Teen Bullying: The Link To Depression
And Where To Get Help –
Teens have enough to worry about; with the pressures of balancing a healthy body image, school and a social life, they are at a vulnerable age where the influence of their peers are paramount. It’s no wonder why studies are now finding that the effects of teen bullying, both in person and online cyberbullying, can have harmful effects on their mental health in the long run. Read on to learn more about this causal relationship and where to get help if you or someone you know is a victim of bullying.
Bullying and its link to depression
A 2013 study by JAMA Psychiatry found that bully victims had increased risks of depression and anxiety in adulthood, even amongst those who bullied others. Another study in the British Medical Journal reported that 15 percent of bully victims had depression at age 18 compared with 5 percent of those who weren’t bullied.
These studies reveal that verbally and physically bullied children and teens are at a greater risk of developing depression, leading to a variety of other mental health issues that can last for years. One study even revealed that people who were bullied as children still experienced mental health issues 40 years later.
Depression, particularly if it is unvoiced and untreated, can cause serious mental, emotional and physical problems later down a teen’s life. It affects their self-esteem, confidence and ability to function on a day-to-day. It is essential that depression stemming from bullying or otherwise is recognized and properly dealt with.
Signs of bullying and depression
It is crucial that parents and teachers actively play a part in the lives of students who they know are being bullied. Asking them how they are doing beyond their academic scope is the first step needed to prevent serious mental health issues in the long term.
If you notice that someone’s is feeling down a lot of the time, has withdrawn from family and social activities or is developing destructive behaviour issues, this may be a sign that they are experiencing depression. You may also notice that their grades and attendance have declined; bullying should be considered as one cause of that.
Where to get help
For parents or teachers, you can help the bullying victim by voicing your concern with the high school they are attending. Once the bully is identified, the school should be able to take preventative measures to keep it from happening again. Some schools have instituted anti-bullying campaigns which parents and teachers can find support in.
Once the source of the problem is resolved, it is important to have an open and honest discussion with the bully victim and let them know you care and are there for them. It is also important to seek professional help by way of a therapist or psychiatrist. They will be able to work with the teen to come up with solutions and coping strategies at school, as well as prescribe medication if they feel it is necessary. Ultimately, you want to create a strong and solid support system for the teen so that they know they will always have someone to turn to if they feel down.
If you are a victim of bullying, it is vital to remember that you don’t deserve it and you certainly don’t have to go through it on your own. You are important and you matter. Seeking help and advice from someone you trust, like a sibling, parent or teacher, is a fundamental step; from there, you can come up with solutions to better your situation. There is also plenty of professional help available to you, like the online counselling services offer; their advice have plenty of helpful information relating to mental health.
Bullying has strong and serious links to depression and can cause devastating effects on a teen’s mental and physical health in the future. However, with the right support, solutions and treatments, depression can be prevented, or at least lessened, as a result of bullying.
Marie Miguel has been a writing and research expert for nearly a decade, covering a variety of health- related topics. Currently, she is contributing to the expansion and growth of a free online mental health resource with BetterHelp.com. With an interest and dedication to addressing stigmas associated with mental health, she continues to specifically target subjects related to anxiety and depression.