Suicide and the Internet

You can do almost anything you want on the internet. You can balance your checkbook, play a game with someone half way around the world, or read what someone you've never heard of thinks about some important world topic.

You can do nearly anything on the internet. In fact, if you're a teenager you can even find help on the best way to commit suicide. That's right. You didn't misread that last sentence. Parents, you need to be very aware of what's out there. According to this article on CNN.com,

http://www.cnn.com/2005/US/11/04/suicide.internet/index.html

there is a newsgroup called Alt.Suicide.Holiday (ASH). This group doesn't seem to be around anymore, but a quick search provided "recipes" for toxic potions to cause painless death. Groups like this provide support and in the case of the young woman in this story, sometimes even help with the planning process.

I can't say this strongly enough. Parents...be aware of what your child is exposed to on the internet. And even more than ever, pray for discernment and wisdom to help you see the trap before your child falls into it. Teen suicide is already such a pervasive issue, that adding web sites like this to it seems like adding kerosene to a fire.

The internet is a powerful tool for a school aged child to learn to use. It can teach them hundreds of useful things. We just have to watch out for the deadly things too.

It's no longer enough to use parental blocks and assume that they'll keep the kids safe. That software helps, but it's not enough. We as parents have to maintain constant vigilance. A child can start in an innocent chat room and be led to a site like this that is a threat to his very life.

 It has recently come to my attention that some teenagers looking for painless ways to commit suicide have found their way to this site through the search engines. If that's you, I want to ask you to stop searching on that topic right now. Find an adult that you trust, whether it be a parent, a teacher, or anyone that will listen to you. Tell them how you feel, and why you're thinking about taking this drastic step. Please don't let whatever circumstances you find yourself in now be the defining moment of your life. The Bible says that we are fearfully and wonderfully made. That includes you. Regardless of what's happening in your life right now, there are people who love you, and will help you get through this if you will let them. Please find help before you do something that everyone who knows you will regret.

What Next?

I'm looking for feedback as to what can be done to curb this kind of insanity. Should we create laws? If we did, how could we enforce them? What else can we do?

The best thing I can think of is to teach our kids that their lives are too important to waste like that. Make sure they understand they are loved, needed and respected. The best way to teach them that is to drive home the lessons taught in the Bible, and to help them understand that the Lord created them for a purpose that only they can fulfill, and that committing suicide would hinder that purpose.

Just as important is to talk to your kids. Be aware of what's going on in their lives. Watch for changes in behavior and ask your kids what's going on. You know your children better than anyone. This makes you the first, and best, line of defense if they start showing signs of depression. They may act like they don't want you butting in, but if you make sure they know that you're asking out of love and concern for them, they will eventually open up to you.

Parents, watch over your children. Kids, keep your eyes open and don't let yourselves be deceived.

I'll leave you with this admonition from scripture:

6Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it." Proverbs 22:6

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6 comments

RooBee profile image

RooBee 7 years ago from Here

Such a scary thought! The internet is so amazing, and has the capability of being a great tool for good. Of course, it works the other way too - giving kids push-button access to any number of horrifying things.

This is a tough area because while I do think some legislation must be made in the areas of internet predators and such these kinds of things are not so cut & dried. (I dislike blanket laws that end up censoring everyothing in an effort to stifle a few bad apples).

The best thing anyone can do in the present moment is, as you said, to be aware of what their kids are doing online. Simple as that. Good hub!


kowings profile image

kowings 7 years ago Author

Thanks for the reply. That's where I'm sitting too. On the one hand, I want someone to make the entire world safe for my son. On the other hand, the implications of that for our rights as human beings is almost as scary.


Ework411 profile image

Ework411 7 years ago from Sunny Florida

I agree that it would be difficult to regulate stuff like this out without being systematically oppressive. It would have to be done on a case-by-case basis, and not as a blanket matter. That being said; I do think this is horrible, and that stuff like this should not be on the internet. I also think that anyone posting content like this should have some type of personal responsibility for the consequences caused by their content. Their influence was not in any way accidental or coincidental, it was intentionally and deliberately harmful. They should be held legally liable for the deaths the content caused.


Army Infantry Mom profile image

Army Infantry Mom 7 years ago

Wow,..really scarry stuff. Thanks for the head's up and great information. I'll be sure to pass it around.


kowings profile image

kowings 7 years ago Author

I think teen suicide is something we all need to be vigilant about, so I'm happy to provide as much information as I can. Thank you, Army Infantry Mom for helping to spread the word.


kristyleann profile image

kristyleann 4 years ago from Oceana, WV

I think a lot of people would be amazed by the things you can find online. I considered mentioning a few things here but decided against it just in case some kids or teenagers come across this...there are some things no one (adults included) need to know about.

The internet has so much potential for good but unfortunately there are always going to be sick people out there that only wish to do harm. Technology is changing and growing so fast that the law can't keep up with it. It is getting scary.

I don't have any kids and I'm 28. I started using the internet when I was about 15 so I'm kind of in that weird age group that mostly grew up without it and then all of a sudden there is was lol...but if any parents are reading this... in my opinion you should not shelter your kids. At one point that may have worked but now days if you live any kind of a normal life at all (use tv, internet, cell phones, etc.) all kinds of bad stuff *IS* going to find your kids. (Despite the best efforts you can't prevent it unless you lock them up in their room and never let them out.) Talk to them about this stuff BEFORE it finds them. Beat technology to the punch.

And (as this article already stated) if anyone is suicidal and reading this...don't do it. Please get help. I have bipolar disorder type II myself and believe me, I've been there. There is help out there and lots of it. You just have to take that first step and seek it out. Call a suicide hotline, go to an ER, talk to someone you can trust. There are medications and if you don't want to take meds you can see a counselor or do group therapy. It gets better.

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