Here on Live Lighter we try to explore all the possible ways to increase balance and health on every level. If you think you or someone you love is being bullied, you might want to check out today’s guest post by Andrew Hoffman.
Bullying can have serious health risks, not just for the person being bullied, but or the bully and bystanders as well. Time and time again, studies have shown that bullying is linked to substance abuse, mental health problems and even suicide.
Nobody wins when it comes to bullying, and the fact that it can manifest physically and mentally is just further proof of what we already know – bullying needs to stop. Here are a few of the ways that bullying affects people:
Risks for Bullied Children
Many feelings that children experience as they are developing become ingrained in them over time. Some common emotions felt by bullied children include depression, anxiety, sadness and loneliness, and many of those issues remain throughout their entire lives.
Additionally, bullying can cause self-esteem problems, which can lead to substance abuse or suicide. Bullied children are also more likely to avoid activities they once enjoyed, or they may be more likely to skip or drop out of school. As you can imagine, this can have a lasting impact on their long-term well-being.
Health Problems Associated with Bullying
Bullied children aren’t the only ones at risk – bullies often continue down a negative path into and through adulthood. Children who bully others often end up with violent and abusive tendencies. They are also at a higher risk to engage in early sexual activity, abuse drugs or alcohol and turn to criminal activity.
Often, bullying is a symptom of a deeper problem, which can become worse over time if left untreated. Additionally, feelings of regret later in life can cause anxiety, depression and other stressful feelings when the child realizes the extent of the damage done.
High Blood Pressure Brings Additional Risks
Bullying is a highly stressful situation for everyone involved, which can lead to high blood pressure. As Baron Medical notes, many health complications are directly caused by high blood pressure, including heart and kidney disease. High blood pressure can also cause your arteries to become damaged or to narrow, which can eventually cause an aneurysm, among other health conditions. High blood pressure may also lead to cognitive diseases such as Alzheimer’s.
Stress Causes Physical Health Issues
In addition to high blood pressure and heart disease, countless health problems can be directly attributed to stress. Stress is also one of the most common headache triggers. Other health problems caused or worsened by stress include diabetes, asthma, dementia and accelerated aging. Bullying causes undue stress for the bullied child, the bully and for the bystanders, which can turn into serious health problems later in life.
Increased Risk of Suicide
At its core, bullying reduces a person’s feeling of self-worth. While one isolated incident may not have serious repercussions, a lifetime of bullying can cause someone to reach their limit. A significant amount of suicides occur every year just because of bullying. Some bullies may be lashing out because they don’t know how to deal with feelings of anger, resentment, depression or anxiety, which can eventually lead to suicidal tendencies. Bullying is devaluing life, and a life without value is more likely to be taken.
If you believe your child is bullying or being bullied, now is the time to nip it in the bud. What may seem like harmless “kids being kids” can actually have serious health ramifications in the long run. If you’re not sure how to get started, talk to a doctor or counselor today. Don’t wait until it’s too late – end bullying now!
(Editor’s Note: as the author mentioned, bullying can extent well into adulthood if childhood issues are left unattended. A bully still may be bullying and a victim may still succumb to bullying at work or in a personal relationship. Please seek professional council if this is you or someone you know!)
About the Author
Andrew Hoffman is a freelance writer and entrepreneur from Los Angeles, CA. He has written for a wealth of high-profile clients including Demand Media. In his spare time, he enjoys physical fitness, gardening, and interior design. You can get in touch with him on Google+.