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Don’t Be A Bully: The Mental Health Effects of Bullying

Press Release

With the growth of the internet, bullying is more of a problem for our kids today than ever before. Social media sites and online forums give people a cloak to hide behind, emboldening cyberbullies to say horrible things to any innocent commenter. Bullying happens in person too, like on school campuses or at extracurricular activities.

And though bullying is obviously hurtful, there are other serious short- and long-term effects that can take place for both the person being bullied and the bully themselves. These effects may not be noticeable on the surface, but they can harm both parties for a lifetime. Check out our post below to learn more about the effects of bullying on mental health.

How Bullying Affects Victims

Many parents are surprised to learn their child has been bullied for weeks or months before speaking up about it to anyone. Many children are ashamed or unsure of how to handle bullying, so they don’t tell their parents about it until things really escalate. Before and after this point, parents may notice a variety of short-term effects of bullying, including:

  • Isolation
  • Poor sleep habits
  • Changes in eating habits
  • Asking to stay home from school
  • Poor self-esteem
  • Negative self-talk
  • Anxiety
  • Drop-in grades at school
  • Depression

These effects may last a few weeks or months, but there are other effects that can last years or even longer for the victim. These symptoms include:

  • Chronic depression
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Substance abuse
  • Self-harm
  • Difficulty maintaining friendships
  • Anxiety
  • Post-traumatic stress
  • Poor health

How Bullying Affects Bullies

Understandably, bullying also has a negative effect on the person doing the bullying. Acting out in mean and destructive ways is usually a sign of some other things that are going wrong in the child’s life, and this can create a perfect storm of harmful effects, including:

  • Drop-in grades at school
  • Missing school because of suspensions or other punishment
  • Difficulty maintaining friendships
  • Substance abuse

How to Prevent Bullying

Bullying is obviously detrimental to our society as a whole. But luckily, there are ways to prevent bullying in our schools and communities. Do your part to stop bullying by following these tips:

  • Teach kids what bullying is and what to do is they encounter it.
  • Get to know your kids’ friends and be a safe space for kids to communicate openly.
  • Instill confidence in your kids by allowing them to do what they love.
  • Model kindness and respect.
  • Monitor children’s social media.

Contact Us Today

San Antonio Behavioral Healthcare Hospital a full continuum of care and services in San Antonio. If you or someone you know is in need of mental health support, contact us to learn more about our NO COST ASSESSMENT. All it takes is one call 210.541.5305.