Cyber-bullied to Depression

A news report on a recent cyber-bully victim.

A teenager from Cordova High School has reportedly been cyber-bullied to severe depression after his other classmates attacked him online.
Renato Sahagun, a 17 year old teenager, has recently been diagnosed with severe depression after many of his classmates cyber-bullied him over many means of social media. His mother, Mrs. Sahagun, found her son lying on the floor with an empty pill bottle, unconscious. She decided to take her son to the local hospital immediately, where the doctors diagnosed him with severe depression.
The cause of Renato's depression is evident; many of his classmates have been attacking him online for years. According to Stopbullying.gov, cyber-bullying is bullying that takes place with the use of technology such as cellphones, computers, social media tools, text messages, and e-mails. After checking all of Renato's social media outlets, the police have found cases of cyber-bullying that dates back to January of 2014, where a photo was unknowingly posted of Renato and many teenagers commented with negative feedback. After that one photo, Renato has received many text messages and hatred online, which is a definite case of cyber-bullying due to all of the bullying being online.
Renato’s mother has said the she should have realized something was wrong with Renato sooner. She said,” Renato has been acting different. His grades went from A’s to C’s. He started ditching class, and making excuse to stay home from school. He started drinking alcohol and doing drugs. He started to dress differently and he became much more distant from his family. ALso, his self-esteem seemed to deteriorate. He used to be the most confident in his group of friends and I noticed that he was clearly becoming less and less confident in himself. I should have known that something was wrong from there.”


It is evident that Renato has been cyber-bullied extensively as he showed all the signs of a victim. All the signs his mother described were effects that cyber-bully victims commonly have.

Renato left a suicide note for his failed suicide which spoke out to many bullies and those who are being bullied. Here is a transcript of the note:

"Dear bullies and victims of like me who are suffering from the crucial acts,

I have decided that it is best for me to end my life than to continue to suffer through all the pain caused by each and every one of you bullies. I am writing this suicide note for the purpose of trying to give advice to victims alike. First off, to all the victims. Get some help before it is too late like me. I did not get the help I needed in time and the end result will be this suicide. Now to all the bullies, you continually attack us the victims and it is time that you know what your actions can lead to. I hope you see what bullying and cyber-bullying is. Even if you are attacking a person online, it is still bullying, but with the name of cyber-bullying. Thanks for ruining lives.


-Renato"

Why Cyber Bullying is Worse


Typically, bullying in a teenager's life is at school. Though these effects should not go unnoticed or seem less important, it is important to know that cyber bullying can happen when a teenager is at home. In Renato's case, any person can cyber bully because it is easy to create fake accounts and personas online. With the amount of time a child or teenager spends on their phones, they may see the attacks constantly and more frequently than at school. Both bullying and cyber bullying are unacceptable but the fact that cyber bullying can withhold much more opportunities for bullies to cause harm makes it much worse.

Renato's father has this to say on the incident regarding cyber bullying:


"Though we are extremely devastated as the parents of Renato, I must say we are fortunate that we saved him in time before he succeeded in his suicide attempt. However, it must not go unnoticed that there are many out there who are experiencing what Renato is experiencing. Cyber bullying may not be face to face contact, but it will effect a victim the same way. Anyone is at risk and we are just as bad as the bullies if we do not report it.

Who is at Risk?

Renato Sahagun is not the only victim of cyber-bullying. In fact, there have been a numerous amount of cases and sometimes it is difficult to know whether something online is cyber bullying or not. The basics of cyber bullying are an imbalance of power, constant attack and aggression, and the intention to inflict harm on an individual(s).

Anyone can be a victim and child and teenagers are more likely to be cyber bullied. Females are more likely to be cyber bullied than males. Also, those who are gay, lesbian, transgender, or bisexual are more vulnerable. This is not saying that you should be straight in order to not be affected. Anyone is vulnerable to cyber bullying.


Similar stories to Renato's have also received responses. David Molak went to Alamo Heights High School in Texas. David was cyber bullied by 6 to 10 people for having an attractive girl friend. He hung himself in his backyard after the ongoing teasing of 6 months straight. His brother, Cliff Molak had this to say on the cyber bullying:

“In today’s age, bullies don’t push you into lockers, they don’t tell their victims to meet them behind the school’s dumpster after class. They cower behind user names and fake profiles from miles away constantly berating and abusing good, innocent people.”

Renato is currently under extreme rehabilitation and mental care and will be evaluated daily before he is released to the public once more.

How To Report Cyber Bullying

If you are being bullied, you have witnessed any form of cyber bullying, please get help now.

You may be able to find a local counselor or mental health therapist.

If you or a loved one is feeling hopeless or despair and are considering suicide, contact the National Suicide Prevention Hotline immediately. 1-800-273-TALK (8255).