Friday, April 6, 2012

Olivia Penpraze, 19: Bullying and Depression Leads to Death by Suicide

On the Jamie Hubley page that serves as my homepage, one of the regulars posted this yesterday: 
I was hoping that i would never have to do something like this but it seems that that time has come. as of 9:20pm 3rd of April 2012 (Melbourne Australia time) a girl by the name of Olivia Penpraze died as a result of a suicide attempt. she was on life support for a number of days and her parents had to make the traumatic decision to turn it off as she was brain-dead. like Jamie, she used tumblr as her escape to post all of her thoughts and messages. she suffered from extreme depression, and it really upsets me that I didn't do anything to help her, even though there probably was nothing I could do.  She will be one of the many teenagers each year that goes unnoticed, not documented, not in the media. but all i hope is that she is in a better place now. it's your time to shine Olivia, we all love and miss you ♥
No, Andrew, she won't go unnoticed.  Not if I have anything to do with it.  I watched the video that she had made, and it just ripped my heart from my chest.  No one, no one should have to live such a life of unchecked turmoil.  Olivia had been screaming for help for almost a decade.  Finally, the demons of mental illness and depression won.  Depression that was brought on by bullying.

Bullying.  Again.  Will it ever end?  Not as long as people keep talking about it rather than doing something about it.  According to a post her father made on her tumblr page, a photo and thought-sharing website used by many teens, people there had been bullying her, as well.  How on Earth does a person sit behind a computer screen and urge a person who is already obviously in crisis to kill themselves?  How does one think that's cool or funny?  Or, do they just truly not care?  Olivia's dad's letter said that this had gone on before she attempted suicide for the last time:
To all of my daughter's followers, this is to let you all know that on Thursday, 29th March, Olivia attempted suicide, as a result she is on life support and this will be terminated shortly due to her being brain dead.  So, to all of the people who posted support of this outcome on this blog, you can be real proud of yourselves.  As a father who witnessed her first breath of life and now to witness her last, I thank you for your utmost disregard for life.  If this sort of activity gets you off, you are nothing.  To those of you who offered her support to refrain from killing herself, thanks.  You should all try to make contact with family even if it is against your wishes.  At least leave a contact somewhere on your blog in times of need.  I know that you all need somewhere you can vent your anger and feelings and that these blogs can help, but in reality family must always come first...
I talked to someone else just tonight, as I was writing this actually, who had someone on that same page telling her that she, too, should kill herself.  Who is teaching these young people such a deep level of hatred?  Is it hatred?  Or, is it simply an ambivalence of human life?  Do today's youth just not give a rat's ass about the next human being?  Have they become desensitized to human life?  Look, it's become painfully and frighteningly clear that the change in our culture has got to start with the adults since that's where young people learn from.  No teen, anywhere, should ever feel so helpless and hopeless that they feel the only way out is to end their life.  At the same time, no teen, anywhere, at anytime!, should feel that it's perfectly okay to bully another person for any reason.  Hatred and intolerance is taught.

When I asked Andrew, the young man who posted the original post about Olivia's lost battle, if he had anything he wanted to say about her, he had this:
she loved her friends and always seemed happy. I remember once at choir she said she was changing schools. That may have been when she quit school like she said in her video. As i have said before, I wasn't close with her.  But, on the outside, she was happy; on the inside, it seems she was screaming for help.  We all miss her, and I personally am going to do everything I can in my power now to put an end to bullying and teen suicide.
We need more Andrews.  Families and friends should now be forced to go through this kind of trauma...this level of pain.  May you rest in peace, Olivia.  




25 comments:

  1. I knew Olivia well, she was a close friend on mine. What you've written is true but it is missing many more important points. She was screaming for help, and she was getting help. She'd just come out of another stay in the psych unit. She struggled with psychosis and professionals also questioned whether it was schizophrenia. Bullying is what caused her depression, but it wasn't bullying that ended her life, it was the mental illnesses she struggled with.

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    1. I don't mean to doubt, but, isn't depression classified as a mental illness?

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    2. Hi... Its a realy sad story about Olivia.. 1 thing I find realy hard to exept is if she has been depressed and fighting this for so long why was it still going on?? from what I understand she was in and out of hospital and also seeking pychosis help. with the medical resourses we have now days surly there would have been some sort of treatment for her..and the 2nd question I have is what happened to the bullie's that started this and where posting nasty things on her tumblr page. did they get investorgated by the police? and what if anything will be done about the bullie's?
      My heart goes out to the family and friends of Olivia but she is at peace now.. I my self suffer from depresion and have done since the age of 18 and im 37 now... and its realy not a nice place to be.. and one very last question why was the 1st of may Olivia's suicidal day.. im wundering if maby she suffered from post tramic stress and depression and any other possable things..

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    3. Depression is most certainly a mental illness. It takes over your mind. I should know, I have it. And I underwent a nervous breakdown as a result of long-term bullying. It is horrible but I'm so grateful my experience did not go as far as Olivia's. Bless her soul.

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  2. Bullying may not have caused her psychosis, but it certainly didn't help. As an adult who suffered from bullying as a kid, I know first hand how much damage bullying can do. The bullying alone can cause a teenager to become suicidal. The fact that she suffered from psychosis, of course, exasperated the problem. But not everyone suffering from psychosis commits suicide. Her case is heart-wrenching and was, in my opinion, avoidable. People are far to quick to find excuses for deplorable behavior. The fact that she suffered a mental illness only means that she should have been protected and watched all the more carefully.

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  3. This story is heartbreaking xxx

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  4. RIP Olivia.
    So sad to read about this this morning, and to see the video. :(

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  5. To the parents of Olivia, all my love and blessings. You are going through unimaginable pain at losing your daughter.

    I lost my 15yo daughter, but through murder. The pain never leaves you, but somehow yoiu manage to build a life and carry on. She will always be in your hearts, hold her close and love her still. She loves you and will always be with you.

    Di. xxxx

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  6. https://www.facebook.com/pages/Olivia-Penpraze-didnt-deserve-to-die/378627708844028
    I found a FB page about olivia :) If you want,like-share.People need to learn about depression...

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  7. April 26th or this year! Make a poster of someone who committed suicide from being bullied at school. Show everyone what is right there in front of there eyes!
    --Tinker

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  8. I know how Olivia feels, i have try to commit suicide myself but got a little bit of help from freinds. I have watch olivia video, it was sad and i know how she feels.

    R.I.P Olivia

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    1. yesterday was may the first all day, i wear a white rose for olivia, so i can remember what happen to people that get Bullied. i am get bullied and i too know how it feels and from now on i will wear a white rose to remember what can happen to others like me.

      R.I.P Olivia and the others how have commit suicide and died. R.I.P

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  9. Olivia. . .I had no idea. . .I loved her blog so much. I had no idea though until now that she had died. I wish her the best. <3

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  10. just watched 2 of her videos, she was beautiful, no one should go through that RIP XX

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  11. Its really sad to have watched her video & read what was going on with her. It brought a tear to my eye & it really ripped my heart out. Bullying is so overated & its only getting worse, i myself was also bullied but i never ever let that get in my way. Im 19yo & just to hear such a terrible storie about a girl i dont even know just filled me with sadness. I lost a ex boyfriend to Suicide & i was with him at the time. I was the one who found him & the pain never goes away the hurt will forever and always be there. To Olivia's parents i am sincerely sorry for the loss of your daughter i truly hope that one day you will be at peace with yourselves!
    Dear Olivia, When your mum & dad look up the stars at night,i hope you shine bright so everyone can see you. When the wind blows i hope they can feel you. May god take you in the palm of his hand & surround you with nothing but love & security. Safe journeys until the end, Rest without fears & worry, much love to YOU & your family ♥

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  12. My lovely girl struggles with depression and finds it very hard to accept that she is a worthwhile and lovely person. I know she will be able to show all the great light inside her one day. Till then I love her, support and reassure her as best I can. She was bullied on and off through primary school from prep onwards. I believe this contributed to her developing depression. Kids, look after each other, talk to your adult about how you feel, hold on. Watch Katy perry's song "firework" on YouTube. Grab on to hope and live xxxx

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  13. All our love goes out to victims of bullying,and the families and people who suffer through all of this.it really broke my heart to watch Olivia's uploads,such a beatiful girl.i pray to god that no other has to go through the pain she felt .i too will wear a white rose in honour of Olivia and all who are bullied .lets stop this and make a stand .

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  14. Rest in peace sweet girl. I am 50 years old and have struggled most of my life due to the damage caused by a group of girls who bullied me from age 11 to 16. The abuse, humiliation and put downs made my teenage years hell. There was not much help back in those days and my parents had no idea what to do. There was nothing wrong with me, I looked like everyone else, had talent in sport and music etc but one girl Penny Short led a gang of girls that told me every day that I was fat ugly stupid and hated by everyone. The lack of sel esteem it caused in my life at such a crucial age does not disappear when you leave school. Bullies are usually cowards and I often wonder what was going on in her life that she had to put me down, to make herself feel better. At fifty I ave finally found some peace, and very comfortable with who I am, but so much of my life was not what it should have been. Bullies wake up! The samage you do can stay with others for a lifetime. I had no one to talk to, no Facebook or utube or anyway of making people hear me. These days it is becoming an epidemic and we need to do more to help all teenagers feel good about themselves, even the bullies so we can STOP this cycle.

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  15. Since 1982 I have conducted a psecial lifeline service MAY JUSTICCE ALWAYS PREVAIL® and to,me and time again people would contact me, some times decades later, thanking me for just having been there when they needed someone to talk to. And that is really what it is about, that no matter how buzy your life may be you still can take the time to listen to another person as it can make the difference to that other person between life or death. All they often need is just to have someone to listen to them.

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  16. okay so i have refrained from saying anything about this at all because i didnt want to be insensitive or harsh when people are grieving or whatever but it is really bothering me now.
    i have known liv for at least two years, before either of us even had tumblr.. granted yes, it was only online.. but i knew her a lot better than most of the people posting about her now. and i have a few thoughts i’d like to voice.
    1. i dont know why this “bullying” thing is taking a forefront to the whole situation.. olivia DID NOT kill herself because she was being bullied. it may have been a factor but it certainly was not even close to being the main reason. liv was sick. i never thought she was as sick as she claimed.. i think that she started out a bit sick, and craved the sickness, and the attention and everything else and she made herself sicker and sicker until she was really so sick that she couldn’t control it anymore. yes, she was bullied when she was a kid, and yes.. there were people sending her hate messages on tumblr.. but when you have a good to bad messages ratio of 100:1 - you dont kill yourself… so stop using her as some poster girl for anti-bullying.
    2. in response to this,
    “We are finding out now there are kids on her Facebook who actually know her on the Tumblr account. Why are they not getting in touch?…”If she says she is going to do something on this date they could have told us. Even if it was a false alarm, we could have done something.”
    i wouldnt actually say it to her father… but for anybody to took this to heart. ignore it. this is ridiculous. if somebody contacted liv’s parents every time she talked about killing herself.. they honestly would never sleep again because their phone would be ringing every five minutes. for gods sake, a year ago i was sitting up at 4 in the morning crying and texting liv and trying to contact people she knew irl to help her and nobody seemed to take it very seriously.. and other people i know had on MANY occasions, called her parents, the police, and ambulances for her from behind their computers and none of that seemed to make much difference either. and im not blaming her family.. because like i said she made that threat every other weekend.. how are you supposed to know when to act? i just feel like that entire comment was uncalled for, because her parents KNEW that she was suffering from depression, and many other mental health problems.. she was in a mental ward for god’s sake. THEY KNEW. and if you ask me, her doctors never should have let her out. not with the amount of suicide attempts she has racked up.
    3. to her followers: stop acting like there was something you could have done to save her. there wasnt. a thousand people sent her lovely messages every day and it really didnt do shit.. i do understand first hand how a suicide or death can affect people they never even knew… but that is not the same thing as PRETENDING you knew her and acting as though you lost a close friend just because you followed her blog.
    4. if it helps ease your pain, you could always stop glorifying her.. as if she was this perfect person in every aspect. she was my friend, and at one point i cared about her immensely.. but she was far from the flawless person you’re all describing now.
    im sorry if this comes across as harsh or as some kind of hate message.. because it’s not. i just feel like people are only acknowledging half of the story here.. and it is infuriating to read.
    death shouldn’t erase your faults. if you kill yourself.. you shouldn’t assume that everybody is automatically going to forget everything else. and death certainly shouldn’t cause a chain reaction of blame and self-guilt. if you didn’t know her, please dont act like you knew the whole story.. just quietly mourn the world’s loss of somebody who was far to young to die and move on.. and if you did know her.. i am sorry. i am not only sorry that she is gone.. but i am sorry that it had to be like this.

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  17. internet couldnt stop kony, as if its.going to stop bullying people should stop being weak grow a back bone, words only hurt if u let them.

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  18. Well I just wanted to point something out. Someone posted that bullying didn't kill her depression did. Ok easy way to prove that statement wrong. How did she get depression? Answer: bullying. Now if she wasn't getting bullyied she wouldn't have depression and she would still be alive right now making everyone smile. I am just saying. It all could have been prevented. Olivia you are such a beautiful woman. Your story touched me and my kids. I never met you before but if I did I would have helped you out. True story. My heart goes out to the family.

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  19. 'How did she get depression?'

    Hundreds of reasons. I know numerous people suffering from severe depression who were not bullied. To suggest that she only had depression as a result of bullying is a slap in the face to the vast vast majority of people who do have severe depression as a result of other factors. Is their depression less real because they weren't bullied?

    People like to blame what is an easy scape goat and at the moment, that is bullying. They fail to acknowledge all of the other characteristics leading to mental illness and suicide.
    Depression is a mental illness caused by so many different factors.... least of all bullying.



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