you know with this behavior profile.
Browse this web site to recognize the tactics of bullying ... start with Am I being bullied? then move on to What is bullying? To find out what you can do about bullying, click Action to tackle bullying. Have a look at the profile of the serial bully which is common to harassers, stalkers, rapists, violent partners, abusers, pedophiles, even organized serial killers.
Death at playtime
An exposť of child suicide caused by bullying
Neil Marr and Tim Field
Introduction by Jo Brand
Published by Success Unlimited in January 2001
Paperback, 18 chapters, 320 pages, 30 b/w pictures, resources, index
Click book cover (left) for more details
Bullycide: when unrelenting bullying and harassment combined with lack of intervention by the responsible adults cause children to ultimately attempt or commit suicide.
Click here for excerpts.
Order a copy:
Online with secure credit card ordering
By fax or letter with printed order form
Links to sites on suicide and suicidology
Suicide and Mental Health Association International
Men's Health Forum's comprehensive report on young men and suicide.
Befrienders International works to prevent suicide worldwide with 31,000 volunteers in over 40 countries. See their pages on workplace bullying and school bullying.
Unemployment "triples suicide risk": Researchers say people who
are unemployed have a three times greater
risk of committing suicide than those who are employed: http://uk.news.yahoo.com/030730/103/e56zo.html
My page on self harm
September 2004: Scottish suicide toll revealed
November 2004: a study of the suicide of Brian Drysdale who drove his car on to a level crossing at Ufton Nervet in Berkshire, England. The high speed train derailed killing 7 people including Drysdale. [More]
Stress, injury to health, trauma and PTSD
How bullying, harassment and abuse damage health and cause trauma
Stress, trauma and PTSD Home Page
The cause of stress revealed
Stress at work, injury to health, fatigue, depression, suicide
PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) and Complex PTSD
Bullying, stress and self-harm | Stress and debility
Bullying and suicide | Cases of suicide caused by bullying
Bullying shame | Bullying fear | Bullying embarrassment | Bullying guilt
Bullying and denial | Trauma | Shell shock: PTSD in WW1
David Kinchin's book Post Traumatic Stress Disorder: the invisible injury
validates and relieves the silent unseen suffering of trauma
Profile of David Kinchin | PTSD workshops by David Kinchin
Neil Marr and Tim Field's book Bullycide: death at playtime reveals the
secret toll of children who attempt or commit suicide because of bullying
The Field Foundation | Bully OnLine
Workplace bullying | School bullying | Family bullying
Bullying news | Press and media centre
Bullying case histories | Bullying resources
Stress, PTSD and psychiatric injury
Action to tackle bullying | Related issues
Books on bullying and related issues
Trauma and spiritual growth