“In youth, it was a way I had,
To do my best to please.
And change, with every passing lad
To suit his theories.

But now I know the things I know
And do the things I do,
And if you do not like me so,
To hell, my love, with you.” 

~ Dorothy Parker


Never be bullied into silence. Never allow yourself to be made a victim. Accept no one’s definition of your life, but define yourself.

~Harvey Fierstein

Harvey Fierstein


Bullying Goes to the Movies

moviesI like to watch movies at home. I like to adjust the volume the way I like it, fix my own popcorn, wear pajamas and wrap up in a fuzzy blanket. Those things don’t fly at the local theater so much.

My patients like to watch movies. Media affects them personally and they tell me how they are feeling by referencing music, books and movies.

The positive here is that I have a built in set of movie critics that let me know what is and is not worth watching. The negative? Spoilers.

SPOILER ALERT (The Sixth Sense)

Once a patient told me, “You’ll love The Sixth Sense, especially at the end when you find out that the psychiatrist is dead.” I kid you not. What can I say, it’s a job hazard I willingly accept.


I like to be able to have a few movies in mind about a particular issue or topic when certain issues arise. “Have you seen ___________?” “What did you think when _________ happened?” It’s a way of connecting across the generation gap between me (old) and my patients (children and adolescents).

In keeping with Blue Ribbon Theme (It’s End Bullying Month), I started thinking about movies that showcase bullying as a theme. It’s a bad lot. Basically, you start with “Carrie,” proceed to “Mean Girls” and “Heathers” and, well, it just goes downhill from there. The original “Friday the 13th” started with a bullying episode. No spoiler: it escalates quickly.

Here’s a list of movies that feature bullying as a theme.


Journal Prompt

What are the examples of bullying I see in music, books and movies? Are they similar to my real life? How can I live the lives of the heroes in those examples? What steps can I take to make this a safer world for myself and others?


Healing the Victims of Bullying

If you haven’t seen Shane Koyczan recite/perform his hauntingly beautiful poem,  To This Day, please watch:

Mr. Koyczan is a gifted writer and performer and used his talent to bring awareness to school bullying problems. He started a Project to End Bullying worth checking out.

The pain we cause each other with harmful intentions is so much more destructive than the physical pain of an injury. The damage to our souls that we allow others to inflict upon us is a horror that I see in my office everyday. You and I can help stop the lingering pain and destruction by loving those who have been hurt. Help people to see themselves the way you see them, beautiful, whole, worthwhile.


Journal Prompt

How can I heal myself from the names I call myself and those others have called me? How can I fight the negative images I see in the mirror?

How can I love myself a little bit today?

Objects in Mirror


Journal Prompt

Think about the negative things you say to yourself: I’m not smart enough, I’m ugly, I’m lazy, I’m boring, etc. Would it be bullying if you said these to someone else? Of course it would. What are some ways you can stop bullying yourself?


Blue Ribbon Week

Bully Free Zone

October is National End Bullying Month. I have read so much on the topic lately that my head is spinning. Here are the basics on bullying:

Bullying is aggressive behavior which includes:

  • An Imbalance of Power
  • Repetition

People who bully may make threats, spread rumors,  physically or verbally attack others, or exclude someone from a group. They can use physical strength, access to embarrassing information, or popularity to create a power imbalance. Kids on both ends of bullying behaviors suffer long-term consequences.

What really makes my head spin:

“Slut.” “That’s Gay.” “Shorty, fatty, skinny, skyscraper, wimp, four-eyes, ginger, smelly…” Threats to physically and sexually assault peers in the school hallways.

These things blow my mind. It’s the twenty-first century and our kids still lash out at each other, only now they can do it secretly, and sometimes anonymously as well. Kids aren’t even safe from bullies in the privacy of their own homes. Twitter, Tumblr, ASK.FM, Facebook, Instagram, SnapChat… The internet brings the bullies to you.

What is inconceivable to me:

“You should just kill yourself.”  WHO says this to another human being? How could any thinking person let those words come out of their mouths? So many of the adolescents and middle-schoolers I talk to report that at least one person has urged them to kill themselves.

We have to do better. We have to model for and teach our kids how to resist attacking others.

To get help or learn what you can do to end bullying, start here.


To keep with this week’s theme, celebrating Mental Health Week and busting stigma, here are several songs that might have flown under your radar when you first heard them…