Bullying refers to the use of threat, coercion or force to intimidate abuse or intrusively dominate others. Rather, bullying is defined as the act of using a superior influence or strength to intimidate an individual or to force them to do what one wants typically. It is often repeated and eventually becomes habitual. Bullying is categorized as either verbal, physical, emotional or cyber type of abuse. Notably, the rationalizations can be on the basis of religion, race, sexual orientation, gender, religion, appearance, reputation, size, strength or ability. Bullying affects everyone involved that is, the bully, the victim as well as the bystanders. Therefore, this paper will discuss the effects of bullying. Ideally, the effects of bullying to an individual are unimaginable, and in some severe cases, the victims are compelled to take extreme steps that can be detrimental to them and also the accused.
The victims of bullying are often subjected to direct aggression in different forms such as belittling remarks and humiliation and other indirect behavioral forms like rumors or gossips that undermine their personality or even professionalism. Consequently, these victims become withdrawn and reluctant to express themselves because they fear being criticized further (Hoel et al., 145). If such an individual is in a workplace, they become less cooperative and even lack the morale to work. Another effect of bullying is depression, and in that case, the victims tend to experience different levels of depression depending on the extent of bullying. Comparatively, cyber bullying victims are often at a higher risk of depression.According to a study by NIH, the cyber bullied victims are at an increased risk of being depressed than their bullies. Unlike in other types of bullying, the victims of cyber bullying expressed greater signs of depression. Statistically, people who are bullied in their childhood have a higher probability of being depressed in their adulthood than the ones who were not bullied (Bullyingstatistics.org). In nearly the same way, youth bully victims and bullies are more likely to get depressed compared to those who have not had any bullying experience. Depression leads to adverse effects on an individual’s life such as anxiety, physical illness, school absenteeism and low self-esteem.
Continued emotional and physical bullying can prompt suicidal thoughts. In the recent past, many suicide cases across the globe have been linked to bullying. Regardless of the common myth that being bullied is part of growing up, most of the victims end up committing suicide especially when no one is there to defend or comfort them. Most of the youths reported to have been involved in bullying behavior, have a high likelihood of recording relatively elevated levels of behaviors that are suicide-related than their counterparts who record no involvement in bullying (CDC, 3). Concisely, youths who are both bullies and victims of bullying record the highest rates bullying-related suicides and suicide attempts. Young people who are involved in bullying by seeing others being bullied tend to have feelings of helplessness and appear to disconnect themselves from people.
According to Hoel, et al. 146, research has associated bullying with cognitive effects such as lack of initiative, concentration problems as well as feelings of insecurity. Such effects can lead to poor performance for students since they lack creativity, do not concentrate well in their coursework and are prone to making mistakes. Likewise, in the working environment, the bully victim appears to be less motivated, frequently makes mistakes and lacks creativity which may even cost them their job. Additionally, bullying can have a long term effect on the mental health of an individual. Most of the children who are bullied at around the age of eight are more probable to develop a psychiatric disorder as they grow up, unlike other children who are not bullied. In relation to depression, the children who are bullied when young have a greater risk of acquiring depressive disorders that if not handled at an early stage, may call for psychiatric attention later in life. Previous researches on the causes of mental health complications show that twenty percent of the people who bullied others as children had a mental problem that required treatment in in their teenage. On the other hand, twenty-three percent of the individuals who were bully victims as children had sought for mental health treatment before they turned thirty years old (Nierenberg). Frequent childhood bullying apparently resultsin long-term psychiatric problems and is even worse if the bullying was from a peer.
In conclusion, it is significant for everyone to understand the effects of bullying so that they can recognize them in early stages before they develop into serious problems. Mostly, children and young adults are reluctant to let others know that they are being bullied for fear of feeling ashamed and defeated. They may think that it is their fault and fear retaliation thus it is important for parents to have frequent conversations with their children to know whether someone is bullying them. Again, it will be imperative to understand the effects of bullying so that the bullies can be counseled and supported for them to stop the behavior.
Bullyingstatistics.org. “Bullying And Depression – Bullying Statistics.” Bullying Statistics. N.P., 2016. Web. 27 Oct. 2016.
CDC. The Relationship between Bullying and Suicide. 1st ed. Chamblee: Center for Disease Control and Prevention. 1-10., 2014. Web. 27 Oct. 2016.
Hoel, Helge, Stale Einarsen, and Cary L. Cooper. “Organizational effects of bullying.” Bullying and emotional abuse in the workplace: International perspectives in research and practice (2003): 145-161.
Nierenberg, Cari. “Childhood Bullying Can Have Lasting Effects On Mental Health.” Live Science. N.P., 2015. Web. 27 Oct. 2016.
NIH. “Depression High Among Youth Victims Of School Cyber Bullying, NIH Researchers Report.” National Institutes of Health (NIH). N.P., 2010. Web. 27 Oct. 2016.