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Old 01-05-2012, 04:13 PM
 
Location: Geneva, IL
12,976 posts, read 11,840,981 times
Reputation: 14681

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Quote:
Originally Posted by AnnaNomus View Post


No one can expect a 15 year old to make the right choice at all times. That's where parents are supposed to step in. And although my heart goes out to Amanda's family, I do feel they are the ones who dropped the ball here.

They never reported the bullying. Amanda didn't want the bullying to get any worse by telling. So what DID they do? Change schools? Homeschool? Anything? Or simply allow the abuse to continue?

She was 15, dating a 19 year old.

She had a history of anorexia, depression, self mutilation, and suicide attempts.

Seeing that their child had some pretty serious mental health issues, they should have been even more vigilant and protective. But they allowed her to go to a school day after day and be tormented, they allowed her to date a much older boy (guaranteed heartache and drama for even a mentally healthy girl) and they apparently did nothing to monitor her online activities or step in when necessary. I do believe that the bullies carry some of the blame, but there seems to be plenty of that to go around.
Poor kid.

 
Old 01-05-2012, 04:17 PM
 
14,777 posts, read 34,663,988 times
Reputation: 14281
Quote:
Originally Posted by eastwesteastagain View Post
I don't think anyone's arguing that bullying alone is directly causal, except the newspaper headlines. The factors that lead up to suicide attempts and completed suicides are many and varied. It's part of why it's such a difficult problem to get predictive data on.
This is an important point that I have raised before. Bullying is an "epidemic" because we are focused on it and these cases that are in all honesty EXTREMELY rare garner massive media attention. I'd have to dig up the post where I laid out the statistics, but teen suicide is actually much lower now than it was in the past and one of the least listed reasons for teen suicide is bullying. The leaders of the pack are; relationship issues, parental issues, drug use and mental health problems.

This doesn't mean that bullying should be ignored but it is not the cause of all ills in society as it is being made out these days. In the details of the person above, they trip at least 3 of the 4 major reasons teen commit suicide. To say she was bullied into it is most likely a bit of a stretch and an easy way to deflect blame. I don't honestly think that kids without underlying issues that are taught how to defend themselves against bullying are driven to suicide by it. The ones that take that step almost always have an undercurrent of major issues that get glossed over.
 
Old 01-05-2012, 04:30 PM
 
Location: Philadelphia, PA
3,388 posts, read 3,236,105 times
Reputation: 2387
Quote:
Originally Posted by NJGOAT View Post
This is an important point that I have raised before. Bullying is an "epidemic" because we are focused on it and these cases that are in all honesty EXTREMELY rare garner massive media attention. I'd have to dig up the post where I laid out the statistics, but teen suicide is actually much lower now than it was in the past and one of the least listed reasons for teen suicide is bullying. The leaders of the pack are; relationship issues, parental issues, drug use and mental health problems.

This doesn't mean that bullying should be ignored but it is not the cause of all ills in society as it is being made out these days. In the details of the person above, they trip at least 3 of the 4 major reasons teen commit suicide. To say she was bullied into it is most likely a bit of a stretch and an easy way to deflect blame. I don't honestly think that kids without underlying issues that are taught how to defend themselves against bullying are driven to suicide by it. The ones that take that step almost always have an undercurrent of major issues that get glossed over.
Agreed.

Not sure if you saw one of my first posts on this thread, but I said very close to the same thing. Treating the chronically suicidal is my line of work. It is plausible, from a model of suicidal behavior, for bullying to be both a chronic stressor and an immediate acute stressor (in the isolating/lack of support realm) and if that acute stressor comes at the "right time" for bullying to then be the sole cause, but this is VERY unlikely, statistically speaking. Anecdotally from my own experience, I never saw it a case with bullying as the sole reason for suicidal behavior. Typically, suicide attempts and completions are multivaried in cause- most models of suicidal behaviors have a minimum of 10 risk and protective factors.

I completely agree that the "jump on the bandwagon, bullying is directly causal" is not helpful (or accurate), any more than the "suck up and deal, bullying's not so bad" bandwagon. However, it is included as a salient risk factor and I believe we can all agree it is problematic to some extent, which will vary by case. It is easier, both for the media and individuals, IMO, to be able to "blame" some single cause when suicides occur because it puts some distance between the individual and the fact that the predictive models leave a lot to be desired. It's much easier to believe "this will never happen to me or mine" if it's one big bad single cause, and not a complex phenomenon, if that makes sense.

The media tends to portray the limited information it has access to as something much more conclusive than even a psychological autopsy of the specific case could. But media running fast and loose with facts is probably a topic for another thread.

One thing I think is important to keep in mind when posting about this topic is to be careful in one's choice of words, especially if choosing to discuss a specific person, rather than the phenomenon as a whole. It is one thing to armchair quarterback politics, it's another to armchair quarterback a stranger's mental health. For whatever reasons, which we will not know and can only guess at, her loved ones lost her. They can very easily find these discussions, and I promise, it's not academic to them.

Thanks for your posts, NJGoat, and for letting me use them as a jumping off point for my own thoughts.

Last edited by eastwesteastagain; 01-05-2012 at 04:46 PM.. Reason: Damn you auto correct!
 
Old 01-05-2012, 04:38 PM
 
Location: Geneva, IL
12,976 posts, read 11,840,981 times
Reputation: 14681
Quote:
Originally Posted by eastwesteastagain View Post
One thing I think is important to keep in mind when posting about this topic is to be careful in one's choice of words, especially if choosing to discuss a specific person, rather than the phenomenon as a whole. It is one thing to armchair quarterback politics, it's another to armchair quartesomeone stranger's mental health. For whatever reasons, which we will not know and can only guess at, her loved ones lost her. They can very easily find these discussions, and I promise, it's not academic to them.
Excellent point.
 
Old 01-05-2012, 04:45 PM
 
Location: Upper Midwest
1,875 posts, read 3,590,783 times
Reputation: 1869
Quote:
Originally Posted by eastwesteastagain View Post

One thing I think is important to keep in mind when posting about this topic is to be careful in one's choice of words, especially if choosing to discuss a specific person, rather than the phenomenon as a whole.
I think it should be easy to discern a public comment on a public story and the highly impersonal view the poster is coming from. I don't think any special wording or coddling is required.

Quote:
It is one thing to armchair quarterback politics, it's another to armchair quarterback a stranger's mental health. For whatever reasons, which we will not know and can only guess at, her loved ones lost her.
From what it sounds, this is probably the first time they've noticed her whereabouts.
 
Old 01-05-2012, 04:49 PM
 
Location: Philadelphia, PA
3,388 posts, read 3,236,105 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Minnesconsinite View Post
I think it should be easy to discern a public comment on a public story and the highly impersonal view the poster is coming from. I don't think any special wording or coddling is required.



From what it sounds, this is probably the first time they've noticed her whereabouts.
Not sure where you confused common decency with coddling, but ok. You are certainly entitled to your opinion.
 
Old 01-05-2012, 04:52 PM
 
Location: Upper Midwest
1,875 posts, read 3,590,783 times
Reputation: 1869
Quote:
Originally Posted by eastwesteastagain View Post
Not sure where you confused common decency with coddling, but ok. You are certainly entitled to your opinion.

Common decency is not saying it to the family's face. I'm sure as hell not going to coddle the people in every news story on every public forum I post at, as if they're personal friends of mine. Hell the eff no.

Moderator cut: snip

Last edited by JustJulia; 01-05-2012 at 10:31 PM..
 
Old 01-05-2012, 05:03 PM
 
Location: Philadelphia, PA
3,388 posts, read 3,236,105 times
Reputation: 2387
Quote:
Originally Posted by Minnesconsinite View Post
Common decency is not saying it to the family's face. I'm sure as hell not going to coddle the people in every news story on every public forum I post at, as if they're personal friends of mine. Hell the eff no.

Plus, as is clearly shown, it makes people feel important to look at others as "indecent" whatever.
Notice how someone took my original straight-forward comments about her keeping and open wall and just uglied them up? (Until someone piped up and agreed with me, and sort of dropped it. lol)
It seems like common decency is in the eye of the beholder. I'm not trying to argue with you; I am asking questions when I see information that I know to be inaccurate and providing information and opinion based on my professional area of expertise. You are welcome to disagree. If your point was what NJGoat nicely articulated, feel free to take my response to his post as addressing your POV.
 
Old 01-05-2012, 05:15 PM
 
1,677 posts, read 1,976,427 times
Reputation: 5479
Quote:
Originally Posted by eastwesteastagain View Post

One thing I think is important to keep in mind when posting about this topic is to be careful in one's choice of words, especially if choosing to discuss a specific person, rather than the phenomenon as a whole. It is one thing to armchair quarterback politics, it's another to armchair quarterback a stranger's mental health. For whatever reasons, which we will not know and can only guess at, her loved ones lost her. They can very easily find these discussions, and I promise, it's not academic to them.
I do agree with you. It's one thing to read a story and comment about it, it's another thing to the people who are actually living this tragedy. But the fact remains that, once a person's story is public knowledge, it is open for discussion and opinions. I think the best we can do is try to be tactful, which I hope I have been, but my opinion stands.

Hindsight is always 20/20, and of course it is easy to look at someone else's situation and say what they should have done. But I do believe that perhaps someone else could learn what to do, or NOT to do, if their child is ever in this situation. The family, in their pain and grief, seems to be blaming everyone else. While I understand the horror of finding terrible messages on their daughter's fb page while she lay dying, what I don't understand is why they allowed the page to remain up and engaged in conversation with these vicious people. They accessed her page after her death, why not before? They are also blaming the 19 year old boyfriend, saying he got Amanda drunk and high then had sex with her.

I honestly feel bad for this family, but I don't think it's helpful by not looking at what they could have done to help Amanda. Maybe by doing so, they could help someone else who is going through similar things with their kid.
 
Old 01-05-2012, 05:23 PM
 
Location: Philadelphia, PA
3,388 posts, read 3,236,105 times
Reputation: 2387
Quote:
Originally Posted by AnnaNomus View Post
I do agree with you. It's one thing to read a story and comment about it, it's another thing to the people who are actually living this tragedy. But the fact remains that, once a person's story is public knowledge, it is open for discussion and opinions. I think the best we can do is try to be tactful, which I hope I have been, but my opinion stands.

Hindsight is always 20/20, and of course it is easy to look at someone else's situation and say what they should have done. But I do believe that perhaps someone else could learn what to do, or NOT to do, if their child is ever in this situation. The family, in their pain and grief, seems to be blaming everyone else. While I understand the horror of finding terrible messages on their daughter's fb page while she lay dying, what I don't understand is why they allowed the page to remain up and engaged in conversation with these vicious people. They accessed her page after her death, why not before? They are also blaming the 19 year old boyfriend, saying he got Amanda drunk and high then had sex with her.

I honestly feel bad for this family, but I don't think it's helpful by not looking at what they could have done to help Amanda. Maybe by doing so, they could help someone else who is going through similar things with their kid.
Oh, I agree with you. I hope it didn't seem like I was asking people to censor their views. The thing that I find disquieting is when opinions (not yours) are given as if we have enough information to definitively say "do this or don't do that," or "well THIS was the cause."By all means, if the story sparks a "what can I do differently with my own kids to try to circumvent this" I think that's wonderful and useful. Suicide seems to be a big taboo IMO that " shouldn't be discussed," which is the furthest thing from useful. One of the most effective interventions is asking the person who is struggling if they are planning to harm themselves. Dialog is good. It's when the tone of some posts get judgmental and know-it-all (not yours) in a situation where we don't know it all that I think it crosses the line from being productive and starts becoming arrogant, inaccurate and in some cases downright ignorant.

IME, not as an excuse, but just as information, families can do some pretty odd things (to the outside view) in their grief and anger and don't always exercise the best judgment. Then again, that can be true of some families in general.

Last edited by eastwesteastagain; 01-05-2012 at 06:20 PM..
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