Teenage bullying and its effects

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Bullying is defined as the repeated verbal, social, psychological or physically aggressive behavior by a person or group targeting an individual or group who is relatively less powerful mainly to cause harm, fear or distress to the victims (Victoria Education, 2017). As is evident in the definition, bullying is not intended to cause the victim any form of pleasure but mostly harm. Some specific forms of bullying include but not limited to verbal violence, written abuse, sexual harassment, homophobia, and discrimination. These are general to everybody regardless of the age or gender. However, when meted on teenagers, the consequences are not only bad at the time but may also become worse later in their lives. When a child is exposed to constant bullying by the very people, he or she hoped to find comfort or comradely in, with time the child begins to become hostile, shy, timid, withdrawn, anti-social and lack of appreciation for self-worth. This may even extend to the adult life of the victim which is associated with post-traumatic stress disorders (Victoria Education, 2017). It is for this reason that it is argued in this essay that bullying negatively affects the wellbeing of teenagers by creating social problems, increasing anxiety, low self-esteem and leading to PTSD.

Social Problems

Bullying can cause social isolation which means that the victims have fewer friends making it difficult to interact or create and maintain relationships. Bullied teenagers find it difficult to trust people because to them these new people are just but potential bullies (Duchsne, Vitaro, & Tremblay, 2008). This negatively affects the way they connect with people. Additionally, bullied children tend to have a negative demeanor of themselves always thinking they are a lesser being which often drives them to be antisocial, avoiding people and sometimes even trying to harm themselves and in serious cases committing suicide (Alexander & Brian, 2016).


Feeling anxiety during school going age may be normal. However, anxiety disorders tend to affect many schools going children with research showing one out of every six children suffer from the same. It has also been found that there is a relationship between bullying and anxiety disorder which tend to extend to so many years of the child hence affecting their grades. It has been found that victims of bullying and the bullies are highly likely to be anxious than those who were not bullied (Duchsne, Vitaro, & Tremblay, 2008). Bullying can also cause anxiety because students feel constantly attacked at school. This makes them have a different view of people almost seeing everybody as a potential bully just about to hurt them. Low self-esteem, poor performance in school and depression are some of the immediate consequences of bullying. Unfortunately, the result shows that this is not only for the victims but also the bullies. A study conducted in a Finland hospital found that 31% of people who suffered psychiatric problems were teenage bullies and those bullied (Alexander & Brian, 2016).


Among the major mental health problems in the modern day society, depression is the commonest of them all. It is also the most difficult to diagnose because of its varied forms and varied symptoms with different individuals (Gelenberg, 2002). Some of the major characteristics of depression that has been found to be common to all the forms include; lowered moods and lack of pleasure or interest in common activities. However, some symptoms may also include; the thought of harming oneself, sadness, sleep deprivation, poor memory and frequent arguments and lack of desire to see people (Devine, 2015). These are also the very symptoms shown by teenagers who are bullied and sometimes the bullies. Therefore, it is correct to argue that bullying may lead to depression. Recently, the New York post covered a story of a teenager who was depressed to an extent he committed suicide after being bullied by his friends and the school doing nothing to avert the situation (Alexander & Brian, 2016). These and several unreported cases are some of the effects of bullying.


The last consequence caused by bullying is the post trauma stress disorder of the victims who had been exposed to the vice of bullying in their early years. The effects may include the development of the actual PTSD experience in their growing years. This may have a negative effect by stopping the teenagers from succeeding in their lives. It has been found that victims of bullying tend to perform poorly in their jobs should they get one as well as advanced classes. Some just have serious interpersonal relationships which in the long run end up affecting them negatively (KeepYourChildSafe, 2017).


All these kinds of issues impede the social development of people while also hindering their capacity to establish solid social establishment. Most of the consequences discussed above point to one fact that bullying in teenage is very harmful not only to the victim but also the bully. Victims of bullying have been found to have problems related to lack of focus, anxiety, poor social relationships, serious illnesses and interpersonal relationships. This not only makes them anti-social but also very pessimistic towards relationship making. Previous researches have also shown that there is a relationship between being bullied during teenage and psychiatric problems in adulthood. In this perspective, therefore, it is apparent that bullying has notable influences on individuals. Thus it is essential for people to avoid any form of bullying since it has a considerable negative influences on the development of their overall social wellbeing by creating social problems, increasing anxiety, increasing low self-esteem and contributing to PTSD.

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  1. Alexander, R., & Brian, K. (2016, August 16th ). Anxiety, depression and Suicide:The lasting effects of bullying. Retrieved from Healthline: www.healthline.com/health-news/bullying-affects-victims-and-bullies-into-adulthood-022013
  2. Devine. (2015). Considering social work assessment of families. Journal of Social Welfare and Family Law, 70-83.
  3. Duchsne, S., Vitaro, F. L., & Tremblay, R. (2008). Trajectories of Anxiety during elementary-school years and the prediction of the high school noncompletion. Journal of Youths and Adolescents , 1134-1146.
  4. Gelenberg, A. (2002). Guide to Depression and Bipolar Disorder. Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance(DBSA).
  5. KeepYourChildSafe. (2017). The social effects and consequences of bullying. Retrieved from KeepYourChildSafe: https://www.keepyourchildsaf.org/bullying/bullying-social-consequences.html
  6. Victoria Education. (2017, May 1st ). What is Bullying? Retrieved from Victoria Education: ww.education.vic.gov.au/about/programs/bullystoppers/pages/what.aspx
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