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Daniel Radcliffe Laments "Heartbreaking" Recent Teen Suicides

Radcliffe
Posted by: Rosi
October 04, 2010, 07:46 PM

MTV has an article today with a written statement from Dan Radcliffe (Harry Potter) in the wake of the recent suicides of Tyler Clementi and 13-year-old Seth Walsh.

The actor gave the following written statement to MTV News:

Learning about the suicide deaths of Tyler Clementi, Seth Walsh, Asher Walker, Billy Lucas and Justin Aaberg has been heartbreaking for me. These young people were bullied and tormented by people that should have been their friends. We have a responsibility to be better to each other, and accept each others' differences regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity, race, ability, or religion and stand up for someone when they're bullied.
Speaking further about the "responsibility to be better to each other," Radcliffe continued with some advice for those concerned about depressed and suicidal friends or family members:
When a friend is feeling depressed or says they're thinking of killing themselves, we must take it seriously and get them help. [...] My deepest sympathies go out to the families and friends of these excellent young people. And to all the young people who are being bullied right now, you are not alone. Call the Trevor Lifeline at 866 4-U-TREVOR, because there's always someone there who will listen and who can help.
Dan Radcliffe has previously taken part in a PSA for the Trevor Project and spoke in February about his involvement with the nationwide suicide prevention telephone helpline for gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and questioning (GLBTQ) youth in the United States. The 24/7 Trevor Helpline can be contacted in the United States by calling 866-4-U-TREVOR (866-488-7386).

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105 Comments

Got-hogwarts_houses_thumb
10268 Points

Critterfur, jimmalou78, ZoeyLuna and Moglet, thank you all for your thoughtful contributions to this discussion. I want to chime in by saying that I too have had times in my life when I came close to the suicide threshold, and I have lost two friends and one relative to suicide. I can testify that it has nothing to do with being a drama queen or with being weak-willed. When you are in that mental place of extreme depression, it’s like being tortured. Getting attention is the last thing on your mind. All you are feeling is ‘Make it stop! Just make it stop now!’ And it’s your off-kilter brain chemistry that is putting you in that place, not your ‘attitude.’ You can’t just ‘buck up’ and ‘decide’ not to feel that way, any more than you can ‘decide’ to change your skin or eye color. (Luckily it’s not usually as permanent a condition, but that’s very, very difficult to see from the inside.)

You can, however, get help, whether it’s talking therapy, antidepressant medication or a combination of the two. (Many people find that vigorous exercise is of some help as well, because it helps your adrenal system pump out those sanity-saving endorphins.) But first you need to be in a place where you are able to reach out and ask for that help. It’s extremely difficult for people who are bullied, who may feel that they have no allies in the world, to do that. Just one person on the outside who makes the effort to communicate with a person suffering from depression might just end up saving a life. (That’s why I’m still disappointed in JKR for making it all right for the Hogwarts kids to ostracize Cho! She just needed someone who would listen.)

And don’t forget that millions of people also don’t have health insurance that covers the cost of mental health treatments. That deters a lot of depressives from seeking help. One thing that everyone in America should be aware of is that almost every county has a not-for-profit Mental Health Association whose mission is to treat everyone who needs help, regardless of their ability to pay. I used to work for one, and I can tell you that they are amazing and deserve our support. If you need help, just look them up in the phone book or online.

Meanwhile, in the specific case of bullying, I agree with the folks who have pointed out that way too many people, including adults who should know better, passively condone bullying. They either turn a blind eye to it or take that horrible ’It’ll toughen you up for real life’ attitude. We all need to see that bullying is war and ‘ethnic cleansing’ and genocide in miniature. If we don’t each individually take a stand that people being mean to each other is NOT an acceptable standard for life either in school or in the real world, then the world has no hope of ever becoming a place worth living in.

Posted by WeenyOwl {The Human Deluminator} on October 06, 2010, 12:31 PM report to moderator
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49341 Points

@ZoeyLuna
THANK YOU!!!

@moglet [ITC!]
I’m not judgemental, remember the “i’m different” part of the story? i said that I can sometimes be inscensative and i have no problem in admitting to that. Now being one of those times, I will say that yes, I find those who coomit sucide weak. Why do so many dang people in the world care what everyone else thinks? I just don;t get it! Why is it so important for people to have the approval of everyone around them?! It’s stupid AND a waste of time! It’s just not realistic, if everyone went and got depressed ro killed themselves because someone mafe them feel unworthy or whatever, then the human race would be extinct! And another thing, if these people were “brave” enough to kill themselves, how is it that they weren’t brave enough to stand up to those who were makeing them feel like crap?

Posted by MJB™ on October 06, 2010, 04:54 PM report to moderator
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49341 Points

@ZoeyLuna
THANK YOU!!!

@moglet [ITC!]
I’m not judgemental, remember the “i’m different” part of the story? i said that I can sometimes be inscensative and i have no problem in admitting to that. Now being one of those times, I will say that yes, I find those who coomit sucide weak. Why do so many dang people in the world care what everyone else thinks? I just don;t get it! Why is it so important for people to have the approval of everyone around them?! It’s stupid AND a waste of time! It’s just not realistic, if everyone went and got depressed ro killed themselves because someone mafe them feel unworthy or whatever, then the human race would be extinct! And another thing, if these people were “brave” enough to kill themselves, how is it that they weren’t brave enough to stand up to those who were makeing them feel like crap?

Posted by MJB™ on October 06, 2010, 04:55 PM report to moderator
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49341 Points

@ZoeyLuna
THANK YOU!!!

@moglet [ITC!]
I’m not judgemental, remember the “i’m different” part of the story? i said that I can sometimes be inscensative and i have no problem in admitting to that. Now being one of those times, I will say that yes, I find those who coomit sucide weak. Why do so many dang people in the world care what everyone else thinks? I just don;t get it! Why is it so important for people to have the approval of everyone around them?! It’s stupid AND a waste of time! It’s just not realistic, if everyone went and got depressed ro killed themselves because someone mafe them feel unworthy or whatever, then the human race would be extinct! And another thing, if these people were “brave” enough to kill themselves, how is it that they weren’t brave enough to stand up to those who were makeing them feel like crap?

Posted by MJB™ on October 06, 2010, 04:55 PM report to moderator
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49341 Points

sorry it got posted 3 times, comp not working

Posted by MJB™ on October 06, 2010, 04:57 PM report to moderator
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28416 Points

@MJBDE15 please read what WeenyOwl has written. I still think it is judgemental on your part to say that anyone who considers or commits suicide is weak, you would seem to have absolutely no understanding of what clinical depression does to people. WeenyOwl explains it very well, I am glad that you got through what you had to cope with, truly I am, and I also hope that you never have to experience real depression in your life, it is a terrible thing and nobody chooses to have it.

Posted by moglet [ITC!] on October 06, 2010, 05:12 PM report to moderator
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49341 Points

@moglet [ITC!]
What was the point in asking me to read that post? It only repeated what you said except in different words. And as I recall the conversation this conversation is about people who are being bullied commiting sucide, not about clinical depression patients commiting suicide. Also, I don’t see any answers to my questions from my last post, which leads me to beleive that you have no answers, therefore this conversation is moot.

Posted by MJB™ on October 06, 2010, 05:46 PM report to moderator
Naughty_galaxy_thumb
28416 Points

Being bullied can lead to depression, a feeling of worthlessness so it is relevant. I thought perhaps the different wording in what WeenyOwl wrote was rather more eloquent than my posts, which is why I’d asked you to read what they said.

To try to answer the questions, people do care about what others think of them to different degrees, some people are born with a greater ability to dismiss what others think and some are not. We have to try to understand that the world is made up of many different types of people and some are simply more resilient than others, it’s not a character flaw to be one of those who is more affected by what others say, it’s just a fact of life that people are different. Human beings are amazingly diverse and there will therefore be a great many differing reactions to stressful situations. I don’t think most people want everyone to approve of them, but encountering hateful behaviour day after day and the cyber bullying that means there is very little chance to escape from it, is too much for some people to bear. To be constantly put down, to be belittled and treated as someone who doesn’t matter is a lot to cope with. I can see that we are obviously never going to agree on this but hope that the dialogue has made everyone think about this issue. Additionally I don’t think I ever said anything about bravery in any of my posts, suicide is a desperately sad thing for someone to do, and it is not helpful to anyone to condemn them as weak.

Posted by moglet [ITC!] on October 06, 2010, 06:37 PM report to moderator
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49341 Points

Let me just point out that I don’t necessarily TELL them they are weak, I just feel strongly that anyone can stand up for themselves if they stopped careing what everyone else thought. I know, you say not everyone does, but is that really true? Repeated insults would make anyone self conciuos, no matter how self assured they were at first. It’s a natural human reaction, THEY CARE TOO MUCH. I stopped careing and fought back, and i feel that i am better for it. And youre right, we will never agree, you think that people who commit suicide should be felt sorry for, and i think that they are weak and a waste of time. I admit though, it is sad that they felt to much that they were worthless to see the bigger picture that there might ACTUALLY be a reason for them to be here. But they couldn’t handle the pressure and get over it long enough for them to see that they had a bigger reason for being here. EVERYONE goes through bulllying, weather nerd or popular, you just have to put your foot down before they realize that they can walk all over you.

Posted by MJB™ on October 06, 2010, 08:51 PM report to moderator
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163 Points

Dan is so great for this. He’s just amazing.

Posted by glow_freak on October 07, 2010, 08:38 AM report to moderator
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163 Points

Dan is so great for this. He’s just amazing.

Posted by glow_freak on October 07, 2010, 08:38 AM report to moderator
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1311 Points

Well said Dan.

Posted by Susmita singh on October 07, 2010, 08:51 AM report to moderator
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726 Points

Yay for Dan!! Maybe he and the other stars would make an “It Gets Better” project video!

Posted by RainbowSnidget on October 07, 2010, 10:21 AM report to moderator
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48 Points

@MJBDE15: I read your newest posts, and I hope I can help give some insight on your questions. Those who are driven to suicidal ideations and actions as a result of bullying are usually suffering from very serious chemical imbalances in the brain. The feelings of worthlessness in depressed people are actually born within themselves first. You know how sometimes you leave your house, and you can’t remember if you locked the front door or not? It makes you uneasy all day, and usually you just can’t stop thinking about it no matter how hard you try (until you get home). Just like an obsessive thought about whether or not the door is locked, the question of whether or not his or her existence is worthless is a never-ending, constant entity – it just doesn’t stop, ever. When confronted by a bully, all of these feelings and thoughts of worthlessness become instantly validated. Validation is very powerful, too – to the point that for these folks, it provides the ultimate “proof” that turns their distorted questions and suspicions into solid facts. It’s not so much that they ‘care’ about what others think, as it is about validation – they could live in the most nurturing, loving environment and still be unable to see outside their own world of anguish and confusion. Someone very close to me is actually in that exact situation – it’s taken me a great deal of research and learning to understand not only how she interprets her surroundings, but also to answer the question as to why my family’s affections never seemed good enough. This new insight has truly changed me as a person – I can’t even begin to describe how huge of a difference the simple act of awareness can make in our world. :)

Posted by ZoeyLuna on October 07, 2010, 02:12 PM report to moderator
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320 Points

MJBDE 15, do you really believe that an 11-year-old is “weak” if he commits suicide after being tormented? TORMENTED!! You say you fought back. Well, good for you. Don’t compare everyone else to yourself. We are all different. We have different abilities to withstand torture.And bullying is a form of torture. People who say that bullying is really just teasing have no clue. I too was bullied for years in school, not because I’m gay, but because I was always overweight. And I think that the most interesting part of your post is that you say you stopped caring what other people think about you. THAT isn’t really a strength. THAT is sad.

Posted by jeannemclROAR on October 07, 2010, 02:32 PM report to moderator
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