I just finished reading Speak, a novel by Laurie Halse Anderson about a 14 year old girl named Melinda who is an outcast in high school after an incident that occurred over the summer which I will not reveal here and spoil. If you have not yet read this book, please do. This book does not contain fairies, vampires, werewolves or angels. What it does contain is far more frightening as it brings you back into that intensely uncomfortable skin we may have worn as teenagers.
I sobbed at several parts of the book and, no, I did not have the same experience as Melinda but I did have the isolation, awkwardness, and loneliness. I was bullied and made fun of relentlessly and I specifically remember being in the gymnasiam in elementary school where everyone was signing yearbooks and almost no one signed mine.
Which brings me to my last point. Bullies. I was bullied. They exist in every generation from the Cleavers to the world that our children currently live in. I wish I could blink my eyes like a genie and make them all disappear, but I do not have that ability. What I can hopefully provide a child who thinks death is better than being bullied is this.... persepective:
All the kids who made fun of me in elementary school are now "Facebook friends." We all casually keep up with each other's lives and all the hurts have been healed. And my primary bully is said to have somewhere around 5-6 daughters which I find to be perfect revenge for him.
Look for the signs in your own children that something is causing them to withdraw. Please remember; it is just as important to listen to what your child does NOT say as what they do.