The Rise of Suicidal Thoughts in Adolescents; and the impact of Cyber-Bullying:

By: Michelle Dierna

The rise in suicidal thoughts in Adolescents

The Rise in Suicidal Thoughts in Adolescents

With suicide being one of the leading causes of death for young people, it is important to recognize the patterns of behavior that might indicate suicide. People experiencing suicidal thoughts usually have feelings of despair, hopelessness and no self- worth; they feel there is no purpose or meaning in their life. Usually people suffering with suicidal thoughts are suffering with a psychiatric disorder whether known or unknown.

The explanation for the current rise in suicide is not yet known precisely, but suicide rates have been rising historically. One can say that people have been committing suicide more often today because of tough economic times; unemployment is much higher then it was years ago.

Statistics show that nine out of ten people who commit or attempt suicide have at least one major psychiatric illness and in half of these cases two or more such illnesses are present. Most common of these psychiatric conditions are mood disorders, alcohol and substance abuse, and behavior disorders. This is an attempt to explain the role of mental illness in youth suicide using the theoretical perspectives of abnormal behavior and the V Axes Diagnosis system.”{Sarason, B.R; theoriesofsucidalbehavior}”

 Suicide is one of the biggest causes of death in adolescents worldwide:

*“In the US, about 20% of adolescents seriously consider suicide and between 5% and 8% of adolescents attempt suicide each year.“Some estimates suggest that – depending on the country of origin – between 5% and 20% of children are victims of physical, verbal or exclusion-based bullying. Previous studies have also confirmed that bullying is a strong risk factor for adolescent suicide.” {Kim; Psychologytoday}

The rise in technology and social media websites make bullying easier because the bully is not face to face with the victim or victims. It is easier to bully through social media websites than in a face-to-face conversation. This makes it very easy for bullies to freely comment about people, who then become victims and have little to no control over the situation. Social media sites are for the most part public, and when an individual is being bullied and can’t control what the person on the other side of the computer is doing, the victim can only feel the pain of the words expressed about him/her. Cyber bullying attacks can result in a build up of strong negative emotional issues- especially in adolescents.

Cyber bullying is more strongly related to suicidal thoughts in children and adolescents than traditional bullying, according to a new analysis published in JAMA Pediatrics.”{Geel; JAMAPediatrics}

Changes in an individual’s behavior such as the following may be signs of suicidal thoughts:

  • having abnormal obsessions with violence, dying and/or death
  • Feeling trapped or hopeless
  • being in an elevated state of anxiety & depression
  • Change in personality (more moody and impulsive) with daily routines
  • Change of sleep patterns
  • consuming (more) drugs &alcohol
  • engaging in risky behavior

 If you or a loved one might be struggling with suicidal thoughts or depression, and are concerned, feel free to contact our Bergen County, New Jersey or Manhattan, New York offices of psychologists, psychiatrists, and psychotherapists, we have successfully helped many with similar concerns.

Arista Counseling and Psychiatric Services (201) 368-3700 or (212) 722-1920

More detailed information can be found at

 * Emergency:

Need help? In the U.S., call 1-800-273-8255
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline



1.Relationship Between Peer Victimization, Cyber bullying, and Suicide in Children and Adolescents: A Meta-analysis. Mitch van Geel, et al., JAMA Pediatrics, doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2013.4143, published online 10 March 2014.Additional source: JAMA news release accessed 10 March 2014.

2. Kim, Jen. “Suicidal Thoughts.” Psychology Today, n.d.>.

  1. Nordqvist, Christian. Medical News Today. MediLexicon International, n.d. Web. 09 June>.

4.Sarason, B. R., & Sarason, I. G. (2005). Abnormal psychology: The problem of
maladaptive behavior (11th ed.). Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Pearson
Education, Inc..




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