The Psychological Effects of Bullying

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The Psychological Effects of Bullying
Myriam Ortiz
Keiser University

Bullying has become a high profile issue faced by many people, on a day to day basis. Most Americans believe that, a little teasing and bullying at school is just a childhood rite of passage. What they don’t know is that, there are long lasting, ramifications for victims, as well as for bullies; according to the 2009 issue of the Harvard Mental Health Center (Harvard University, 2009). Bullied children may acquire debilitating mental illnesses such as, depression, anxiety, eating disorders, body dysmorphic disorder, and in more serious cases suicidal tendencies. Chronic childhood bullying victims are at higher risks of suicide. “Bullying magnifies these genetic and environmental predisposing risk factors” (Veskler, 2011). A new wave of research shows that in fact, bullying can leave a negative, permanent imprint on a child’s brain, while still in its formative years. These neurological scars of a bullied victim closely resemble those of a physically or sexually abused child. Revealing these psychological long-term effects, has given the ability to precast bullying not just as a “rite of passage, but a serious form of childhood trauma” (Anthes, 2010).

What is bullying?
Bullying is unwarranted, intentional, aggressive behavior towards others (Anthes, 2010). It can happen in the form of physical (violent), verbal (name calling), intimidation (threatening), and even cybernetically (internet). Physical bullying includes body contact between the bully and their “target” (Anthes, 2010). It is the most lethal and threatening, because of the possibility of immediate injury or even death. As with any other form of bullying, emotions and mental health can be permanently damaged. A surge of suicides and eating disorders has emerged evidence on the effects of mental health and self- image. Verbal bullying is when the bully uses theirs words to bring others down, by making...
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