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What Are the Effects of Bullying on Child Health?

Bullying can have far-reaching effects on a child’s mental health, including depression and anxiety. It can also affect their relationships with friends, academic performance, and sleep disorders.

Some children who bully learn how to do so from watching aggressive or unkind interactions at home. Therapy may help these kids find better ways to cope with their anger and frustration and improve their social skills. An anti-bullying program could also help.

1. Depression

Children who are bullied may become depressed. They may have trouble sleeping and lose interest in activities they used to enjoy. They may also display physical symptoms such as changes in appetite or headaches.

Depression often leads to anxiety disorders. Kids who are anxious are afraid of being around other students or leaving their homes, which can lead to social isolation. This can have long-term effects on their mental health and can lead to depression and suicidal thoughts.

Bullying should never be seen as a natural part of childhood or something that will make kids tougher. Instead, bullying can lead to many mental health problems that can affect children into adulthood.

Studies have shown that kids who are bullied are at greater risk of poorer outcomes in adulthood. These include a higher rate of depression, anxiety disorders, and suicide. This is why it’s so important to have open communication between parents and children so that kids can feel safe reporting bullying at school, online, or anywhere else.

2. Anxiety

Bullied kids often complain of physical ailments that have no obvious cause, such as stomachaches or headaches. They may have trouble sleeping and feel stressed all the time. This can lead to anxiety and depression, which in turn can have a negative effect on their mental health and on their relationships.

Some studies indicate that children who are victims of bullying suffer from higher levels of anxiety and depression compared to those who are not bullied. Other studies suggest that people who were bullied as children have lower levels of cognitive functioning than those who were not.

Students who are victims of bullying may also have difficulty forming friendships and trusting others. They can become depressed, lose interest in school, and withdraw from activities they previously enjoyed. Some bullied children even have suicidal thoughts. Other studies show that some people who are bullied for long periods of time have poorer school achievement and less job success in adulthood.

3. Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

Bullied children are at a higher risk of having problems with concentration and attention. They may experience changes in their appetite, sleep, and emotional disturbances. This can lead to a loss of enjoyment in activities they once loved, which could also mean not wanting to attend school.

Kids who are bullied can develop psychosomatic problems, including stomachaches and headaches. These symptoms are not an excuse to stay home from school but a sign that they are struggling with the emotional impact of bullying.

Bullied students may have a harder time keeping up with their studies than others, which can delay their progress in school and limit their future job prospects. This can also make forming and maintaining relationships with their peers difficult. It is important for healthcare providers to understand the effects of bullying and to be aware of them when treating patients. They can refer those who are experiencing problems to a mental health professional.

4. Eating Disorders

Many studies have shown that both bullies and victims of bullying experience negative health outcomes.

These effects can include anxiety, depression, and low self-esteem. They can also cause the victim to withdraw from social activities and struggle to form relationships with other people.

Children who are bullied may begin to feel anxious about going to school, being around other people, or even leaving their homes. They may start to hide things from their parents, such as unexplained injuries or “lost” items. They can become withdrawn from friends and may have changes in their appetite and sleeping patterns.

In some cases, anxiety and depression can lead to an eating disorder. Symptoms can include weight loss or gain, changes in sleep patterns, and feelings of hopelessness and worthlessness. In severe cases, they can also lead to suicidal thoughts. Bullied children often internalize negative attitudes about aspects of their own identities, such as their sexual orientation or membership in a minority group.

5. Obesity

Children experiencing bullying are more than likely to report poor mental and physical health. The effects of bullying are long-lasting and can even continue into adulthood.

It can be harder to recognize the impact of emotional bullying than physical, but signs include children who are reluctant to go to school or constantly complain of a stomachache. They may also withdraw from social and extracurricular activities they used to enjoy or change their friends.

Bullying is a global problem, although there are differences in the types and prevalence of bullying across regions. Children who are perceived as different in any way — including their appearance, sex or sexual orientation, culture, or disability — are at higher risk of being victimized. Bullies and bully-victims are also at increased risk of poorer mental health and education outcomes in adulthood, even when other factors such as childhood poverty, family conflict, and low parental involvement are accounted for.

6. Sleep Disorders

The inability to sleep properly may be an effect of bullying. Children need to get enough rest in order to have the energy they need for school, extracurricular activities, and social relationships. A lack of sleep can cause headaches and stomachaches, which students may use as excuses to skip school.

With few commendable exceptions, health education and training for children pay relatively little attention to sleep disorders. However, health visitors, nurses, doctors, and child psychiatrists all encounter young people with sleeping problems.

Difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep (sleep disturbances) is common in prepubertal children; it generally improves with age, but a sleep disorder of late-night awakenings and excessive daytime sleepiness (called delayed sleep phase syndrome, or DSPS) commonly occurs at this age for physiological as well as psychosocial reasons. DSPS readily leads to educational and social difficulties in adolescence. Several other sleep disorders occur in adolescents – particularly rhythmic movement disorders (including head-banging) and nocturnal enuresis – as a result of both physical and behavioral factors.

7. Skin Disorders

Bullying is unwanted aggressive behavior toward a victim that involves an imbalance of power—whether it be social status, wealth, physical strength, or size. It can cause short- and long-term effects that affect the victim, bystanders, and bullies.

Those who are bullied experience a number of mental health issues. For example, they may experience depression, low self-esteem, and suicidal thoughts. They can also have trouble maintaining friendships and find it difficult to sleep.

Researchers found that even 40 years later, people who were bullied as children reported worse mental health and school performance compared to those who weren’t. This was true regardless of other factors, such as childhood IQ and parental involvement.

In addition to bullying’s impact on children, it can have a negative effect on the family. Siblings of those being bullied may feel left out and become withdrawn, while parents may struggle to support their children. It’s important that primary care professionals have clear management and referral pathways for these cases.

8. Injuries

Bullying has a reputation for being a schoolyard problem, but bullying can affect children into adulthood. Studies show that kids who have been bullied have a higher risk of mental health problems, including depression and anxiety. They can have a hard time maintaining friendships and may struggle with work or relationships. Children who are bullied can also experience injuries, such as unexplained bumps or bruises, ripped clothing, or damage to their books and possessions. They might start skipping classes or even school altogether. They might pretend to be sick or makeup excuses to avoid going to class, which can hurt their academic performance.

Victims might have trouble sleeping or eating, and they can develop headaches or stomachaches. They can also become so stressed that they have difficulty concentrating in school and work. In the long run, these problems can affect their career prospects and lead to unemployment. Bullied kids also have more trouble finding and keeping jobs than their peers who are not bullied.

9. Depression

Depression can cause children and teenagers to feel hopeless, tired, and anxious. They may also experience changes in their appetite or sleeping patterns and even think of suicide. If they don’t get help, these negative feelings can persist into adulthood.

Kids who are bullied can lose their self-esteem, and they might feel like they don’t deserve to enjoy things that others do, such as sports or field trips. This can lead to academic problems and a lack of interest in school.

A study found that bullying can have long-lasting effects. By age 50, kids who were bullied often reported poorer physical health and a lower level of education. They also had more anxiety and depression and worse memory test results than those who weren’t bullied. Bullied kids tend to have less social support as adults, too. This can contribute to a cycle of poor mental health and increased risk for other mental health problems.

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