The impact of bullying on mental health
Bullying is not only harmful to victims, but bystanders and bullies themselves can also have detrimental effects on their physical and mental health.
Victims of bullying are at risk of:
-Developing mental health problems like anxiety and depression
-Experiencing eating and sleeping changes
-Feeling alone and isolated
-Having suicidal thoughts
-Withdrawing from activities they once enjoyed
-Missing days of school
-Dropping out of school
In some cases, kids and adults who were bullied have resorted to violence, including mass shootings, in acts of revenge. That’s why it’s crucial for victims of bullying to seek. A licensed mental health professional can help them work through the complex emotions that result from being bullied.
Bystanders of bullying can also suffer from mental health symptoms. People who witness bullying are at higher risk of developing mental health problems such as anxiety and depression. They may also feel guilty or ashamed for not intervening but are often afraid to say something for fear of becoming a target. Observing bullying in the workplace can lower morale, increase the risk of people calling in sick, and increase turnover rates.
Bullies themselves also suffer from their actions. They have an increased risk of substance use disorders and other mental health disorders. If their bullying is severe enough to have legal consequences, they tend to cycle in and out of the criminal justice system.