Tallulah Wilson, 15, had previously been diagnosed with depression, and had described herself as fat, ugly and worthless in her private diary. When I saw her picture I was shocked. She looks so pretty. She was a gifted young dancer who died after being hit by a train had become so obsessed by the internet that she created a fantasy cocaine-taking character in order to escape reality.
Fifteen-year-old Tallulah Wilson, from West Hampstead in London, died after being hit by a train at St Pancras station on October 14 2012. An inquest into her death previously heard how the teenager had described herself as "fat", "ugly" and "worthless" in her private diary and other writings. The coroner was told how she had also created an alter-ego online to escape reality, would post pictures of herself with self-inflicted cuts on the internet, and a consultant psychiatrist assessed the teenager as being severely depressed when he saw her in May 2012.
Today, an inquest jury returned a narrative verdict into her death, and her mother urged every parent to be aware of the dangers of the internet and what their children may be viewing online. Mum Sarah said that like any parent, she sought to protect her "beautiful, loving and talented" daughter, seeking help from professionals at her school and in the health sector. She said: "Her sisters and I did everything we could to keep her safe, but she had fallen into a world of nightmares. She was in the clutches of a toxic digital world where in the final few weeks we could no longer reach her." Mrs Wilson said she was "shocked by the ease with which Tallulah and other children can access online self-harm and suicide blogs." She added: "Tallulah entered a world where the lines between fantasy and reality became blurred. It is every parent's worst nightmare. "I appeal to big brands to withdraw their advertising from those sites who continue to host inappropriate self-harming and suicide-promoting blogs to stop this poison spreading. "My family has suffered an irretrievable loss and would now appreciate some time to reflect and come to terms with a world eclipsed without Tallulah, but every parent needs to be aware of the dangers of the internet and what their children may be viewing online." The inquest jury said at the end of their narrative determination the case had highlighted the importance of online life for young people, and the challenge it posed for healthcare and educational professionals.
Interestingly enough some young people called in to the radio show and shared their experience. I had no idea that approximately 10% of young people self-harm, I am shocked by that. What I found interesting is that a few spoke of how they found help in the social networking environment, Poor Tallulah didn’t receive that support instead it sound like she was led into a deeper state of darkness to the point where she ultimately took her own young life. What a senseless waste of a beautiful young woman. My thoughts and prayers go out to the family. A moment however. Can I ask you to think carefully about how you relate on social networking sites. It might feel like some fun and you can get away with saying anything, but there are huge consequences for what we say even to others on the other side of the globe we know nothing about. I also want to say a word to those out there struggling. Find help, there are many in the world, both the real and virtual worlds that will discourage and seek to bring you down but there are many more who can help. If you are in need and feel like your social networking is bringing you down deeper than seek help. I am just one guy but if you are reading this and feeling low and want to be pointed in the right direction for help I would only be too glad to help.
Be positive. Focus on good thoughts and good things will happen. Focus on the bad and well you know… Don’t be too hard on yourself. Beating yourself up won’t help anything. Be positive. Say, think, and do positive things. Always look on the sunny side of life. Remember that the glass isn’t half empty, it’s half full. Do you know the benefits of this?
- Lower rates of depression and distress
- Greater resistance to the common cold
- Better mental and physical well-being
- Better coping skills during times of stress
- A more natural ability to form relationships and cement bonds
- An increased life span (That’s a win win, isn’t it?)