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Bullying is a regular occurrence in childhood. An unwanted and aggressive behavior usually observed among school-going children, bullying might involve attacking someone physically or verbally, making threats, laughing at someone’s appearance, excluding a person from a group and spreading rumors.
Study Links S
Links Severe Bully
ing to to Mental Disorders
Mental Disorders and
Suicide in in Teen Years
Bullying is a regular occurrence in childhood. An unwanted and aggressive behavior usually
observed among school-going children, bullying might involve attacking someone physically
or verbally, making threats, laughing at someone’s appearance, excluding a person from a
group and spreading rumors. While the physical aspects are easy to identify, bullying can also
occur secretly through gossip, smartphones or Internet. Victims of bullying can experience
emotional and psychological hurt and humiliation.
Whether bullying or
being bullied, it can
result in serious and
health and overall well-
being of youth. Some of
the outcomes can be
sexual violence, poor
low attendance and
Additionally, both the
perpetrators and victims of bullying are at an increased risk of suicide-related behavior.
A recent Canadian study further clarifies the relationship between bullying and mental
disorders by establishing that people severely bullied as children are exposed to mental
health problems and suicide attempts during their teen years.
Bullying victims prone to depression, suicidal thoughts
For their study, researchers used data from the Quebec Longitudinal Study of Child
Development that followed more than 1,300 children born in 1997 and 1998 in Quebec for
15 years since their birth. As per the study results, about 15 percent of the children were
exposed to the severest form of victimization from the beginning of their education till their
As compared to children who experienced little or no bullying in their early lives, these
children were more than twice as likely to report depression or low moods and were three
times more likely to report anxiety. In addition, these individuals were 3.5 times more likely
to report having suicidal thoughts or suicidal attempts.
According to the authors, it is important to prevent victimization early in life. They also
stressed on the need to start anti-bullying efforts before enrolment in the formal school
While the study showed an important link between early bullying and teen mental health
disorders, it had some limitations. As per the authors, the outcomes were measured by self-
reported questionnaires which did not provide an accurate clinical diagnosis. In addition, peer
victimization was also self-reported that may reflect biases basis the participant’s mental
Repercussions of bullying
Bullying is a serious issue that can have a detrimental impact on those who bully, those who
are bullied and even those who witness it. It involves one or more people repeatedly doing
things or engaging in acts to make another person upset, afraid or hurt. Bullying can take
place anywhere, take many forms and can be related to just about anything.
The effects of bullying are not temporary but can last long. In addition to causing a host of
psychiatric disorders, panic disorders and anxiety disorders during childhood, both the victim
and the bully display some of the most severe emotional handicaps later in life, including
anxiety and depressive disorders, and are at a greater risk of suicidal or self-harm thoughts.
Help at hand
One of the best ways to prevent bullying is to refuse to accept or tolerate it. No matter what,
it is important to remember that bullying is not ok, not part of growing up and that help is
always available to make things better.
At the Teen Mental Health Helpline, we are here to answer all your queries related to mental
illnesses among children and adolescents as well as the best possible treatment options. You
can call our 24/7 helpline (866) 831-9220 to locate the best residential mental health
facilities for teenagers near you.