How Bullying Increases Mental Health Problems

Bullying has long-term, lasting impacts, say researchers. When children are bullied regularly, it can hurt their mental and emotional health. People with low self-esteem, an inability to trust people, and difficulty making long-term connections are just a few of the issues they may face. In this article, you will learn more about how bullying increases mental health problems.

Nonetheless, bullying can have far-reaching impacts on a person’s mental and emotional well-being. According to a study, the brains of adolescent victims may be physically and structurally different. As a result of these bodily changes, future mental health concerns may arise, according to a study published in the journal Molecular Psychology in 2012.

This is the first study to show that chronic peer victimization in adolescence leads to anatomical changes in the brain that affect psychological well-being.

Over 700 participants from four countries participated in the study, which was conducted by the Research Burke Quinlan and the other researchers. All of the subjects had high-resolution brain scans done while they were between the ages of 14 and 19. Participants filled out questions about bullying at ages 14, 16, and 19.

Observed Facts

A total of 5% of the young people in the study reported having been bullied on a long-term basis. At the age of 19, these subjects’ brain volumes, as well as their levels of depression, anxiety, and hyperactivity, had all changed significantly as well.

Long-term bullying has been linked to mental health problems, and this study’s findings corroborate that theory. However, this study is noteworthy because researchers identified declines in the caudate and putamen regions of the brain in correlation with chronic bullying.

That is to say, their brains were physically transformed as a result of the stress and bullying they endured. According to a study, these changes explain increased peer victimization and higher levels of general anxiety at age 19.

The amount of mental health problems in children is increased by 40% when they are bullied in school, according to another study. It indicated that individuals who had been bullied had a 35 percent higher chance of being unemployed by 25, and a 2 percent lower income compared to those who had not been bullied.

A wide range of bullying forms was evaluated by researchers from Lancaster University, the Sydney and Wollongong Universities. Bullying might involve being called names, excluded from social groups, having belongings stolen or damaged, or being threatened or harmed.

As a result, they found that females were more likely than boys to be the victims of relational (or psychological) kinds of bullying. In the long run, bullying that goes on for an extended length of time can be harmful.


Is one form of bullying inherently more harmful than another? There is, according to their findings. Psychological problems later in life may be worsened by cyberbullying than by more typical types of bullying, according to their research.

As an example, students who have been subjected to cyberbullying report higher levels of anxiety and terror than students who have been subjected to more traditional forms of bullying. As a result, their general anxiety symptoms begin to mimic those of post-traumatic stress disorder when they are subjected to prolonged cyberbullying (PTSD).

The researcher attributes this discovery in part to its ease of use. Cyberbullying victims can be targeted at any hour of the day or night thanks to SMS, social media, and more. Even though the victims have their smartphones with them at all times, there is no actual safe haven. You never know when something awful or painful may happen at any given time

Traditional bullying, on the other hand, allows the victim to know who witnessed their ordeal. Cyberbullying, on the other hand, is so extensively disseminated that it can be nearly impossible for the victim to keep up with it all. Anxiety and panic can be exacerbated since they feel as though the entire world is aware of their situation.

Even though bullying can have long-term ramifications, this does not mean that is always the case. Consequently, parents and educators should be made aware of the seriousness of bullying as a problem that should not be ignored. Not only are the adolescent years full of new challenges and opportunities, but they are also a crucial time for brain growth.

Because of this, parents, teachers, and administrators must do everything they can to prevent their children from being bullied. Anti-bullying initiatives can be implemented, along with clear and consistent disciplinary measures for youngsters who bully other children.

In addition, the targeted children and their parents must be given the tools and information they need to report bullying and move on from their bullying experiences. If bullying isn’t addressed, it might lead to other problems on the road, such as mental illness.

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