We’ve written a lot of posts about suicide, but I wanted to address a recent news story. The latest teen suicide to hit the media is that of 15-year-old Christian Adamek. On September 25th, he streaked a football game; by October 2nd, he was dead from self-inflicted injuries. There are lessons for all of us to learn in the sequence of events from his prank to his demise. Read full post »
In what is becoming a sadly familiar story, a 12-year-old girl named Rebecca Sedwick killed herself last week after months of both in-person and online torment by her peers.
What is especially frightening, at least to me, is that Rebecca’s family took all the recommended steps to protect their daughter. They immediately notified the school, then withdrew her from the school when the torment didn’t stop, and enrolled her at another one. They sought mental health counseling. They “unplugged” her from the websites bullies were using to reach Rebecca. And yet despite all these efforts, the bullies got through, and Rebecca took her own life.
This week of September 8-14th is National Suicide Prevention week so we wanted to take a moment to bring up this important topic again. Suicide is one of the leading causes of death for young people ages 15-24 and it is very preventable! During this week, let’s remember those whose lives ended too soon and watch for warning signs of depression and suicidal thinking amongst friends and loved ones.
Guest author Megan Moreno: Adolescent medicine physician and Principle Investigator of the Social Media and Adolescent Health Research Team
As Sara described last week, an area of our research team’s interest has been investigating depression disclosures on social media. We have conducted several research studies in this area, each new study develops after learning new things from the last one. Our initial study in the area of depression looked at how often depression disclosures were present on Facebook. We found that up to a quarter of Facebook profiles of older adolescents included one or more depression symptom displays. We also found that these displays were in particular patterns, and that comments from friends to these displays were frequent. Read full post »
May is Mental Health Awareness Month and though this is the final day of May, we wanted to continue to blog about mood and emotions. We have some amazing guest bloggers who are doing interesting work in the areas of social media and depression. Over the coming weeks, I want to highlight the research performed by Dr. Megan Moreno and her Social Media and Adolescent Health Research Team (SMAHRT). To find more on social media and mental health, Dr. Moreno’s team has also contributed posts to On the Pulse.
Guest Author Sara Klunk: A college student and social media researcher perspective
As a college student on the Social Media and Adolescent Health Research Team (SMAHRT), I spend a lot of time researching, well, myself. Okay, not myself exactly, but people who are my age, go to the same university, and have a lot of the same interests. So basically, yes, I spend a lot of time researching myself, my friends and how we interact with each other on social media sites. As our team has continued to explore this area, it has been interesting to see how the results match up with my own experiences on these sites. Read full post »
May is Child Mental Health Awareness month so many of our posts over the coming weeks will cover the topic of mental health in teens. Fortunately, we have many experts in the field of adolescent mental health who have agreed to help offer information on this subject. Child and teen mental health is a topic often left un-discussed, yet it can cripple the lives of the teens who suffer and the families who love them. In this post, we’ve asked Dr. Carolyn McCarty, a psychologist at the University of Washington and Seattle Children’s Hospital to answer questions on warning signs of depression in teens. Read full post »
We had a post on teen suicide last summer, but a recent event prompted me to talk about this painful subject again. This week, the body of a teen girl was found near an elementary school and it’s thought that her death is related to suicide. The month of May is actually child mental health awareness month, so we will have more posts to come on mental health in teens, but for those affected by this recent tragedy, I wanted to offer tips for parents on signs that their teen may be suffering from depression. Read full post »
Teen suicide is a topic that is often not discussed or is seen as taboo, yet talking about it and knowing the warning signs can be the difference between life and death. I was thinking of friends who took their own lives this week and was reminded of how much emotional pain teens and young adults may be going through and not telling anyone. The victims can remain quiet about their thoughts of suicide for many reasons: they feel ashamed or worry about being blamed for not ‘snapping out of it,’ they may feel like they are not worthy of another person’s time. For families of those who attempt suicide, they may feel stigmatized or blame themselves.
For teens contemplating suicide and the friends and families who love them, there is hope. Teen suicide is something that we can prevent. Read full post »
A colleague was recently talking with me about her 12 year old daughter, a tween (between childhood and adolescence). She mentioned how mean the girls are in her middle school. Now her daughter is actually quite popular and has many friends, but there is a tween in her class who seems jealous and has made a conscious effort to disrupt her daughter’s social life. Her story of mean tweens reminds me of the movie “Mean Girls.” Tweens are in early adolescence. Developmentally, they are not yet thinking of how their actions impact the people around them. Read full post »