Ashley Riggitano’s tragic death leaves the burning question — when will the Facebook bullying stop? Regardless of Ashley’s state of mind, nasty and cruel words can push someone over the edge. Read on for what our expert has to say.
Ashley Riggitano, 22, jumped to her death on Feb. 6 — her birthday — after being bullied on Facebook. Our expert explains how to help a family member or friend who is a victim of bullying, and details the warning signs of someone suffering from suicidal thoughts and depression.
Dr. Gilda Carle, 30 Second Therapist for Today.com, tells HollywoodLife.com EXCLUSIVELY, “A lot of times people who are bullied don’t want to share that with anyone because they are embarrassed. The most important thing a family member can do is feel comfortable about sharing. Be very careful about not being dismissive. You want to take it seriously, because when you are dealing with people whose egos are being shattered.”
Bullying & Depression: Suicide Warning Signs
“Withdrawal, going to drugs and alcohol, acting out in crazy and unusual ways, not doing usual behaviors that you’re used to seeing that person do,” explains Dr. Carle. “If someone complains about being bullied you are very lucky because a lot of times they might not want to admit that. You have to be very careful to not discount it. You say let’s talk about, let the person share. You should have two ears and one mouth, listening more than you are speaking. You also don’t want to go to the bullies yourself as a rescuer, because they will start making more fun of the victim.”
Ashley Rigggitano’s Suicide Note: How Her Ex-Friends Must Feel
Ashley left behind a suicide note, calling out five specific people for bullying her. Regarding Ashley’s ex-friends, Dr. Carle says, “Ashley might have blamed them for things they didn’t know they did. But if you are the person who is inflicting this, I’m sure those five girls are going to stop and think long and hard before they make fun of anyone again.”
“If you are part of a gang of people, don’t get into the head mentality because you are then going to be doing things that are part of the gang. You have to be very careful about who you keep as friends!”
Words Hurt People — Don’t Be A Bully!
“We grew up thinking “names will never hurt you” that’s not true because you see how badly and deeply hurt this young girl was,” says Dr. Carle. “Before you open your mouth, and make fun of anyone and tease someone why don’t you think about it and become your own person!”
Are You Fed Up With All The Facebook Bullying?
You never know what someone might be going through or their mental state, so be responsible with your words. Our prayers go out to Ashley and her family and friends. Do you think we can all help put an end to bullying? What do YOU think HollywoodLifers?
–Reporting by Chloe Melas, Written by Sandra Clark
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