Online bullying turns deadly; know the warning signs

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HOUSTON, Texas -- Technology can bring out the worst in people. With the invention of every new personal electronic device, old-school bullies find a way to attack.

Sadly, cyber bullying can be deadly. The latest reminder comes from a teen from North Carolina, who posted a heart-breaking question on Facebook.

Just before 16-year-old Amber Cornwell took her life on December 20th, she asked a question on Facebook, if she died that night  "would anyone cry?"

She was laid to rest the day after Christmas. Her friends and family believe online bullying pushed her to suicide. Experts say the pain of being bullied is compounded at this time of year.

Dr. Andrew Harper, Medical Director with UT Harris County Psychiatric Center, says, "I think sometimes during the holidays, kids may feel detached from their friends and they feel they're not connected to their family."

The tragedy can often not be avoided, but there are some signs.

"Posts that indicate hopelessness, feeling like they're a burden and frank suicidal thoughts and content, that needs to be taken seriously."

The best advice is to keep real communication alive in families.

"It's myth that asking about suicide increases risk or that about suicide causes a person thinking about suicide to act on those thoughts."

The next time you or a child gets online, understand the risks, because no digital diss should ever lead to something like this.

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