What’s the link between bullying and mental health?
Bullying and mental health issues may have more in common than you think.
Being bullied can have many effects in the short- and long term, particularly for a young person. In the short term it can cause depression, lead to self-harming or even suicidal thoughts, and it can make the victim feel unwanted or even unloved.
Even what many people think of as ‘minor’ bullying – there’s no such thing – may mean that the victim loses confidence in themselves overall. If things get really serious, their torment can lead to something like Social Anxiety Disorder [SAD]. Other mental health conditions can also spring from bullying – Post Traumatic Stress Disorder [PTSD] and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder [OCD] to name but a few.
Sometimes though, a young person’s mental health is the very thing that makes them stand out to bullies. Something like Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder [ADHD], OCD, or an eating disorder can make you an easy target – bullies often pick up on how you’re different and use that as fuel for their malice. What then develops is a vicious cycle, as conditions can be worsened this way, or something new may result.
I believe that we all need to work harder to raise awareness about bullying and its effects, plus how we can end discrimination about mental health – particularly in schools.
I was supported by Fixers to develop a resource for schools and teachers about bullying – you can find out more about the effects here: www.adviceforteachers.org.uk
If you are suffering you can always contact Get Connected, in whatever way you are comfortable. Other organisations who may be able to help include Young Minds and Time To Change.
It’s never too late to speak out, contact someone today!
This post was originally part of the Get Connected website. YouthNet and Get Connected merged to form The Mix in 2016.
Published on 06-Feb-2015
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