Bullied teen commits suicide leaving family questioning warning signs

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Bullied teen commits suicide leaving family questioning warning signs (Image 1)

COVINGTON (WSLS 10) - One local community is looking for answers after the death of a teen.

Abby Baker was 15-years-old and a student at Covington High School when she committed suicide one day after school.

Her family, friends and the entire community was left to wonder why she felt so helpless, but a video surfaced after her death where she admits she was bullied.

"She always had a smile. We didn't know. We didn't know she was so upset with herself and she would tell us she was ugly and we would say no you're not ugly, you're a beautiful little girl, but I never thought of that as a warning sign. Teenagers, they do that," explained Abby's mom, Ginny Nalley.

Bullying experts at Blue Ridge Behavioral Healthcare say bullying is not a one-size-fits-all issue.

Some kids face depression first, then are bullied at school. Others are bullied and then become depressed, and of course, not all bullying leads to depression.

One Blue Ridge Behavioral Healthcare licensed counselor says, unfortunately, Ginny is not alone. It's not uncommon for parents to not know their child is being bullied, because children and teens often times don't share that information.

The counselor says parents simply have to read their child.

For instance, if your child is fine all weekend, then on Monday morning says he or she is sick, there might be a reason they're avoiding school.
Counselors also say this generation is stressed and sleep deprived more than any other generation before.

One of the first things parents can do to improve these conditions is take away the child's cell phone at night.

BRBH experts give a few symptoms to watch out for.

Stress Symptoms in Teens:

-lost interest in usual activities/interests

-changes in sleeping and/or eating (increase or decrease)

-wants to be alone all of the time

-physical symptoms (headaches and stomachaches)

Symptoms of Depression:

-frequent sadness, tearfulness, crying

-increased irritability, anger, hostility

-talk of running away

For more about the services offered by Blue Ridge Behavioral Healthcare and Mental Health America of Roanoke, visit their website at MHARV.com

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