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Let's work together against bullying and help bring the teen suicide rate down to zero

Hannah Gabriel Myer, 17: Her “Bully” was Depression

with 4 comments


With “bully”, “bullying”, and “bullycide” now a part of our everyday vernacular, it’s easy to lose track of the real fact that bullying isn’t the only driving force behind teen suicide.  Depression, as well as other mental illnesses, also play a large roll in it.  Depression, perhaps, just as much as bullying.  In fact, some say that depression is the leading cause of suicides.

Hannah MyerI received word late last week that 17-year-old Hannah Gabriel Myer ended her life on Wednesday, March 13th after a long battle with depression.  The person with whom I spoke will remain anonymous, but she was a longtime friend of Hannah’s.  The picture she painted of the struggles her friend endured was heartbreaking:

We lived in Colorado Springs Colorado.  She loved to ski and was 6 in our league.  She was a beautiful girl who didn’t like herself.  Her family was very rich, and none of her parents ever paid attention to her.  Her nanny always took care of her. She also had bulimia, but I was the only one who knew.  She used to cut.  She loved her dog so much, and she told me Spencer, the dog, would be the only reason she stayed.  I have Spencer now.

Her parents weren’t around much before she died, so they have asked me a lot. Like, what would she want at her funeral. If she wanted a funeral.  Her favorite song, etc.  She had a 4.0 and was in 3 APs.  She was basically the perfect child but was cracking under pressure and couldn’t tell anyone.  I was the only one who knew, and I’ve told counselors etc.  But, no one did anything.  And, now she’s gone.  She was just so beautiful and should never have died.

This beautiful girl had parents who didn’t know who their daughter was.  I’m sure that, now that she’s gone, they regret having missed out on sharing in on more of her life.  That they can no longer make amends and get to know their lovely daughter is equally as tragic as the suicide, itself.  This beautiful girl had a friend, who was her de facto family, in the true sense of the word, who tried to save her friend but knew in the end that “…whatever I do was never going to be enough.” Hannah Myer2I don’t know which is more frustrating:  the fact that, at least in Hannah’s mind, her parents were too busy with their own lives, or the fact that her friend tried getting her counseling but no one did anything.  Either of the two is bad enough.  Either of the two could be enough, on their own, to lead an already-fragile person over the edge.  Together, they form a lethal combination that proved too much for Hannah Myers to overcome.  Now she’s gone.  Now, her parents are struggling to learn who their daughter was through her friend while coping with the devastation of  losing a child.  This is never easy for anyone.

For as beautiful as Hannah was, I find it haunting to see the level of obvious pain in her eyes.  I wondered if that was just my imagination working after the fact.  I was assured by her friend, however, that the pain I thought I saw was, in fact, very real and very visible to anyone who took the time to notice.  Her response to my question of whether it was my imagination, or was I able to see the pain in her eyes was:  “You can. I saw, but no one else did”.

It’s never easy to write about these teen suicides.  In fact, it gets harder every time.  Like most teen suicides, if not all, this could’ve so easily been avoided.  Hannah Myer didn’t have to die!  Once again, we see an instance where sheer negligence led to the untimely death of a young person. The attempt was made to get her some much-needed therapy and counseling by a trained professional.  Nothing was done.  Again.  And, once again, we’re left wondering what is it going to take to get people – adults!! – to realize that we’ve got a major epidemic on our hands!?  Why are so many young people dying by their own hands with nothing being done about it!?  That is what’s most infuriating!!  It’s almost as if the message that is being sent is that these young lives are expendable.  That’s a tough pill to swallow; however, the redundancy of the situations surrounding far-too-many of these teen suicides makes it easy for one to walk away with that impression.  Certainly, more can be done to prevent them from happening.  Obviously, more needs to be done to prevent them from happening.  As one parent of a recent suicide victim put it:  “…Look at the kids. They’re reaching out to us, and we owe them more than what we’re giving them.”  That, from a parent who lost a teenager to suicide.  We can do more.  We must do much more.

Through this blog, you, Hannah, will never be forgotten.  Though most of the people who will read this never knew you, they will never forget you.  Or, your smile.  Or, the pain in your eyes.  I hope you are now at peace.

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4 Responses

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  1. I am so sorry that this happened, and she was lucky to have a friend like you. Her parents may have been trying to help her, they are going through the worst pain that a person could ever experience, I am sure that they are already blaming themselves. Making them feel worse isn’t helping anyone right now. This is a horrible thing to experience, it is natural to want to blame someone. However, if I was in that situation, I would forever hate the counselors who never helped her when I asked. The system is so messed up. There are people, of all ages, crying out for help, and no one seems to hear them until it is to late.
    RIP

    Marissa

    March 19, 2013 at 4:52 am

  2. Wow. This is such a shame. The fact that her friend tried to help and was ignored is possibly the worst part, aside from this preventable loss of life. R.i.p Hannah. I hope parents learn from this. Hug your children. SHOW them you love them.

    cher

    March 19, 2013 at 7:59 am

  3. I have fought depression for years and almost took my own life when I was 19. It is devastating to me that this beautiful girl couldn’t get the help she needed. I know 12 yrs ago there wasn’t much help out there for teens fighting depression and I don’t know if that’s changed but reading this story it doesn’t seem it has. People think teenagers are just going through a phase and will snap out of it or its hormones. I was told both when I sought help. The teenage years are the hardest years or at least they were for me. More adults need to wake up and realize these suicides are so preventable. Being there for someone when they need you and showing you care is sometimes all that’s needed to prevent these tragedies. If her friend reads this comment, I’m going to tell her: you did everything you could and don’t blame yourself. You were there. It is the others who failed not you.
    Thank you for sharing this story. Hopefully others will read it and realize that we can work together to help these teens get help.

    lavenderskye12981

    March 19, 2013 at 11:59 am

  4. My son Josh Valdez committed suicide April 5, 2013. He also went in to mental health and told them he wanted to commit suicide everyday. They called the code blue and told him he would go into lock down 4 hours away from home and if anybody gave him anything they would go to jail. The social worker came in and he stopped talking. We took him to Remi Vista and the same thing happened…only instead of a lock down threat we got a piece of paper with phone numbers on it. I’m really sad to find out he told two kids a year ago he felt suicidal. I could of put him in counseling alot sooner. As far as bullying I think it happens all the time. He didn’t do this exactly for that reason. I am still upset about a teacher calling him gay once…Josh was not gay…the boys were playing around and he got caught. I friend made him a page called R.I.P Josh Valdez, which had tons of response from all over. Very sad. I’m having a BBQ this weekend for his friend to help everyone and myself. Talking is the only thing that helps

    boxersrule2008@yahoo.com

    April 18, 2013 at 2:02 am


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