Bullying and its Effects on Mental-Wellbeing

Recognizing The Signs of Bullying
Bullying is an extremely common issue that can have lasting effects on both children’s and teenagers’ mental well-being. Typically the signs are not seen immediately and can be subtle, having the ability to recognize these signs and intervening early is vital. The signs can be classified into three different categories, physical, behavioral, and emotional signs. A few examples in each are: 

Physical signs:

  • Unexplained wounds.
  • Broken/torn belongings.
  • Stomaches/headaches.

Emotional signs

  • Sudden changes in their mood.
  • Displaying anxious behaviors.
  • Decreased self-esteem.
  • An increase in irritability.
  • Self–destructive behaviors.

Behavioral signs:

  • Withdrawing from social activities/interactions.
  • Avoiding their friends.
  • Decline in their academics.
  • A reduced interest in school.
  • Poor eating and sleeping habits.

It is important to note that these signs can vary in severity based on several factors so it is vital to approach them with empathy and the willingness to listen to them.

The Longterm Effects of Bullying on Young Children and Teenagers
Bullying can have significant effects on both young children and teenagers in their later lives, re-establishing the importance of intervening during the early stages of bullying and providing the necessary support. Oftentimes, children/teenagers who were bullied in the past have a tendency to struggle with both developing and maintaining healthy friendships this is typically correlated with their low self-esteem and trust issues–both stemming from bullying. It has also been noticed that the tremendous amount of stress and anxiety being put onto them by their peers bullying them can cause issues in their physical health. It has also been noted that victims who were bullied in their adolescence are significantly more likely to experience panic disorders, young adult depression, psychosis/hallucinations, and other somatic issues. 

Forms of Bullying
There are numerous forms of bullying that children/teenagers experience which similar to the signs of bullying can vary in how subtle they are. A few of the main types include

  • Physical bullying: Physical bullying can entail any type of aggression ranging from kicking, punching, pushing, intimidation, and more.
  • Cyberbullying: Cyberbullying consists of spreading hurtful rumors, posting hurtful videos/images, sending rude texts, and more.
  • Verbal bullying: Verbal bullying includes, name-calling, intimidation, threats, insults, mocking, and embarrassing an individual/group of people.
  • Social bullying: Social bullying involves intentionally embarrassing someone in front of a large group of people, socially excluding a certain person/group, spreading hurtful rumors, intentionally harming someone’s reputation, and more. It is important to note that this can happen both online through social media/other platforms and in person.

Preventing and Dealing With Bullying
Both preventing and dealing with bullying call for being able to openly communicate, seek professionals when necessary, and utilize the different school-based resources. Encouraging open communication between parents and children can allow for the creation of a space in which the child feels comfortable enough to discuss with their caregiver/parent if they experience being bullied. School-based resources can also play a big role in this through several things such as immediately addressing and taking care of any reported incidents, implementing anti-bullying policies, and raising awareness. Lastly, seeking professional help can aid greatly when dealing with bullying; it is essential if the bullying is affecting them emotionally and becomes overwhelming.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *