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suicide, suicidology, child suicide, young suicide, mental health,
depression, suicidal ideation, despair, self harm, cause, causes, reason, reasons
Stressed, fatigued, irritable, constant viruses, aches and pains, despair, depressed, thoughts of suicide? Read this

Bullying and self-harm
self injury, suicide

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.

Bullying creates tremendous anger, but targets of bullying are mostly non-violent people who firmly believe in resolving conflict with dialogue. As we all now know, dialogue doesn't work with a serial bully, but by the time we learn this lesson the damage is done.

As a society, people aren't taught how to express anger, so we internalise it. Directing anger inwards is a cause of depression.

Targets eventually arrive at a situation where the internalised anger is so great that, like a pressure cooker, some release of the pressure is needed. Rather than resort to violence against others, the target of bullying (usually a person of high integrity) is most likely to direct the violence onto themselves, thus self-harm and attempted suicide. Compare this noble act with the cowardice and thuggery of the bully. To see how and why people are targeted by bullies click here - you may be pleasantly surprised at the reasons.

Only in extremely rare cases will the target act out their by-now violent fantasies, usually with a spree killing.

In the UK each year...

What could be causing so many people to self-harm and attempt suicide or commit suicide?

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.

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. 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". Although not a mental health professional, 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". It may be that much of what we call "mental illness" is in fact long-term "psychiatric injury". 

The difference between mental illness and psychiatric injury 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, feeling unworthy and undeserving, 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.

Strategies for dealing with anger

All targets of bullying (including abuse, harassment, stalking etc) have a lot of locked-up anger which is very difficult to contain. Small irritations tend to set off an explosive release. These triggers can come wittingly or unwittingly from our adversaries or from our friends and colleagues.

Anger is a beast that controls you. When you express it you lose control. Bullies know this, it's why they constantly provoke you. By expressing anger you are thus choosing to allow the bully to control your actions long after the experience. The expression of anger can become like a drug because of the pleasurable feeling that comes with the exercise of power and control. Good people will often then feel guilty, which replenishes the anger for the next time.

Try these:

1) Get an empty plastic milk container or similar and jump up and down on it until it
becomes a two-dimensional object. Do this in private otherwise you may get a visit from two men in white coats.
2) Save up all your empty bottles and visit the bottle bank. The sound of breaking glass is so soothing, especially when you are doing the breaking. Do NOT experiment on your neighbour's windows.
3) Talk things through with your counsellor and therapist.
4) Empower yourself with knowledge and insight and learn defensive phrases such as "I'm sorry you choose to feel like that) - see action/words.htm if you haven't already.
5) Take time to rebuild your boundaries so that it's harder for people to pull your triggers (wittingly or unwittingly).
6) Every time you have a negative thought force yourself to say repeatedly "I am responsible, I am responsible.." (not for the source of the anger, but for your response to the emergence of your anger)
7) Read Gael Lindenfield's book "Managing anger" (
8) Cut contact with all the negative people in your life - if this is not possible (eg the bully is a close relative) then minimise contact, practice verbal self-defence and read Patricia Evans' book "The Verbally Abusive Relationship". See and
9) Rediscover your integrity which has taken a battering and work regularly on rebuilding it, strengthening it and practising it.
10) Concentrate on what YOU want to do with your life. Whilst everyone has the right to take legal action to obtain compensation for detriment, because the law is so weak there's a good case for deciding on *either* committing yourself to several years of legal action (ie more bullying and reliving your experience repeatedly), *or* focusing on your strengths (which are considerable - that's what attracted the bully in the first place, remember?) and carving out a new career for yourself. In most cases it won't take many years to earn more than you might have got through the courts.

More information

Anger can also be caused by unresolved grief.

My pages on suicide and anger.

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.

bullycide, death, playtime, expose, child, suicide, school, bullying, neil marr, tim field, 
suicide, self harm, causes, reasons
Death at playtime
An exposť of child suicide caused by bullying
Neil Marr and Tim Field
Introduction by Jo Brand
ISBN 0 9529121 2 0
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 attempt or commit suicide.

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 Parasuicide

Men's Health Forum's comprehensive report on young men and suicide.

For a suicide caused by bullying at work see

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

Home Pages
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

Success Unlimited
Books on bullying and related issues
Trauma and spiritual growth