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Thursday, August 23, 2018

Bringing Awareness to Cyber Bullying

There has been a lot of bullying going on within the chronically ill community, a lot of which has been in the gastroparesis community, which is the only one I can really speak on. Furthermore, I cannot speak on behalf of my friends, but I can tell you that I have been cyber bullied to the point where I wanted to leave all social media altogether. I thought that since we are all chronically ill, and that we all share the diagnosis of gastroparesis, that we were supposed to be united. Instead, people or groups who are chronically ill find a person to target and make their lives a living nightmare.

We, the chronically ill, face enough adversity from doctors, nurses, family, and friends; people who do not understand gastroparesis or think it is all in our head. I had this notion that we should be working together to promote understanding and educate those who may not know about our illness. I never, in a million years, thought I would be the target of cyber bullying by the people who were the ones who were supposed to understand more than anyone, by the people who were supposed to be there to be help to support you, and by the people I thought I could count on. I never thought that I would be the victim of cyber bullying. I wrote this in August of 2013, but I think it still applies:


Cyber bullying is a big deal. There have been cases of people committing suicide over being cyber bullied. The first person that comes to mind is Gabriella "Gabbie" Green, who committed suicide in January because of cyber bullying.

I wanted to bring this into the light and talk about this issue because words do hurt, more than people realize, and cyber bullying has become a BIG problem. I want to bring awareness to this issue because it might help save someone's life.

There is NO excuse for cyber bullying. I was just so shocked to learn that it was happening in the chronically ill community, not just the gastroparesis community. I understand that we are all sick and that we all have bad days, and that does happen when you have a chronic illness. However, that does not give a person a right to bully someone else. I do not understand the reason behind the cyber bullying or why people need to hurt others like that. With gastroparesis, this kind of stress for days (in my personal experience, I was cyber bullied across all of the social media sites I made an account with) can cause a horrible gastroparesis attack that may land people in the hospital.


People need to understand that words hurt and can do some real damage. You never know what struggles the person on the other end of the computer may be facing. All people see is what is posted online, and that is it. The people who are cyber bullying may not realize that the person they are terrorizing just had a death in the family, had surgeries, or just found out they have another illness which could kill them at any moment. Like I said, you never really know what is going on in someone else’s life. I guess the chronically ill are easy targets for cyber bullying because people assume we are too weak and sick to stand up for our principles on the matter, but we are not.

I always envisioned ALL of the chronically ill, from fibromyalgia to gastroparesis, working together to get information out there and to help others whom battle chronic illnesses, especially if they are newly diagnosed. It is not about ganging up on people, controlling groups, pages, who has the most members on Facebook, etc. It is great to have so many options for support, and people can join more group. Joining groups on Facebook should not be a competition and the person should not be cyber bullied for making a decision on a group that fits them.

It's about support, pure and simple.


There are so many obstacles that we have to go through with gastroparesis, we shouldn't manufacture more, we should stand united. We need to educate those who may not know about gastroparesis and what that entails. It's August, Gastroparesis Awareness Month. We should rally together to educate, not tear each other down. Divided we fall, united we conquer.

I want to talk about cyber bullying, since I'm experiencing it firsthand, and what it's doing to the gastroparesis community and other chronic illness communities. I also want to help others who may be going through the same things. It's hard being bullied, especially if Facebook will not listen and you don't have any other recourse. I'll share some things I have learned and some tips from an anti-bullying site that I found. We should be lifting each other up, support one another, and working together to make a difference. All of this in community fighting hasgo ton stop before someone is pushed to suicide. While having gastroparesis is hard enough, and I will repeat this again because it’s important, we face enough adversity from doctors, nurses, ER staff, etc., we don't need it from each other.


Source: Imgur

So, here's what you can do to avoid cyber bullying.

1. Do not feed the troll. What I mean by that is, do not give the person fuel for their fire to keep attacking you. As hard as it is, stay silent. These people crave attention and will try to get it by any means necessary. There is a wonderful article that states,

"Narcissists and Psychopaths Online: The Narcissism of Cyberbullying and Trolling
by Shahida Arabi

Cyberspace provides malignant narcissists and those who have antisocial traits with easy access to victims and minimal effort. A recent study showed that online trolls demonstrated high degrees of sadism, psychopathy and Machiavellianism. Conclusion? In the words of Dr. Golbeck, internet trolls are narcissists, psychopaths and sadists.

This should come to no surprise to anyone who has encountered trolls or cyberbullies – they are notorious for attempting to provoke people in order to derive sick feelings of satisfaction that they apparently can’t get anywhere else. Their lack of compassion, tact and empathy when bullying others online is evident in the way they brandish their ill-informed opinions indiscriminately regardless of context, eagerly hoping to get recognition for their malice.

Cyberbullying and trolling are strategic ways for narcissists who lack adequate narcissistic supply or who are experiencing boredom to get a quick “fix” without being held accountable for their abuse.

In the context of intimate relationships, survivors of narcissistic abuse, an insidious form of psychological and emotional abuse that can cause what psychotherapist Christine Canon de Louisville calls “Narcissistic Victim Syndrome,” may be stalked, harassed and cyberbullied for years even after the ending of the relationship, especially if they were the ones to discard the narcissist first by exiting the relationship altogether.


When a narcissist suffers from an offense to their false sense of superiority and entitlement, they endure what is known as a narcissistic injury, often followed by narcissistic rage. This rage is a result of an injury to their ego when something or someone threatens their delusions of grandeur and “false self.”

Since survivors often implement No Contact with their abusers, narcissistic abusers feel a loss of power and attempt to regain that power through tactics like provocation, hoovering and post-breakup triangulation techniques.

On the internet, narcissists and those who have antisocial traits employ similar manipulation tactics in cyberspace to provoke and harm complete strangers.

Bullying in any form, especially anonymous bullying, can lead to devastating results. Research indicates that cyberbullying in schools leads to a higher rate of suicidal ideation and suicide attempts in victims of cyberbullying. There have been a number of suicides that were triggered by the words of anonymous sadists – the suicides of many teenagers, for example, were a direct result of cyberbullying.

Cyberbullying and trolling leave such a terrible psychological impact that there is even a movement against anonymous comments sections on media outlets. Since there is little accountability for cyberbullies and the laws against it in each state may not protect victims entirely from emotional abuse, it often goes unchecked and unpunished. If cyberbullies are ever reprimanded, it is usually after the fact of a tragic suicide or another form of publicity that draws attention to the consequences of cyberbullying.

Cyberbullying can also be retraumatizing and invalidating for survivors of abuse and trauma. Specifically, in the narcissistic abuse survivor community, narcissists tend to support other narcissists and both survivors as well as professionals may come under attack for speaking their truth about narcissistic abuse. There is, unfortunately, a great deal of victim-blamers and enablers online who support the actions of abusers or vilify advocates that expose the predatory nature of abusers with Narcissistic Personality Disorder or Antisocial Personality Disorder."
The article can be found here if you would like to read then rest of it: Narcissists and Psychopaths Online: The Narcissism of Cyberbullying and Trolling by Shahida Arabi

Source: Located on the Image.

2. Block these people. They have no control over your life unless you let them. You are better off without these toxic people in your lives. You ARE important, and don't let these people have control over what you do.

3. Write yourself an email. Every time these people hurt you and you want to say something back, write yourself an email and send it to yourself to get your feelings out. That way, you don't bottle it up and you can get out what you want to say. You don't need to send it to anyone else, this is just for you.

4. Do not be scared. Don't be scared to login to Facebook or wherever these trolls might be lurking. That would be giving them power over you. Don't let them. You're better than that, and like it or not, these people are going to be everywhere so there is really not a way to avoid them.

5. Do not give in. These people want something from you, don't give it to them. Bullies usually won't stop until they can get what they want. I will give an example. This is a popular one - in movies and T.V. shows - bullies want lunch money. They will not stop punching you in the gut until they get it and run off. So, don't give the bullies your "lunch money."

6. Do not stop living your life. The thing with bullies is that they will try to interrupt as much of your life as possible. Do not let them. The world spins on. You should keep living your life and do not let them make you deviate from it, because that is their goal.


I would also check with your state and see what laws they may have in place about cyber bullying. If you are currently being cyber bullied, do not give up. I had to block many people on Facebook when I would first log in. You can also report those people, located on a drop down menu on their cover page, before you block them to let Facebook know. You can also look up their guidelines and there is an email address they give you to send your difficulties to them. Additionally, there are support groups on Facebook for cyber bullying you can join. I would also recommend talking with a psychiatrist about it, because your mental health is important, especially with gastroparesis, or any chronic illness.

According to,

This is another great article! You should read it in its entirety.

According to,

"It's very upsetting to get abusive emails, instant messages and to have nasty websites or social network profiles set up to invite people to post offensive remarks about you. This is called cyber bullying.

dealing with cyberbullying
There are ways that people who send emails can be tracked by internet service providers and the police. All emails carry information which shows the path the email has taken to get to your computer.

Internet service providers (ISP) have contact email addresses for complaints about email and Cyber Bullying coming from their network and this will normally be, or whichever system the sender is using. Don't reply to the email or delete it, get your parents to forward the whole thing to the sender's ISP.

We closed down a series of message boards in the Hertfordshire/north London area where pupils were being identified by name, school and year and others were invited to post abuse about them. These boards have been reported to Hertfordshire Police following complaints to us by parents and pupils.

Among problems we identified were:

A death threat
Numerous bogus messages posted in the names of people being targeted
A boy who lost all his friends as a result of postings made in his name
Numerous threats of violence
A girl who tried to kill herself due to abuse
a teenager on anti-depressants and afraid to go out due to threats
Sending abuse by email or posting it into a web board can be harassment and if this has happened to you then your parents or carers need to make a complaint to the police.

All message boards run by private individuals are hosted by firms and you can often find an address to complain to in the 'help' section of the board. In our experience firms usually act swiftly to shut down the board because allowing abuse to be posted is against their terms and conditions."

Source: On Image



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