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Young people who harass others and their victims have an increased risk of suicide
Today, more and more young people suffer from so-called cyber-bullying, but many young people are also oppressed and harassed by their classmates, for example, in the conventional way. Researchers have now found that both teenagers who terrorize other teenagers and their victims are at increased risk of suicide.
Bullying and harassing young people, whether in real life or on the Internet, increases the likelihood of committing suicide. However, this applies to victims and perpetrators, scientists now found out during an investigation. The experts published the results of their study in a report by the "American Academy of Pediatrics".
Routine checks for suicide among adolescents are required
General practitioners in America call for young people to be routinely monitored for their risk of suicide. Medical professionals should be aware of the problems faced by adolescents that can lead to suicide later on. Experts say that special attention should be paid to affective disorders, substance abuse, sexual abuse and bullying in such investigations.
Suicide is the second leading cause of youth death in America
Suicide is the second leading cause of youth death in America. In the statistics, suicides are only surpassed by accidents. These include car accidents and accidental overdoses, for example, the scientists explain. The most common methods of suicide, according to the researchers, were suffocation or the use of weapons.
There is a clear link between bullying and suicidal thoughts
A survey conducted by the Center for Desease Control and Prevention (CDC) last year showed that 17 percent of all American teenagers in high school had seriously considered committing suicide in the past twelve months. 2.7 percent of those affected actually attempted self-harm, the doctors say. But worldwide, too, enormous pressure to perform leads to more and more suicides among students. The researchers also found in their new study that there is a clear link between bullying and suicidal thoughts.
Victims are difficult to protect against cyberbullying
Suicidal thoughts and behavior were increased in both victims and perpetrators. The likelihood of suicide was highest among adolescents who harassed other children but were also victims of bullying themselves, the authors explain. So-called cyberbullying increased the likelihood of suicide as much as bullying in real life. There is no difference here, the experts report. However, cyber-bullying is particularly harmful and dangerous because the victim can hardly protect himself from the perpetrator, the researchers explain. In addition, the insults and abuse on the Internet are written in black and white. Both the victim and anyone else can see them. So to speak, you are not safe in your own house, the authors say. And disgrace from the Internet does not simply erase itself, it remains.
Doctors should be better trained to recognize young people at risk
Doctors play a crucial role in determining mental illness and can thus prevent suicide. The new report therefore contains a suggested dialogue and questions for doctors to identify vulnerable adolescents. The best advice should be given to young patients without their parents, the experts advise. Doctors should also generally receive better training in order to recognize adolescents with suicidal thoughts, the study authors demand.
The Internet provides a lot of information on suicide prevention
The impact of the internet on suicide risk was mixed. However, it was found that adolescents who were online for more than five hours a day were at an increased risk of suicide, the scientists say. However, there is also another side of the internet. Teenagers who searched for suicide online were much more likely to get suicide prevention information than medical-related websites that add suicide. Here, for example, Facebook also wants to offer better support in the future to help those affected with suicidal thoughts. (as)