Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Bullying ... It has got to stop

We hear about this all the time; the statistics are staggering. Children who are coming home with tears in their eyes, at times with hidden stories of being bullied on play grounds and in the streets of the communities.  The horrors being played out on National Television of those who have been bullied and resort to suicides that are attempted and those that are completed after being the subjects of bullying around the country, the world ... yet it continues.
The focus for so long has been the little child, the teen and the bullying as a part of life it seems, yet more and more we now realize that it takes place in high schools, in colleges, on to the workplace. In jobs and careers where once would thing it had long been outgrown and in fields where folks find it hard to fathom that such behaviors would exist yet it not only exists but it grows like weeds.  There is the "in group" and the group that stands outside that circle and often those are the ones that are bullied with yet an increased ability to make them feel less by those who have developed brains and sophistication.  It happens in the helping professions; in health care, in hospice care; within the professions of physicians, nurses, social workers and those that we would never ever suspect doing such bastardly deeds of unkindness.  
Bullying happens in assistant living facilities and in Nursing Homes.  Bullying happens on social media sites, Facebook has quite a number of those who like to bully as does those pages that are set up as causes and public pages where many gather for the good of something or animals or places.  Folks just can't seem to get along and they split into the in crowd and those they like to pick on with little or no regard of the impact and harm being done to another.

Yes, it has caused record numbers of depression in those that are the subject of bullying; and it has led to suicide as the last resort from those who just cannot live that way another day.  We hear about it on the news, watch families that are destroyed by it, while they gasp for breath in trying to tell the stories of finding out things after a death that they had no idea of in the complexity and ugliness of how a child, a sister, brother, spouse had been treated by others.  Making fun of someone in their appearance, their dress, their way of doing something differently... perhaps the next great mind, thinker, the next person to go to the greatest kind act, the next person to discover a cure for Cancer, or to dance like we've never seen but always wanted to.  Lives not valued by others, yet treated with hate or with jealousy by others who wanted to put out their light with the hope that theirs would shine brighter.

BULLYING ... should be punished by the full extent of the law. And new laws should be set in stone to deal with those who bully.

Parents, Elders, friends need to teach well this thing called "Bullying" to the young and the grown, and the reality of the harm in order to empower them to take a stand when they hear or see of it.  Watching children play in groups one can usually spot a bully from several yards away, one can usually hear in their words the sarcasm the taunting and the body language.  One can also see the face of a person who has been bullied, whether child or adult or Elder, it shows more times than not.
This is the face of one who has been bullied, one who has been scarred, one who is at a higher risk of suicide leaving blood on the hands of those who taunted, name called and deliberately made fun of her for whatever reasons.
A new study has again been done and its results are not surprising about the devastations of bullying.  Youth who are bullied, picked on by their peers are more likely to think about suicide, more likely to try to kill themselves than other kids... They are more likely to grow up into damaged adults.  In this particular study 1,200 kids ages 12-17 said they had thought about suicide... 1200 kids had thought of killing themselves WITHIN the month before being interviewed by researchers!  That is more than enough to make you sick within.

Did you know that Native American youth suicides are seven times the National Average?
 We must stop this...
 And so the study just released says:

Youth who were sexually assaulted had 3.4 times the risk of thinking about suicide and those who were maltreated had 4.4 times the risk of suicidal ideation during the past year.
At greatest risk were kids who were exposed to seven or more individual types of victimization in the past year, the study showed. These kids were almost six times more likely to report suicidal thoughts.
"Exposure to multiple forms of victimization is especially detrimental," said study author Dr. Heather Turner, professor of sociology at the University of New Hampshire, in Durham. "These kids may be exposed to crime and violence at home by witnessing their parents fighting and other types of domestic violence, and they may witness violence in their neighborhoods and be bullied on the Internet. These are kids that are clearly experiencing a huge amount of adversity in multiple areas of their lives."
To catch at-risk kids, she said, "we need more of a holistic youth-centered approach."
One expert said the new research confirms what has been known and suspected about the consequences of youth victimization.
"There is a real risk of suicidal ideation among kids who are victimized in multiple areas of their lives," said Dr. Joseph Wright, a pediatrician at Children's National Medical Center in Washington, D.C.
Recent news stories have focused on high-profile bullying incidents with fatal consequences. But there's a bigger picture as well.
"Suicide is the tip of the iceberg, and this data shows us what is below the surface and that is very frightening," Wright said.
Suicide is the third leading cause of death for adolescents in the United States, according to background information included in the study.
It's not always easy to tell which kids are thinking about suicide, said Dr. Victor Fornari, director of the division of child/adolescent psychiatry at North Shore-LIJ Health System in New Hyde Park, N.Y.
"Many youth who have suicidal thoughts do not appear sullen and, when asked, will deny it," he said. "When a child mentions killing themselves, we have to take it seriously. We don't know when they are serious or not unless it is evaluated."
Getting help for these kids is crucial, experts agree.
If you think a child is being victimized or thinking of hurting themselves, tell someone who is in a position of authority immediately. Do not wait. If you are having thoughts of hurting or killing yourself, tell someone you trust: a parent, friend, school guidance counselor or health care provider.
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is available around the clock at 800-273-TALK (800-273-8255).
SOURCES: Joseph Wright, M.D., M.P.H., pediatrician, Children's National Medical Center, Washington, D.C.; Heather Turner, Ph.D., professor of sociology, University of New Hampshire, Durham, N.H.; Victor Fornari, M.D., director, child/adolescent psychiatry, North Shore-LIJ Health System, New Hyde Park, N.Y.; Oct. 22, 2012, Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine online

   For our children in education, awareness and empowerment. We must develop tools and stand in the workplace to be certain that bullying is stopped in its tracks, and to advocate for Elders as well.

 “I'm most disturbed by the theory of rubber resilience in children; as if its much easier to bounce back with youth. I see them more like Steel. When heated, they can be bent either which way. But if it's not corrected by the time things cool down, they can be forever changed.” Zack W. Van ----

Walk in beauty,


Dot/Mom/Cob said...

Good morning, I am first this morning to write on the blog. That does not happen too often. A great subject that needs so many people involved to stop this problem. We are losing lots of kids to suicide and so much heart ache. In lots of cases the parents dont even know what their child is going thru at school, home and in the public. Parents would do well by sitting down and talking to their children about bullying and making sure their child is not a victim. This brings back the awful scene on the school bus of the elderly lady being bullied by the kids on the bus. I am so glad she did something about this problem. She won a very good settlement and is now crusading for Stop Bulling and she did donate a good chunk of the money to stop this problem. I just hope the kids, and adults can stay strong and get help and report this awful crime. Have a beautiful day today and each day. Blessings to all from the Sunshine state of Fl.. Celebrating the birthday of Dr. SES. Blessings

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