Bullying suicide are considered together when the cause of suicide is attributable to the victim having been bullied, either in person or via social media.[1][2][3][4][5] Writers Neil Marr and Tim Field wrote about it in their 2001 book Bullycide: Death at Playtime.[6]

Suicide is completed when the victim cannot escape the chronic effects of bullying. They cannot find a way to cope that protects them and helps them to overcome their suffering. From this long-term carrying of emotional and physical scars, the individual develops feelings of hopelessness and helplessness. The bullying seems like it cannot be stopped for the victim and thus, resulting in suicide.[7]


Up until now, there is little evidence that the effects of bullying participation in childhood on adult functioning, even as a bystander, have been considered as etiological or remediable factors by adult mental health services in their responses to suicidal behaviour.

Legal analysts criticize the term bullycide because it links a cause with an effect under someone else's control.[8] Research shows those who are bullied have a higher probability of considering or performing suicide than those who are not.[5] However, there are victims of bullying who do not end up committing suicide, and some of them share their experiences in order to send a positive message to bullying victims that suicide is not the only option.[9]

Some of the risk factors associated with suicide from bullying are childhood trauma, nutritional deficiencies, and mental health issues such as, depression, anxiety, or PTSD. Consequently, the victim becomes more susceptible to a distressful bullying experience. Those well adjusted may also be affected by bullying. Such as, developing a mental health disorder, like depression or start rehearsing the thoughts of suicide.[10]

Risk factors

Risk factors for bullying and suicide include emotional distress, exposure to violence, family problems, problems within relationships, lack of connections to school or a positive school environment, alcohol and drug use, or lack of access to forms of social and emotional support.[11]


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Age groups

Bullying is most often found in children and adolescents. In Erick Erickson's stages of psychosocial development, stage five, "identity verses role confusion." Occurs during the teenage ages of 12 to 18.[citation needed] This stage depends on the achievement of fidelity in a social group. Leading to stronger sense of identity from the interactions of that social group. Bullying may disrupt the individual's success in creating meaningful relationships in a social group. Insecurity is common in this process of finding an identity. Thus, leading to confusion. A bullied victim in this stage will struggle upon being rejected by their peers and loss of self if none another group is established in this individual's life. Also, the victim may fall short of seeking more social interactions. That will aid in the process of suicide.[12]

Prevention of suicide from bullying for children and adolescents can be alleviated from the support of parents. Being engaged in the child's life. Such as, daily activities, school, or work. Being aware of the child's friends. Changes in the child's life. Such as, lowered grades, physical bruises, or scars, eating and sleeping habits. Sharing personal social experiences, may lead the child to be open in their social experiences. These can help a child suffering from bullying.[7]

In 2010, the suicides of teenagers in the United States who were bullied because they were gay or perceived to be[13][14] led to the establishment of the It Gets Better project by Dan Savage.[15][16] The online event, Spirit Day, was created in which participants were asked to wear purple as a symbol of respect for the deceased victims of bullying, particularly cyberbullying, and to signify opposition to the bullying of the LGBT community.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) states that almost 45,000 deaths occur from suicide each year. There are about 100 non-fatal suicide attempts to every 1 suicide. A little over 14% of students in high school consider suicide and approximately 7% of them attempt suicide. Students that are bullied are around 2 to 9 times more likely to consider suicide than non-victims.[17] A study in Britain found that at least half of suicides among young people are related to bullying. 10 to 14 year old teen girls are most likely to commit suicide based on this study. According to ABC News, nearly 30% of students are either victims of bullies or bullies themselves and 160,000 kids stay home from school every day because they are scared of being bullied.[18]


Cyberbullying is a form of aggression by using the internet and/or electronic communication, such as mobile phones, e-mail, and text message, to cause humiliation, terrorization, embarrassment, and/or psychological distress to a peer.[19] In comparison to verbal bullying, a research study showed that adolescents who reported cyberbullying were 11.5 times more likely to have suicidal ideation, while those who have reported verbal bullying were only 8.4 times more likely.[20] In another study, 75% of adolescents who experienced cyberbullying presented with higher suicidal ideation than those who have experienced verbal bullying.[21] Furthermore, cyberbullying is becoming more prevalent and reoccurring than normal bullying in today's society with the increase in ownership of technology throughout the world. Cyberbullying in ways is worse than regular bullying since in a sense it does not have to stop since social media can follow you wherever you go and the bully in question can be harder to contain, which results in more consistent and harsher bullying between two parties. Lastly as the constant cyberbullying continues it can cause the victim to experience an array of emotions like anger, sadness, and loneliness which can lead to their state of mind completely changing that typically include anxiety and depressive habits. As this state of minds get worse it can even cause the victim to commit suicide.[22]

Amanda Michelle Todd was a victim of cyberbullying and committed suicide. On October 19, 2012, at the age of 15, from British Columbia, Canada. She posted a video on YouTube, sharing her story of being stalked, used, being bullied at school and by online comments. Her story escalated when the online comments, cyberbullying, told her that she should have used another bleach to kill herself. This lead Todd to hang herself, not long after.[23]

As of 2022, research has come to show that perpetrators of cyberbullying often report having a history of being bullied themselves, and their rates of suicidality are similar to those who are victims of cyberbullying.[24]

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender (LGBTQ+) Youth

US lesbian, gay, and bisexual students attempt suicide 2–7 times more than heterosexuals and up to one third of transgender people has made an attempt on their life.[25] Young adults of the LGBT community "must cope with developing sexual minority identity along with negative comments, jokes, and threats of violence".[26] A research identified that 19 studies were linked to suicidal behavior in lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB) students to bullying at school. Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender students experience more bullying than heterosexual or cisgender students.[27]

See also


  1. ^ Marr, Neil; Field, Tim (30 January 2001). Bully : Death at Playtime (1st ed.). Success Unlimited. ISBN 978-0-9529121-2-5.[page needed]
  2. ^ Bender, Joyce (28 April 2008). "Bullycide: The Only Escape for Some Brutalizd Children with Disabilities". The Cutting Edge. Retrieved 24 October 2010.
  3. ^ Pursell Elliott, Gail (9 May 2003). School Mobbing and Emotional Abuse: See it - Stop it - Prevent it with Dignity and Respect. Routledge. p. 32. ISBN 978-0-415-94551-6.
  4. ^ Moffatt, Gregory K (30 June 2003). Wounded Innocents and Fallen Angels: Child Abuse and Child Aggression. Praeger Publishers. p. 161. ISBN 978-0-275-97848-8.
  5. ^ a b Martinez, Edecio (4 May 2010). "Cyber Bullying Illegal: Mass. Governor Signs Landmark Anti-Bullying Law - Crimesider - CBS News". CBS News. Retrieved 25 October 2010.
  6. ^ Marr, Neil; Field, Tim (30 January 2001). Bullycide: Death at Playtime (1st ed.). Success Unlimited. ISBN 978-0-9529121-2-5.[page needed]
  7. ^ a b "Bullycide | Psychology Today". www.psychologytoday.com. Retrieved 2021-12-04.
  8. ^ Kohut, Margaret R (9 November 2007). The Complete Guide to Understanding, Controlling, and Stopping Bullies & Bullying: A Complete Guide for Teachers & Parents. Atlantic Publishing Company. p. 114. ISBN 978-1-60138-021-0.
  9. ^ "National Suicide Prevention Day ; Tales of a Polar Bear". talesofapolarbear.com. 2018-09-10. Archived from the original on 2019-03-06. Retrieved 4 March 2019.
  10. ^ Hertz, Marci Feldman; Donato, Ingrid; Wright, James (2013-07-01). "Bullying and Suicide: A Public Health Approach". Journal of Adolescent Health. 53 (1): S1–S3. doi:10.1016/j.jadohealth.2013.05.002. ISSN 1054-139X. PMC 4721504. PMID 23790194.
  11. ^ "The Relationship Between Bullying and Suicide: What We Know and What it Means for Schools" (PDF). Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, Division of Violence Prevention. April 2014. Retrieved 2017-01-02.
  12. ^ "Erik Erikson's Stages of Psychosocial Development Explained". PositivePsychology.com. 2020-08-05. Retrieved 2021-12-04.
  13. ^ LaSalle, Reneé (16 November 2009). "No Charges in Murray County High School "Bullycide" Case". WDEF News. Archived from the original on 20 November 2009. Retrieved 24 October 2010.
  14. ^ Sikora, Kate (31 July 2008). "Signs that can help you save your child". The Daily Telegraph. Australia. Retrieved 24 October 2010.
  15. ^ "GT Investigates". GayTimes. No. 387. December 2010. Archived from the original on 2010-11-14. Retrieved 2010-11-04.
  16. ^ "In suicide's wake, a message to gay teens: Hang on; you are not alone". St. Petersburg Times; Tampabay.com. 2 October 2010. Archived from the original on 2010-10-05. Retrieved 2010-10-16.
  17. ^ "Bullying and Suicide". Bullying Statistics. 2015-07-07. Retrieved 2017-01-02.
  18. ^ Dubreuil, Jim; McNiff, Eamon (14 October 2010). "Bullied to Death in America's Schools". ABC News.
  19. ^ Pinto, Melissa D. (2017). "Challenges and opportunities for addressing adolescent cyberbullying within the context of clinically meaningful psychological outcomes: Addressing Adolescent Cyberbullying". Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Nursing. 30 (1): 4–5. doi:10.1111/jcap.12168. PMID 28513063.
  20. ^ Alavi, Nazanin; Reshetukha, Taras; Prost, Eric; Antoniak, Kristen; Patel, Charmy; Sajid, Saad; Groll, Dianne (2017). "Relationship between Bullying and Suicidal Behaviour in Youth presenting to the Emergency Department". Journal of the Canadian Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. 26 (2): 70–77. PMC 5510935. PMID 28747929.
  21. ^ Roberts, Nasreen; Axas, Nicholas; Nesdole, Robert; Repetti, Leanne (October 2016). "Pediatric Emergency Department Visits for Mental Health Crisis: Prevalence of Cyber-Bullying in Suicidal Youth". Child and Adolescent Social Work Journal. 33 (5): 469–472. doi:10.1007/s10560-016-0442-8. S2CID 73804324.
  22. ^ Mc Guckin, Conor; Corcoran, Lucie (2015-11-25), "Intervention and Prevention Programmes on Cyberbullying: A Review", Cyberbullying Across the Globe, Cham: Springer International Publishing, pp. 221–238, ISBN 978-3-319-25550-7, retrieved 2023-05-16
  23. ^ "The Story of Amanda Todd". The New Yorker. 2012-10-18. Retrieved 2021-12-04.
  24. ^ Arnon, Shay; Brunstein Klomek, Anat; Visoki, Elina; Moore, Tyler M.; Argabright, Stirling T.; DiDomenico, Grace E.; Benton, Tami D.; Barzilay, Ran (2022-06-27). "Association of Cyberbullying Experiences and Perpetration With Suicidality in Early Adolescence". JAMA Network Open. 5 (6): e2218746. doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2022.18746. ISSN 2574-3805. PMC 9237787. PMID 35759263.
  25. ^ Haas, Ann P.; Eliason, Mickey; Mays, Vickie M.; Mathy, Robin M.; Cochran, Susan D.; D'Augelli, Anthony R.; Silverman, Morton M.; Fisher, Prudence W.; Hughes, Tonda; Rosario, Margaret; Russell, Stephen T.; Malley, Effie; Reed, Jerry; Litts, David A.; Haller, Ellen; Sell, Randall L.; Remafedi, Gary; Bradford, Judith; Beautrais, Annette L.; Brown, Gregory K.; Diamond, Gary M.; Friedman, Mark S.; Garofalo, Robert; Turner, Mason S.; Hollibaugh, Amber; Clayton, Paula J. (2011). "Suicide and Suicide Risk in Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Populations: Review and Recommendations". Journal of Homosexuality. 58 (1): 10–51. doi:10.1080/00918369.2011.534038. PMC 3662085. PMID 21213174.
  26. ^ Morrow, Deana F. (January 2004). "Social Work Practice with Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Adolescents". Families in Society: The Journal of Contemporary Social Services. 85 (1): 91–99. doi:10.1606/1044-3894.246. S2CID 144872473. ProQuest 230162051.
  27. ^ Gower, Amy L.; Rider, G. Nic; McMorris, Barbara J.; Eisenberg, Marla E. (December 2018). "Bullying Victimization Among LGBTQ Youth: Critical Issues and Future Directions". Current Sexual Health Reports. 10 (4): 246–254. doi:10.1007/s11930-018-0169-y. ISSN 1548-3584. PMC 6497454.