Is there a connection between cyberbullying and suicide?

Several teen suicides have been linked to cyberbullying, but the reality is more complicated. Cyberbullying is rarely the sole factor contributing to suicide, however kids who are bullied -- or who bully others -- are at an increased risk for suicide. In cases where suicide is linked with cyberbullying, other factors exist, such as offline bullying and mental health issues such as depression.

Bullying in general has negative repercussions, especially for kids who are struggling with a variety of issues. And, unfortunately, both online and offline bullying is pretty prevalent, though suicide attempts are fairly rare. Certain types of social media -- such as question sites that allow kids to pose questions anonymously -- seem to attract destructive behavior.

What should you do if you're concerned about your kid? Look for warning signs. Take note of your kid's attitudes, behaviors, and moods. The tween and teen years can be rocky; probe a little to determine whether something more serious is going on. Talk to your kid about her social media experiences, help her set limits on how much time she spends online and who her online friends are, and get her involved in offline activities. Steer her away from sites that aren't positive and productive. For more help, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline offers comprehensive information and counseling. And Crisis Text Line lets kids text a trained crisis counselor (text START to 741741).

The Child Mind Institute contributed to this article. Learn more at childmind.org.

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Comments

Teen, 16 years old written by Silverfall

Like the author states, cyber bullying is rarely the sole cause of a suicide, however it is very likely for cyber bullying to be catalyst for a suicide, such as in the case of Amanda Todd.
Teen, 13 years old written by idek.kim

Yes. Cyberbullying can lead to suicide. I've known many people who have been suicidal due to cyberbullying sadly :(
Teen, 13 years old written by Bambi17

Yes, One of my online friends was cyberbullied and failed to tell anyone about it, it got so bad it caused her to commit suicide. She suffered from depression due to the bullying
Kid, 11 years old

Hello, Yes any kind of bullying can lead to suicide. Signs can be any of the following- Not wanting to talk, cutting, tired, lack of eating, not doing very good in school etc. I would know. If you are thinking about committing suicide. I know it's hard but if you die they win do you really want them to win? Don't let them never let them win. -Good day
Teen, 14 years old written by Strategist101

One of my friends has attempted suicide and she says that one of the main things to look for is a lack of speech and communication. If they don't speak unless they really NEED to, something might be wrong. I personally have never seen anything worthy of purposely ending your own life for, as your own well being should probably be one of, if not the most, important thing to a person (in my opinion, but the extremity of my self preservation instincts have resulted in a number of jokes as well, those good natured). Also notice any signs of self injury, as those are potential signs as well.
Kid, 12 years old

Kind of. Bullying of any kind, can lead to ending someones life depending on how serious the bullying is.