Steven Waldman

Steven Waldman


The Teen Who Broadcast His Suicide: Why Are So Many Angry At Him?

posted by swaldman

suicide photo.jpg
This is, according to Wired.com, a screen grab of some of the dialogue that was going on when a teen broadcast himself committing suicide on Justin.tv. Notice the two “LOL”s.
Perhaps some viewers assumed it was a hoax. For that reason, what I find just as unnerving is the reaction in the subsequent few days. Now that people know the suicide was real, a disturbing number show no understanding of how ill, or hurting, someone has to be to commit suicide. Some of the reaction (reprinted below) simply represents the depravity of a few sick, anonymous souls. But I think some of these comments reflect a deeply ambivalent attitude we have toward suicide victims. Remember, some religions still view suicide as a mortal sin, an affront to God. The idea that suicide victims are weak, cowardly or wicked has been part of our culture for a long time.
According to the victim’s father, the teen was being treated for bi-polar disorder. Here are some examples illustrating the lack of sympathy for this teen from one internet message board (warning: harsh language):

Not a hero…a coward. He couldn’t deal with his life, and rather than ask for help, he chose to deprive his friends and family of his presence in their life. I’ve been there before, and I am sure I will be there again, but I will not put myself above all others and be selfish enough to take my own life, much less on the internet. I will ask for help, and I believe that I will receive that help, as I have in the past. Death is only the end, not a solution.
Posted by: Mike C | Nov 20, 2008 8:02:21 PM
Should’ve blown his brains out. Would’ve made for better viewing.
Posted by: Triuvmerate | Nov 20, 2008 8:05:33 PM


wow what a dick why would he stream his own death? if he wants to kill himself…fine, but those people watching who probably assumed he wouldnt do it could be traumatized. Its his life, he can do what he wants with it but dont mind fuck other people who still have the balls to go on living
Posted by: randal graves | Nov 20, 2008 8:48:27 PM
Too bad the rest of bb.com doesn’t follow suit. Next to the pick up artists community, bb.com has to be the largest gathering point for insecure beta males to live out their alpha fantasies while posting half naked pictures of themselves to share with other guys.
Have fun at the next circle jerk, homos.
Posted by: jimmy | Nov 20, 2008 8:56:52 PM
hahaha .. faggot
Posted by: d sack | Nov 20, 2008 9:20:14 PM
f—ker got what was coming to him.
Posted by: Dan Pherson | Nov 21, 2008 6:12:29 AM
People always blame things like the internet, music, crazy preaching, “mental illness”, “whatever syndrome” to avoid the fact that more people are just nasty. The 80/20 rule applies to humanity in my experience. Its terrible that the kid felt a need to off himself. It’s terrible that he didn’t have friends or family to set him straight and help him out. Its terrible that he didn’t have the capability to pull himself out of whatever was burdening him.
It’s all terrible, but I’ll save my pity for kids who die of hunger, lack of basic sanitation, constant civil wars, and probably only have a short life of suffering to look forward to.
Posted by: MichaelM | Nov 21, 2008 6:30:35 AM
I have mo sympathy for suicide pussies. Like someone said above, it’s a f—ing cowards tactic, like using a weapon in a fight.
Go take the pussy bitch way out and off yourself, it’s doing the world a favor by thinning out the number of sissies that cant take the real world for wat it is.

Posted by: mike | Nov 21, 2008 10:24:04 PM

and yet, there are MILLIONS OF OTHER CHILDREN IN THE WORLD THAT HAVE TO PUT UP WITH 1000x WORSE LIVES THEN THEY DO. I’M GLAD THIS PERSON IS DEAD BECAUSE IT THEY WERE SELFISH. WHY SHOULD I CARE?
There are people on this earth that live their lives on less then $1.00 a day. There are people who have to worry about if they’ll live or die because they can’t find any clean water.
This 19 year old punk is a selfish brat who has (or HAD i guess) no respect for himself or those around him. If you can’t sit on the internet reading other peoples mindless dribble and understand that people are just sadistic assholes who need outlets for their bloodlust…then you are effectively EPIC FAIL.
I could seriously give a crap is this person died because it affects me in no way shape or form.
YOU PEOPLE AND YOUR FAKE F—-ING SYMPATHY ARE THE REASON PEOPLE DO S–T JUST LIKE THIS.
Posted by: TurboPotato | Nov 22, 2008 11:44:14 AM

UPDATE: Several news accounts have said that people on the board were egging him on. I can only pray that they thought it was a joke. Is it really possible that people would encourage someone else to commit suicide?



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Comments read comments(19)
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lis

posted November 23, 2008 at 6:11 am


i think its v. sad. i hope the nasty people believed it was spoof.
so lonely. i feel sorry for all participants. i bet theres no lol now.



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lis

posted November 23, 2008 at 6:15 am


too sad,so lonely.
who could egg someone on?
i bet theres no lol now.



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Jess

posted November 23, 2008 at 6:24 am


What.makes.me.angry.here.is.that.some.people.actually.encouraged.him.to.commite.suicide.Thats.just.wrong!



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Terri

posted November 23, 2008 at 8:17 am


I feel so sad for this boy and his family. Most of all the people that posted such horrible messages about not caring. This person did have a disorder and I feel that is what brought the suicide on. Other people did not walk in this boys shoes. These viewers needed to alert help- even though some did believe it could be a hoax. People are so uncaring anymore..especially the younger generation.



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Albert the Abstainer

posted November 23, 2008 at 9:51 am


I know that the pain that people feel that lead them to desperate acts should not be trivialized. It is sad that a young life ends by suicide.
Now, the point that is made, often poorly from the posters has on the whole a certain legitimacy. We live in a remarkable society, and there are alternatives and especially to committing a public suicide on the internet. I think there is a certain amount of grandstanding in committing such a suicide, and for that I have no sympathy whatsoever. To get your “15 minutes of fame” by such a method is a horrible statement, and it is a hideous thing to do to those you leave behind. It is incredibly indulgent and selfish.
Unfortunately, it will also encourage other grandstanding teenagers to do likewise. It is, however, better than them going postal, which a number do each year.



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Albert the Abstainer

posted November 23, 2008 at 10:15 am


People are angry with him because of its self-indulgence, and perhaps in part because suicide is something that creates fear and they are repulsed by it. (There is a certain amount of: “I think thou dost protest too much.” to my ear.)
By the way, talk to a front line emergency worker sometime. Many, and probably most, have little sympathy for grandstanding suicide. (I could tell you some tales from firemen I know, but then somethings it is better not to know.)



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redhead57

posted November 23, 2008 at 11:09 am


I am well aware of the heartless attitudes many people have towards suicides. Having lost a child to this I have had first hand experience. My daughter was very sick with bi-polar disorder with other complications. It should be obvious to anyone that taking your own life is not the act of a sane person. The survival instinct is the strongest one we possess, when a person can overcome that instinct and take their lives they felt there were no other choices. What a sad commentary of the people that frequent that website. In my experience with Beliefnet, these sort of comments would never be heard here. red



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carl

posted November 23, 2008 at 11:51 am


Email I got puts a different perspective on this sad situation.
“Kin outraged, distraught over teen’s cyber suicide
http://apnews.myway.com/article/20081122/D94JV9P80.html
“An autopsy concluded Biggs died from a combination of opiates and benzodiazepine, which his family said was prescribed …..”
These are dangerous drugs – opiates,benzodiazepine, antidepressants – which Dr’s write millions of prescriptions for every year. Patients are never told these drugs change their brain chemistry, their core identity, diminish their feelings of affection, they become dependent on them and that they can cause suicidal thoughts. ”
================================
Watch these videos:
Making A Killing [parts 1 to 10] about Big Pharma/Psyche Business
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_sYhTdeLRM8&feature=related



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Eric

posted November 23, 2008 at 12:34 pm


Teen suicide is one of the leading causes of death among teens. Yet, it is preventable to an extent if parents and concerned adults will keep the lines of communication open with their teens and be attuned to the things going on in their lives.
Yet, I agree with Mick C. that suicide is, in effect, a selfish act. If those who contemplate suicide would think of the impact that killing themselves would have on family, friends and loved ones, they might reconsider. This does not minimize the emotional pain that the young man suffered, but if one can summon the courage to ask for help, I firmly believe that there is someone out there who is willing to provide it.



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william t walker

posted November 23, 2008 at 1:53 pm


I have mixed emotions about this.
Apparently this kid was suffering but also apparently he wanted to hurt others as he took his life. Putting your suicide on the internet is a stab at all those who love you. Too many of our young people are influenced by all the “music” and all the “stars” who inhabit our media channels.
I have contemplated suicide but would never consider putting it on you-tube or putting my children and grandchildren in the position of seeing me die or finding my dead body.
This young man succeeded in killing himself and in hurting everyone who was close to him.



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a friend

posted November 23, 2008 at 10:04 pm


Severe depression can be nearly impossible to understand unless you have felt it. Depression is an alteration of your brain chemistry. Depression can make it difficult for you even to get out of bed in the morning–and, yes, it does make you self-centered, unable to see outside your own pain, get some perspective on your suffering, or ask for help. People sometimes criticize depressed people for being self-centered, perhaps not understanding that this is part of the mental illness. Telling depressed people that they are self-centered is not an effective way to shake them out of their mental state.
A depressed person may feel that he is suffering unbearable pain. While it is always possible to find someone who, objectively, is in worse shape (poverty, oppression, etc.) that doesn’t mean you need to re-direct your sympathy away from the depressed person. Sympathy is not a pie to be apportioned, any more than is love. If you spend five minutes today reading an article about a boy who committed suicide, then you can feel five minutes of love and sympathy for him, without depleting your emotional reserves. You do not have to spend five minutes rationalizing why other people are better deserving of love and sympathy.



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Beverly45

posted November 23, 2008 at 11:47 pm


Compassion seems to be very hard to come by in these days and time.
I find myself asking various people if they have any. The answer is usually “no.” I feel for this young man and wish the best for his family and extend my condolences. May he have peace.



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Aquari

posted November 24, 2008 at 12:41 am


I notice a consistent thread of argument running through the unsympathetic comments: ‘this person’s material circumstances are better than those of many other people around the world, therefore his suffering must be trivial compared to theirs.’ Most people will agree with the statement ‘money does not buy happiness’, yet appear confused and skeptical when it actually fails to do so – when the relatively affluent suffer from problems money can’t solve. But these posters – and anyone who has access to a computer, really – have probably had their own problems brushed off with some variation ‘you are not starving in a third-world hell-hole, therefore you have no real problems’ at some point. It’s not ‘tough love’, it’s a non sequiter.



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Larry Parker

posted November 24, 2008 at 1:14 am


Besides the overt comments about how he could kill himself while children are starving in China (so to speak), I got the sense that people couldn’t understand how he could retain the faculties to plan carefully to “go out in a big way” and yet still be depressed enough to genuinely have the desire to kill oneself.
I have bipolar disorder. And trust me, if you have BP, there is no contradiction between intelligence — even the ability to plan — and horrendous mood swings. None at all.
(In fact, the ability to plan is what makes suicide all the more likely when BP is untreated or at least poorly treated, as seems to have been the case for the Florida boy.)



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Mozen Greezin

posted November 24, 2008 at 8:45 am


Those whose lives have been forever changed by the suicide of a loved one will understand the anger. I certainly do.



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Your Name

posted November 25, 2008 at 11:21 am


Larry Parker above adds some important information to our understanding of Abraham Biggs’ situation.
It is difficult to impossible for those who’ve never lived with someone afflicted with bipolar disorder to understand that such people can think very logically when it comes to planning and carrying out a suicide. What they often cannot do when in the “down” phase of moodcycling is to see that things can get better. The intensity of happiness in the “up” portion can be just as extreme as being convinced that suicide is the only solution.
Actress Patty Duke wrote about her struggles with moodswings and how they nearly ruined her career and her life before she was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. It’s a very challenging disease to live with, and sometimes controlling the symptoms with medication so that the person can live normally is difficult to do. I have a close relative who had to apply for permanent disability a few years ago when his doctors were no longer able to find a combination of medications that would permit him to function well enough to continue working. Up until that point, he’d been able to lead a pretty normal life for decades. Why the medications that had controlled his symptoms well for so long were no longer effective is not known.
It’s sad that so many people still regard suicide as a sign of cowardice and weakness when so often it is the result of mental illness that isn’t or cannot be effectively treated.



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anne

posted November 25, 2008 at 11:45 am


I am so appauled by the viscious, hate filled, evil statements towards this poor lost young man who took his life on the internet.
WHERE IN THE NAME OF GOD ARE YOUR SOULS? HAVE YOU NO COMPASSION, NO LOVE OF YOUR FELLOW MAN, THAT YOU CAN SIMPLY FILL THIS PAGE WITH HATE FILLED STATEMENTS, FILLED WITH EVIL DIATRIBE AND LACK OF COMPASSION. THIS WAS NOT A BUG, A FLY, HE WAS A HUMAN BEING!
BUT FOR THE GRACE OF GOD, THERE COULD POSSIBLY GO YE SOMEDAY. AND IF SO, I ONLY HOPE THAT SOMEONE SHOWS MORE HUMANE, KIND, GOD GIVEN LOVE TO PREVENT YOU FROM TAKING YOUR LIFE, THEN WHAT YOU ALL HAVE STATED RE: THIS YOUNG MAN, WHO IF…HE MAY HAVE BEEN GIVEN SOME WORDS OF LOVE AND ENCOURAGEMENT, SHOWING HE WAS A VALUED CHILD OF GOD, MAY HAVE RECONSIDERED AND NOT HAVE DONE SUCH A TRAGIC THING.
I AM SICKEND BY THIS FRAME OF MIND. YOU ARE LIKE VAMPIRES, RAVENOUS WOLVES, WAITING TO FEED ON BLOOD, SUCKING THE LIFE OUT OF THE VERY AIR WE BREATHE. IF THIS IS WHAT OUR SOCIETY HAS COME DOWN TO, I CAN ONLY SURMISE THAT BUNCH OF HITLERS LIVE IN THISE WORLD AND HOPE GOD DESTROYS IT QUICK, BEFORE MORE AND MORE TRAGEDIES LIKE THIS TAKE PLACE
SHAM, SHAME, SHAME ON ALL OF YOU, WHO WRITE SUCH VISCIOUS, HATE FILLED STATEMENTS. SHAME ON YOU!!!!!!!!



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anne

posted November 25, 2008 at 12:25 pm


IS HUMANITY REALLY LOST?
The Unseen Enemy of Humanity
Humanity has but one enemy: it is when self-interest marries ignorance. For out of this unholy wedlock is born the imagined right to do wrong to others, strengthened by the sick belief that the suffering now induced is for their own good.
There is one essential reason why there is so much constant heartache and war on this earth, and why conflict has continued as it has down through the ages. The answer may surprise you. We do not understand our own pain — our suffering. Six-and-a-half billion human beings live in ignorance of their pain. But this is not to say that we live pain-free.
In fact, without exception, human beings carry on their shoulders and in their hearts massive amounts of pain. No matter what religion you are, you have pain. No matter what part of the world you live in, no matter your economic condition, no matter your social conditioning, no matter the color of your skin — you have pain. All human beings have pain.
It is because we are presently not aware of most of it, and because we do not understand anything about the nature of it, that ignorance of our pain manifests itself in war. So, even though it isn’t a popular topic of conversation among human beings, we must examine our pain if we are ever to gain the understanding to end war for good.
Everything created is born from opposition. Everything destroyed (incidentally, so that something new can be created), is done so by opposition. This is true inside of us just as it is true outside of us in the world and in the greater universe.
Where there is opposition, there is always a form of conflict. In the physical world, this state of conflict is natural and accepted. After the winds pass, and the trees return to their normal state, the trees don’t sit and hate the wind. Bacteria don’t complain, “I hate the immune system because it wouldn’t let me in.”
But human beings are different. When we experience opposition and conflict, we resist it. We think about it. We hate the things that we are opposed to. Conflict inside of a human being creates pain. What we fail to realize, however, is that without those opposing forces working their way in us, we could not change. We could not grow. It would be impossible. All things would stop because nothing would be created or destroyed.
So, we must ask: “What is it about this human nature that is different from the nature of the wind and the tree? What is it inside of me that turns what is natural opposition into hate, anxiety, frustration, depression, and pain?” When we look closely at ourselves, we see that all of these negative states find a home and their expression in us due to opposition to what “I want” in any given moment.
For example, one person wants all human beings to be Jewish or Muslim, while another insists they all be Christian or Buddhist. This group wants more money and that group stands in the way. You want me to love you and I am not acting very loving at the moment. I want to be left alone and you won’t be quiet. So can we see the real root of conflict here?
I want what I see as necessary for my “peace” of mind, and when you don’t want that same peace, in the same way, what happens to me? I get frustrated. And what follows frustration? Anger. And what follows anger? Violence. War. This is why before there can be peace on earth we must learn to see what makes us warring!
These wants — these unconscious desires — are the root cause of pain, and thus the root cause of war. We couldn’t be frustrated, hateful, or angry because things didn’t go our way unless we had a desire — a picture in our mind — of how they should go. So we rarely see the world around us as it is. We only see things in relation to how they fit in with our desires.
When the world that we have imagined in our mind does not match the world of reality, we get frustrated. We feel pain. We get angry. We blame things outside of ourselves for the pain we feel inside. And we never see that it isn’t the things outside of us that make us feel bad; it is the mechanism of unconscious desire inside of us that is the real cause of our pain.
You do the “math” given what we have discovered. No unconscious frustrated desire, no pain; no pain from frustration, no anger; no anger, no one to blame; no one to blame for my pain, no war.
– Guy Finley



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James

posted September 14, 2010 at 12:46 am


I had a bad case of BP and my parents wanted to do everything they can to help me understand it as well as feel like a normal kid. Other kids would look and say things like i’m not normal and freak. They had enrolled me into west ridge academy in utah



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