September 2, 2013

Bullying Can Have Life-Long Effects

Bullying Makes Victims More Likely to Smoke, Become Ill, and Develop Psychiatric Disorders as Adults
“A part of growing up” or “a rite of passage,” bullying used to be dismissed as just something that we all go through and laughed about later as adults. But in recent times bullying has ratcheted up a notch, with sometimes lethal consequences. SOmetimes the kind of consequences that send you to Malibu drug treatment centers.
We already know through studies that children who are victims of bullying have problems in school, with depression, addiction and with their overall health. But what happens to them later in life?
In this study, researchers followed 1,420 children and adolescents, checking with them 4-6 times a year between the ages of 9-16 and again between the ages of 24-26. The children were either considered bullies, victims or bully-victims, those that were bullied as children and later became the bullies to others. Bully-victims fared the worst as they were six times more likely to be diagnosed with a serious illness, smoke regularly or develop a psychiatric disorder. Victims were more than twice as likely to suffer from the same problems as the bully-victims.
In the case of bully-victims, it shows how bullying can spread when left untreated,” Wolke said in the statement. “Some interventions are already available in schools but new tools are needed to help health professionals identify, monitor and deal with the ill-effects of bullying.”
Although bullies had a rough time as children, often experiencing hardships and psychiatric disorders in their younger years, there were few negative effects over time to them than their victims. However, that may change as the nature of bullying is escalating. Technology is allowing bullying to go far beyond just pushing and shoving on the playground. Sexting (texting sexual photos and textual content) and streaming videos are causing victims to even go as far as committing suicide from the embarrassment of being bullied.
“We cannot continue to dismiss bullying as a harmless, almost inevitable, part of growing up,” Professor Dieter Wolke, of the University of Warwick, in the UK, said in a statement. “We need to change this mindset and acknowledge this as a serious problem for both the individual and the country as a whole; the effects are long-lasting and significant.”
Being bullied or abused is very often a precursor to addiction. Anti-bullying curriculum and programs need to be part of all school and after-school program curricula. Adults need to be aware of bullying and intervene immediately when they know it is occurring. This is the way to limit the damage caused by bullying and save lives and keep our children out of Malibu drug rehab.

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