Bullying has been affecting people for generations. In recent years, it has only gotten worse and more regular. It is vital that everyone starts learning more about mental health and bullying as the toll bullying takes on a person’s health is generally quite severe.
Before discussing mental health and bullying, it is important everyone knows there are mental health treatment programs that can help those who are affected by bullying.
It can be tough to define bullying as it comes in so many forms. However, we would like to dive into the definition of bullying a bit. According to the Centers for Disease Control, bullying is type of violence toward the victim that involves aggressive unwanted behaviors from the bully (which can be one person or a group of people).
Generally, with bullying, there is an imbalance in power – whether actual or perceived. The power imbalance is usually based on physical strength, size, wealth or social status. When someone gets bullied over a period of time it can affect them educationally, socially, psychologically and physically.
Some of the different kinds of bullying behaviors are:
- Spreading lies or rumors about the victim
- Making the victim do things they don’t want to do, destroying the victim’s property,
- Insults and/or name-calling, teasing, or excluding the person on purpose
- Physically harming or intimidating the victim (ex. spitting on them, pushing or hitting, or tripping)
- Cyberbullying (sending texts or harassing the victim online, making threats)
Please note that bullying in any form can be damaging to the victim and their loved ones. If you or someone you know is dealing with mental health and bullying, please reach out to our Harmony Healing NJ team today.
How Prevalent is Bullying
Did you know that every 1 in 5 students from the ages 12 to 18 say someone has bullied them. Bullying happens in almost all schools to some extent. It happens in elementary, middle and high schools. It even happens in colleges. Adults are even bullying each other these days.
The extent of in-person and virtual bullying is extensive. According to the Pew Research Center, around every 2 in 3 teenagers in the United States have experienced some level of cyberbullying. Since people have access to texting, messaging and other online platforms all the time, it can be difficult to stop cyberbullying completely. However, everyone needs to do their part and take responsibility for their own actions.
Mental Health and Bullying – How it Effects People
As noted above, bullying can affect people in numerous ways. It can affect their emotional, physical and mental health. Younger children are more apt to experience mental health issues as a result of bullying because they don’t generally know where to turn for help or who to ask for help. However, that does not mean teenagers and adults won’t be affected by bullying. Sometimes, bullying can even lead to death by suicide.
Children and teenagers who are bullied are much more likely to experience the following:
- Self-esteeem issues
- Becoming violent themselves
- Becoming anti-social
- Destroying property
- Abusing alcohol and/or drugs
- More likely to be abusive toward others (mentally, emotionally, sexually, and/or physically)
- Higher risk of suicide
If you or someone you know is being bullied, reach out for help. Don’t wait it out and see if things get better. There are teachers, parents, family members, friend, therapists and many professionals who can help you or your loved one.
Bystanders of Bullying
We would also like to take a moment to discuss bystanders of bullying. Bystanders usually are classified into 2 groups – those who don’t act to stop the bullying and those who do. Unfortunately, some people don’t act because they are afraid that the bully will retaliate against them. They may also truly want to intervene but aren’t sure how.
If you are a bystander to bullying, it is important to know that you don’t have to confront the bully. However, you can go to a teacher, friend, family member or another professional to report the bullying. You can do so anonymously so that the bully doesn’t know it is you. That way, you don’t have to worry about retaliation. You may not realize it, but reporting bullying could save the victim’s life. It could also get the bully the help they need, so they can stop being a bully.
Bullying is a traumatic event in the victim’s life. It can even be traumatic for those who see it happening. Not everyone will respond the same way to bullying, but don’t be in the group of people who just stand by and watch it happen.
If someone comes to you because they are being bullied, find out how you can help them. Keep in mind that bullied victims have the highest risk of suicide out of all kids and teenagers. Even adults who are bullied have a higher risk of suicide. While you aren’t responsible for what is happening, you can be a part of the change in bullying, by helping out where you can.
Getting the Help You Need for Mental Health and Bullying
If you have been bullied, please know right now that you are not lost. There are professionals who can help you to overcome any mental health or other health issues that were caused by bullying.
If you are the bully and you need help to stop bullying, whether that is trauma work or something else, there are programs and resources out there that can help you to get better, as well.
Need help to get through mental health and bullying issues? If so, please contact us today, here at Harmony Healing NJ to get the help that you need. Be a part of the change to better society, better yourself and help others.