Being bullied as a child can leave you scarred for life, a study has found, and victims of playground bullies carry psychological scars into adulthood which can have a profound effect on their lives. This is from the Daily Mail…
As adults they have an increased risk of anxiety disorders, depression and suicidal thoughts, the findings show.
The US study, based on 20 years of data from more than 1,000 individuals, is the most thorough yet looking at the long term psychological effects of bullying.
It shows that the impact of bullying is not something easily outgrown and forgotten.
‘We were surprised at how profoundly bullying affects a person’s long-term functioning,’ said study leader Dr William Copeland, from Duke University in New Carolina.
‘This psychological damage doesn’t just go away because a person grew up and is no longer bullied. This is something that stays with them. If we can address this now, we can prevent a whole host of problems down the road.’
The researchers, whose findings are reported online in the journal JAMA Psychiatry, followed more than 1,200 children to adulthood from the age of nine.
Around a quarter reported being bullied at least once, with boys and girls experiencing about the same rate of incidents.
As adults, those who said they had been bullied had higher levels of anxiety and depressive disorders. The same was true for bully victims who were also aggressors.
Those who were both victims and bullies had the highest levels of suicidal thoughts, depressive disorders, generalised anxiety and panic disorder. Bullies were also at increased risk of antisocial personality disorder.