Impact of Bullying on Mental Health: Understanding and Prevention Strategies

“Bully” – the word brings monotony and anxiety into someone’s life. These memories are the ones that can turn your mood in a minute from happy to sad.

1. How Does Bullying Affect Mental Health?

It is important to know that all actions and words you speak can cause mental and behavioral problems. Let us discuss some behavioral issues that may arise due to bullying.

1.1. What is Bullying Behavior?

how does bullying affect mental health
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Bullying behavior is dominating someone and treating them as if they are inferior. Making people do things without their will and consent by frightening them or forcing them. Finding amazement and happiness in abusing or harassing anyone is a sick behavior. It indicates psychic problems.

Bullying is not limited to just speaking ill to someone or making them feel complex about their looks or any other personal issues. Once we ignore verbal bullying the bullies get over us and start bullying us physically. It does not take much time for a bully to take things more brutally.

They keep on attacking a person’s mind and esteem until they succeed in torturing them not only mentally but also by bullying someone physically. They are ready to do anything that can make them feel superior.

how does bullying affect mental health
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Spreading rumors about others and degrading their pride and respect is something that is most common. It starts with our schooling. Students talk ill things about one another and then suddenly that rumor is the hot topic of the day which sticks to a person forever. Because rumors have no ends. They start and keep on going with an extra add-on of drama.

Now let us talk about the most common type of bullying, that is, taking over the mental health of youth. We all call it cyber bullying!

1.2. What is Cyber Bullying?

how does bullying affect mental health
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Today’s young adults are the prey of cyberbullying. This is the time when all people are on social media platforms and have experienced cyberbullying in one or some other way.

Online bullying affects mental health badly. Everyone is just a post away from getting bullied. Posting on social media and getting hate or abusive comments takes down all the self-confidence and self-esteem of a person.

The effects of bullying on mental health badly taking over the generation and causing severe mental issues. Reports from 2018-2023 show the following results on bullying statistics:

  1. Cyberbullying has spread all over the world with a rate of around one in every five people getting affected by it.
  2. Due to the pandemic, it was reported that 200% of toxicity increased on social media platforms, especially in Asia.
  3. About 59% of young adults got bullied and faced traumatized comments online because of political issues.
  4. This showed an increased risk of suicidal behavior.

Now we will look deeper into the serious mental health issues trying to know exactly how does bullying affect mental health.

2. Serious Mental Health Issues

When we talk about bullying the first thing that comes to our mind that gets most affected by it is young adults and their poor mental health . Mental health needs to be talked about and taken in consideration when talking of bullying.

Bullying victims suffer from mental health problems that lead them to take decisions that might even make them take their lives.

Mental Health Effects of Bullying that cause serious health issues are:

2.1. Low self Esteem

how does bullying affect mental health
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When you get criticized for every action you take and every decision you make it makes you feel low. Also, it brings self doubt in your mind about whether you are right or not. Getting called offensive names and making fun of your appearance takes down all your self-esteem and self-confidence.

You start feeling complex and try to do things that can bring you positive compliments. But not getting those compliments makes you feel ugly and useless and you start comparing yourself with others.

2.2. Suicidal Behavior

how does bullying affect mental health
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Increased anxiety, mental health effects, and depressed feeling bring suicidal thoughts to one’s mind. Suicidal thoughts are the repercussions of sad depressive helpless life.

One can imagine the state of mind and anxiousness that is there in the mind of bullying victims. One gets so depressed that they find death more convenient than living. How depressing even this thought is.

2.3. Emotional Health

how does bullying affect mental health
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Because of emotional problems, the increased risk of sleep problems also follows.

All the happiness and satisfaction go in a moment from life. All you are left with is the emptiness, sadness, and feeling of just lying inside in a corner detached from the world.

2.4. Develop Depression

how does bullying affect mental health
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It is clear that how bullied children and other adults too are at higher risk of experiencing depression. Our generation is already living an online life. What we see online is not the exact life one is living in reality. People fake their lives online so that they can feel better. But it can only provide short-term happiness.

Long-term what you get is depression. Our generation so easily talks of depression and declare themselves in depression for small things. Because they are not getting what it feels like to be depressed. Bullying on mental health affects a person not only in terms of emotions but also makes them mentally weak. This makes one feel left alone and disconnected from the world around them developing depression.

2.5. Aggressive Behavior

how does bullying affect mental health
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Bully victims either get emotionally weak or so strong that they transform their weakness into aggression. Everyone tries to shut up the bullies. But when the limit reaches it becomes hard for a victim. In such a situation they find themselves helpless and thinks of physical strength as the only option they are left with.

This behavior is associated with a greater risk of substance use and causing physical injury to themselves and others too. One’s aggressive behavior hides the real pain behind their actions and harsh feelings. It is easy to judge them but difficult to understand.

What can be the solutions to prevent bullying?

3. Bullying Prevention Strategies

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The total removal of bullies is not possible because there are people out in the world to stop others from doing what is against their opinion. Moreover, it is far more difficult. But we can’t deny the fact that we must try to reduce the impact of bullying on one’s life can bring ultimate change in the way it has always been to feel bullied.

Now it’s time for prevention. What are ways that can help a person experiencing any of the mental health issues because of bullying?

Now, look at some of the ways that can be useful strategies:

3.1. Addressing Bullying

Addressing a problem to others at the time it is being felt is important. Because ignorance only leads to an increasing rate of bullying and then, everything changes when it starts showing its consequences in one’s life.

It is one of the best ways that address what happened rather than ignoring or avoiding addressing it. Because some people find addressing and raising voices on such issues more troublesome than ignoring and moving on. But what they don’t get is ignoring or avoiding the bullies and their actions at first time can provoke them to continue the same behavior.

3.2. Mental Health Professional

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Not everyone is aware of this thing but yes! mental health professional exists. They are there to help you. So never think so much before taking their help. It might seem to you that you don’t need them, you are not mental, and YES! you are right you are normal. No one is saying that someone is considered mental if they are seeking a mental health professional.

Mental is even not a state of disease or problem. It just states that you are worried, and anxious, and you need someone to comfort you and understand you. This is where these professionals bring all that you need.

3.3. Bullying Prevention Programs

how does bullying affect mental health
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The initiatives are taken like bullying-free campuses in schools and universities. Similarly, strict and harsh punishment from the law is important so that bullies think twice before doing any mischief.

3.4. Open Communication

We all know the best technique that always works in every case is “talking”. If you are facing any of such bullying issues always go to some trusted adult and talk to them. Have open communication and tell every feeling you have and every issue you face.

It helps you relax your mind and makes you feel light-weighted. Try it! This is the best remedy.

It is clear what is the need for strategies to stop bullying.

how does bullying affect mental health
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4. Final Note

Imposing heavy fines and strict punishment but not only imposing them is enough. Also, executing them properly will be the best help from the law. But it’s not the alone work of the law but also, in the hands of everyone to realize that everyone is good to go in their way. Everyone has a different appearance and opinion. Criticizing them for every action they take is not going to do any good.

Bullying is just a way for people to take out their frustration by giving hard times to others. The realization that it is wrong is very important. If you are the victim, never feel alone, and SPEAK!

Last Updated on December 25, 2023 by