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bullying can lead to addiction

How Bullying Can Lead to Addiction

For individuals experiencing childhood in the present society, it may very well be practically difficult to not be in some way, or another associated with harassment. Possibly you are the person in question, the domineering jerk or a blameless observer. Kids and youthful youngsters take part in this sort of conduct frequently and it can influence anybody, regardless of their sex, race or financial status. For the individuals who are harassed, it can cause major mental issues that can influence the casualty for the remainder of their lives. A few kids who are harassed give indications of despondency, including withdrawal from loved ones, and hesitance to go to class when beforehand this was something they appreciated. Numerous grown-ups who experience the ill effects of wretchedness and tension report having been a casualty of tormenting while at the same time growing up, and however years have passed, the memory of the harassing occurrences can be clear. It is critical to handle the issue of tormenting at all levels and to enable the casualties to manage the mental impacts before they have more desperate results.

Schoolyard Bullying Can Take Many Forms

Bullying can take many forms, and it can happen at the primary or secondary level of school.  There is no way of predicting who might be bullied or why they could become a target. Oftentimes, the child being bullied will have one small thing that could be seen as different, which causes others to make fun of them.  For example, a child who is tall could be picked on simply because they are “bigger” than others, and this type of teasing can quickly evolve into bullying.  If the child is teased every day by the same person or group of people, the teasing itself can be considered bullying, since the child is subjected to cruel behaviour on a regular basis.  Bullying can also take the form of name-calling or social exclusion of the victim.

schoolyard bullying

When Bullying Gets Physical

Some children become victims of regular violence at school, being physically targeted on a daily basis. The physicality of this type of bullying is very worrisome: there can be serious consequences if the violence goes unchecked.  Violent incidents in schools have become the norm, especially at the secondary school level, and the escalation of this violence can be quite shocking.  In recent years, there have been deaths on school property resulting from bullying, and questions about child safety have arisen.  The answer to these issues has not been found, but for those who are being bullied, it can be a very difficult situation to get out of. It can result in lasting trauma.

A New Epidemic: Cyberbullying

Another common form of bullying is cyberbullying, where the bully spreads lies, rumours or embarrassing content about the victim on social media. Others react by filling their social media accounts with hateful comments about the victim.  This can be particularly hard to deal with: the victim is unable to escape this form of bullying since they are able to access these accounts even while at home.  The inescapability of cyberbullying can make it incredibly hard to recover from.  The child or teenager can feel trapped by social media, which can be very distressing as this is the main form of communication for this generation.

The Toll on Mental Health

It can be debilitating to be on the receiving end of this sort of cruel treatment on a regular basis, no matter what form it takes.  Victims of bullying have a higher incidence of depression and anxiety due to the unrelenting nature of the bullying.  The brains of children and young teenagers are still developing and experiencing daily attacks can cause a lot of emotional distress.  Not being able to handle these difficult emotions, some victims of bullying can turn to drugs or alcohol to find relief from their internal struggles.  When looking at addictions, there is a correlation between drug and alcohol use as young teenagers and a higher incidence of substance abuse as an adult.  So if a young teenager is bullied and seeks solace in alcohol or drugs, they are more likely to have an addiction disorder not only in their teen years but later in life as an adult. It is hard not to see the connection between being a victim of bullying and experiencing substance abuse.

the toll on mental health

What About the Bullies?

Something interesting to note, however, is that those who do the bullying often have a higher incidence of drug or alcohol abuse.  This suggests that no matter what side of the coin you end up on, not being able to express your emotions may be the actual cause of addiction issues. It is also worth noting that many bullies are themselves victims or survivors of abuse. Being treated in a harmful way is damaging to anyone, and when this harm is done on a regular basis, it can be impossible not to escape without some sort of psychological damage.  And often, where there is psychological damage, there are addiction issues.

What Can Be Done?

Schools and school boards are increasingly attempting to formulate and implement formal policies relating to bullying. While this is important, scientific studies and empirical evidence overwhelmingly point to the importance of ensuring proper mental health services for children and teenagers – those who are being bullied, and those who are the perpetrators.

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