The Impact of Bullying on Mental Health

Impact of Bullying

Bullying is an underrated act carried out against children by their peers or older individuals. It is unwanted, aggressive behavior that can be both physical and verbal. The outcomes always leave the victim feeling hurt. While in movies, the bullied kid always triumphs, in reality, this is usually far from the case. 

The individual would sometimes grow up with mental health issues such as being anxious and/or depressed. Bullying is so rampant in high schools, CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) report that 20% of students in high school are affected by bullying.

Bullying can cause physical injury and affect an individual’s mental or emotional health, both long and short term. Here are some of the health effects having a bully can pose;

Mental Health matters
The Impact of Bullying on Mental Health


Anxiety is a natural feeling. In a situation with stress, your brain sends a signal warning you of a possible increased risk ahead of time. Everyone experiences this from time to time. This could be when you experience bullying, face a difficult challenge at work or school, or before embarking on a major decision, and you may feel anxious.

It’s okay to be anxious. However, people tend to face this more seriously when they are bullied. The feeling of anxiousness induces continual and overwhelming terror. The overwhelming feeling might make one avoid work, classes, family get-togethers, and other social events that could trigger or intensify your symptoms.

Some of the increased anxiety symptoms include; fear, unease, panic, feeling doom or danger, sleep issues, hands or feet that are numb or tingling because of coldness, hyperventilation, heart palpitations, and dryness mouth, Tense muscles: dizziness, Shortness of breath etc.


Many people experience depression from bullying. This in childhood is a distinct and serious condition. To be unhappy, lonely or angry is not a sign that one is depressed in childhood.

A feeling of unending melancholy characterizes depression in childhood. The kid feels alone, forlorn, powerless, and worthless when it happens. For children, the effects of chronic melancholy ripple throughout their whole being. Daily activities, schooling, interactions with peers and social media are all adversely affected by this substance. It may also impact the lives of each family member.

Bullies at school could cause this. It is possible to detect and treat this in children and young adults. Suicide is a real possibility for individuals who are depressed and without proper therapy.

Low Self-Esteem

The impact of bullying on a young person’s self-esteem may pose a higher risk even after the act ceases. This is why you can choose useful essays on bullying to read and know more. There are long-term consequences for a youngster, even if they are just bullied once in their lives. There is little doubt that children who have been subjected to years of bullying and torture are more prone to struggle with problems of low self-esteem than others. Some of the impacts are evident and a direct consequence of the bullies, while others might be more subtle and come from other repercussions of the anguish.

Some warning signs of Bullying on a Child’s Self Esteem are; Loss of confidence. In the early stages of being bullied, a child’s self-esteem is more likely to suffer from a lack of confidence. In certain cases, the youngster experiencing bullying may believe that he isn’t good enough for a team or shouldn’t even bother trying out.

Another is a feeling of rejection or self-criticism. When youngsters are continuously belittled over something, they think it is real. It becomes much more harmful to their self-worth when they’re demeaned over anything they can’t possibly alter, such as their size, skin color, or other outward traits. As a result of others’ frequent ridiculing of them because of their peculiarities, individuals assume that they are somehow less of a person themselves.

Sleeping Difficulty

Research has shown that kids or young adults who had sleeping difficulty due to challenges during the day could be a result of bullying. This difficulty can morph into insomnia. Sleep disturbances such as trouble going to sleep, difficulty remaining asleep, and even early morning awakenings are all insomnia symptoms. Insomnia in children might linger for a few evenings or last for weeks.

‌Self-harm or suicidal thoughts

Bullying on Mental Health
The Impact of Bullying on Mental Health

Self-harming is usually an indication of emotional discomfort in the individual who engages in it. There are many situations when a teen’s self-inflicted wounds are used to deal with unpleasant feelings and terrible memories.

Moreover, since self-harm may leave visible scars, it can lead to feelings of shame, which can lead to a recurrent cycle of self-harm, which can be very damaging to a teen’s mental health.

According to research, bullying has been linked to an increased risk of self-harm in young people. Bullied kids of 5 and 12 are three times more probable in their own lives than those who are not bullied.

Teens who have been subjected to cyberbullying have been reported to have higher rates of self-harm, suicidal behaviour, suicidal ideation, and suicide attempts.

Helpful Bullying Prevention Strategies

To curb bullying behavior in school and social settings, it is important to check the warning signs, such as wanting to avoid school. Some bullying prevention methods would include; creating a safe space in schools where a bully cannot thrive and putting rules in place for penalization. Another is having open conversations with your ward to know what emotional problems they are undergoing.


Having a bully is no fun or a joke. It is important to seek help even before some of the effects start to show. You can talk to a therapist, report to the school and be kind to your bully even when they are aggressive.


Terri Lawrence