The long-term effects of bullying


Contrary to what many people think, bullying perpetrated during childhood or teen-hood can lead to an unpleasant adulthood for the victims. One of the aspects of human nature that is affected the most is self-esteem. While the effects may appear to be only immediate, the possibility of long-term effects is considerably high.

When one is bullied, they may develop different mental problems that affect their decision-making abilities even as adults. One of the most common effects is the development of depression. When the bullying is intense, the possibility of depression developing is significantly high and if left unchecked, it can lead to victims contemplating suicide assuming that it is their only way out. When the victim’s self-esteem suffers, they lose self-worth making it considerably easy to try suicide. In addition, when bullied, it is possible for the victim to develop a need to revenge on others. As they try to satisfy the need for revenge, they turn out to be aggressive to anyone. This affects their relationships as adults mostly because they lose trust with virtually everyone. Whenever they interact with others, they feel as if they are about to be manipulated and as, such, they end up being loners. As such, they tend to avoid getting into new relationships fearing to be exploited or despising others. This, in turn, affects their ability to work with other even at work when teamwork is required. Therefore, they may experience reduce occupational opportunities (Wolke and Suzet 880-2).

Moreover, bullying can lead to a myriad of mental diseases as an adult. The victims are more likely to develop anxiety disorder and other more serious problems that may require psychiatric hospitalization. When these take place, the victim becomes a victim of other forms of victimization because they appear weak. As such, bullying can cause future episodes of bullying even as an adult. When they are bullied as adults, the effects are likely to be high as compared to people that were not bullied earlier in life. Additionally, these individuals are usually not resilient to minor occurrences of victimization regardless of how minor it may be.

When one is bullied, they may encounter other issues that may be related to their mental health. Such issues include poor performance in education. The victims rarely have time to concentrate on their education imagining what they go through. Furthermore, they may have developed various mental conditions from previous episodes of bullying affecting their future educational endeavors. For instance, depression and anxiety are known to affect concentration significantly. Participating in other non-educational endeavors also suffers mostly because of lack of self-esteem. These effects may become too much for the victim to the point that they may decide to skip classes or even drop out entirely. They rarely perform well in education or any other activities that they may be involved in. When dealing with mental problems, it is highly likely for the victim to be involved in drug abuse. The victims may resort to trying drugs so that they can forget the predicaments that they face or that they have faced in the past (Sigurdson et al. 11). This further increases the chances of them contemplating suicide.

In conclusion, the social life of a bullying victim may be impacted irreparably. They lose trust with others and even despise their peers. Their work is affected because it is considerably difficult for them to coordinate activities with others leading to failure in life. It is also possible for them to commit suicide.

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  1. Sigurdson, Johannes F., A. M. Undheim, J. L. Wallander, S. Lydersen and A. M. Sund. “The Long Term Effects of being Bullied or a Bully in Adolescence on Externalizing and Internalizing Mental Health Problems in Adulthood” Child Adolesc Psychiatry Ment Health, 9.42(2015): 1-13.
  2. Wolke, Dieter and Suzet Tanya L. “Long Term Effects of Bullying”. Arch Dis Child, 100.9(2015): 879-885.
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