Cyberbullying: When Going Viral is Bad News

Dear Mr. Dad: My teenage daughter is often very upset and withdrawn after she uses her computer or checks her phone. And lately, she’s been refusing to go to school in the morning. She won’t talk to my husband or me about what’s going on. Could she be a victim of cyberbullying, and if so, is there anything we can do about it?

A: Humans have been bullying each other ever since we lived in caves, and students have been bullying each other ever since the first school was built. Bullying is so common that it’s almost impossible to find anyone who hasn’t witnessed it, been victimized, or done it.

Unfortunately, thanks to technology, bullies can now do their nasty work 24/7 and from anywhere in the world. Experts estimate that half of 6-12th graders have experienced cyberbullying at least once, and about a quarter of them experience it regularly. Worst of all, studies show that when bullying happens on line, people are more likely to join in—and less likely to do anything to stop it.

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Depression Among Elderly Men Is Rampant

Although women are diagnosed with depression about twice as often as men, four times as many men as women commit suicide. Part of the depression-vs-suicide discrpancy is due to the fact that men and women have different symptoms and too many mental health professionals don’t recognize men’s. In this guest post, Alena Shelly explains some of the factors that lead to depressnion in a particularly affected group: older men.

You may not be elderly or even middle aged (yet) but there are probably men in your life who are in that age category. Were you aware the group most at risk for suicide is older, white men? The suicide rate in the 80 to 84 age group is actually twice that of the general population. Many older men are in poor health and have become dependent on others for help. They don’t like this because they are not accustomed to being “needy.” When a man perceives himself as strong, independent and the one who took care of others it is hard to lose one’s autonomy. [Read more...]

Men and Suicide: Much More Than a Mental-Health Issue

Anyone who’s ever looked at suicide statistics knows that men are 3-4 times more likely to kill themselves than women are (women, however, attempt suicide more). But what a lot of people don’t realize is that men in lower socio-economic groups—especially men in their 30s, 40s, and 50s—are significantly more likely to commit suicide than men in higher income brackets. (A man’s “socio-economic group” can depend on his level of education, income, job, or even where he lives.)

There’s no question that there’s a major mental health issue here. Depression, anxiety, and feelings of hopelessness play an important role. But according to a fascinating new study done in England, there are a number of other factors the greatly increase men’s vulnerability to suicide.

[Read more...]

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