Your Cart




| By Wellvyl Media Editorial

Recently we posted an article on Wellvyl about bullying and the moral question of “who is responsible”. While we can have many debates and opinions on this there is one stark truth about bullying.  It creates crisis and trauma. Particularly with adolescence. With the focus on bullying, it’s effects, and a deeper understanding of human psychology, we should feel empowered to end bullying and its repercussions. While this might be the case for some in general we are sucking at this, particularly when it comes to protecting kids.  I would dare say that suicided is the utmost breaking point of feeling isolated and unloved. Suicide is also something that is very intriguing us humans but also isn’t new. While it might be top of mind for more with the recept losses of Kate Spate and Anthony Bourdain, suicide has been an epidemic for a while. Especially with youth. In May the academic journal Pediatrics reported that suicide and suicide thoughts/ attempts in school-age children (ages 5-17) has more than doubled since 2008.  This has made it the second leading cause in death between the ages of 10-24.


Teenagers are prime candidates.  With shows such as Netflix “Thirteen Reasons Why”, which is an adaptation of a book that reveals the 13 reasons why a teenager committed suicide, this serious topic is on a lot of our minds. But why is it happening? Research has been done and in true form I will share.  While these thoughts are initially applicable to kids/teens the same can be applied to us who are out here #adulting.


In studying why people take their lives Dr. Thomas E. Joiner (of Florida State University) realized two commonalities, people take their lives because of a disconnect from others and the perception of being a burden/ having more worth dead than alive.  Wow. Take a moment to read that and think about how deep the human connection is. And now think about our city. One that is so big and connected but also can be so big and isolating at the same time. How are we ensuring we are making time for our human connections? Are we finding time to check in on our friend, cousin, nephew, niece, that we haven’t spoken to in a while? In this busy grind world we can still make space for others to feel seen and to be validated in their lives. Read below to find some researched signs that can potentially play a role in supporting suicide and some things you can do to circumvent these black holes for yourself and others.


Media Consumption

The current state of our world is a lot to take in and media/ technology amplifies this.  Not to say that media is all bad, in fact it can be a healthy place but overdoing exposure is a red flag.  We were not made to sit and consume through a screen all day. People, especially teenagers have the ability to be connected 24-7 and the majority of this connection is comparison. With social media platforms and easy downloadable tools to adjust and edit the internet has become a playground of identity insecurities.  While we do see pockets fitting back and promoting self love (nod to Wellvyl) a mainstream understanding of social media is summed up in a swipe.


How to support yourself and others on this?

Limit your interaction with tv and internet, be intentional when you go on, be mindful of the feelings that come up with you see yourself comparing to a (likely ultra photoshopped) picture or having FOMO over some pictures that a person took on vacation. Curate your pages to influence you and keep your circles of trust small. Also remember while internet is way more convenient in our hustle and bustle state nothing compares to a face to face hang.  Show up for people, physicality matters.


School/ Work Anxiety

People pleasing and perfectionism are real things and often leave people feeling less than and unworthy, even if they are superstars. This angst especially reveals itself around tests and performance evaluations.  Tests such as the ACT, SAT, and AP tests that promote competition play heavily in this during kids last few years of high school. In work places we typically feel the same “knots in the belly” around performance evaluations.


How to support yourself and others in this?

Repeat with me “your worth is not tied up in a number, your worth is not tied up in an evaluation, your worth is not tied up in a test”. So many times we associate our worth- the permission we give ourselves to take up space, with an accomplishment we have achieved.  (Ie, test score, acceptance letter, promotion.) While these things are great, they are not our worth or dictate how much space we can take up. They are man made systems that are filled with biases and contextual perception. The more we can remind ourselves and the ones we love the better.  Next time something happens that can open the door to rating oneself ask “did I try my best”? If the answer is ‘yes’ than you already won. F- what a number says. If it’s no what an opportunity to look into the fear or other things that held you back from bringing 100%.


Sleep Deprivation


Seriously, this one hits close to home.  As I type this I am staring at a post-in that I have on my desk reading “Breathe in the now, Beyonce has 24 hours too.”  It seems like every night I go to sleep promising myself a jam packed productive day where I am reaching. my. north. star. every. Moment. (Hi, have I introduced myself yet, Natalie, a little bit of a perfectionist/ overachiever). These deep desire to get everything in the world done and bake homemade cookies by noon is not realistic and the danger lies when we think it is. The truth is when we are sleep deprived we make poor decisions and become impulsive.  We really do become hamsters spinning our wheels. This leads up to feeling like we can’t get ahead, aren’t productive, don’t achieve our goals… and insert the two themes Dr. Joiner lead us to. Sleep is our bodies way of energizing and healing. It is necessary.


How to support yourself and others in this?

Go To Bed!  No seriously begin to set routine for yourself or encourage others to do the same. Give yourself intentional time just to be calm.  Set intention to how you get ready for bed, turn off technology, journal, read.


Trying these tips can help, please inject yourself and share with whomever might need.  Also remember to smile, it’s a universal easy way to say hello, I see you and you matter to people. Living in this busy city with new faces to the left and right that smile just might be the thing someone needs to help them seek help and not go over the edge. Lastly, there is a free suicide prevention hotline number: 1-800-273-8255