Haylee Fentress and Paige Behnke were best friends and eighth grade students at a rural Minnesota middle school. They recently both hung themselves while on a sleepover together. The moms as well as relatives were interviewed on the Today Show and bullying was the main topic of discussion. Both of these girls had been bullied via Facebook and texting. Haylee was ridiculed about her weight and red hair. It appears from this interview that bullying played a role in this double suicide. But did it really?
Bullying has been going on since time immemorial, but historically kids have not been killing themselves as a result. In today’s modern world, we now have such things as texting, Facebook and Twitter which provide many more opportunities for teens to communicate in any way they wish, good or bad. Despite these changes in technology, more ways to bully is not a cause for suicide.
So what was the cause of these tragic deaths? Both these girls were being treated for depression and Haylee was on medication for this condition. The FDA has stated that children that use antidepressants are 180% more likely to have suicidal tendencies than children taking placebos. Bullying has been an issue that has been around for countless decades; the high use of antidepressants has not!
That’s why it’s important to get fully informed on the dangerous side effects of psychiatric drugs. It would be even more beneficial to get a thorough physical examination and detect any potential underlying physical cause of depression. Each individual has the right to full information on alternative treatments to remedy unwanted symptoms. In any case, getting all the facts you can will allow you to make an informed decision regarding your mental health.