In PregDream, we have already talked about bullying many times, it is a recurring theme that reappears as news every 4 or 5 months in the newspapers. Children who do not want to go to school , who become depressed and some who even commit suicide. Unfortunately it is a reality and only we can stop it by asking for zero tolerance for violence.
A couple of weeks ago the 24-hour phone for bullying appeared (900 018 018), it is operational throughout Spain 24 hours a day, every day of the year. This great initiative will encourage many victims, witnesses and even families to call and report bullying situations. Reporting the situation of abuse is the first step to get ahead.
BUT WHAT HAPPENS AFTER BULLYING?
Unfortunately, the thing does not stop there. Not everything is solved with a simple call. The first thing to do is keep the victim and stalker away, yes, but does this solve the problem? Will the victim be able to continue with his life as if nothing had happened? the answer in most cases is no. Ballast is always dragged on which sooner or later will end up making a dent in the young man’s personality.
Among the physical consequences we can find bruises, cuts , tears, burns … But if the physical consequences of bullying are bad, the psychological consequences are devastating. Physical ones do not have to always be there, but we cannot get rid of the psychological ones because regardless of the type of harassment that children suffer, they will always be there, to a greater or lesser extent.
In the short term, the child suffers from anxiety and with it all the symptoms related to it. Trouble sleeping, nervousness, mood swings, general irritability, constant worries, exaggerated changes in appetite (or not eating or eating a lot). Anxiety also produces psychosomatic symptoms, those that have a psychological origin and are reflected in the body, insomnia, gastrointestinal problems and recurrent headaches are an example of this.
However, it has been confirmed in several studies, including the one published by Professor Copeland of the “Center for Developmental Epidemiology at Duke”, that in the long term, people who had suffered bullying as children had higher levels of the hormone in general. cortisol in the blood (the hormone mainly related to stress), so that even when they were older these people had a special sensitivity to stress and a worse physical condition to respond to it in the future, they had a higher risk of physical diseases as adults.
Professor Copeland’s latest study also stated that adult victims had greater difficulties in adulthood in establishing social relationships with others and were more likely to develop some type of psychological disorder.
Anxiety and depression go hand in hand , so we should not be surprised if, knowing that there has been a bullying situation, the child in question presents the following symptoms, even after a while:
-Social isolation: he becomes distrustful of everyone, but especially people his age. That will close many doors to potential friends and deteriorate the ones you already have due to lack of contact. This leads to less chances of finding a partner and making new friends in the future.
– Anhedonia. The young person will seem that he is incapable of enjoying things: activities, games, sports, going out with friends … Nothing satisfies him, he seems to have lost the ability to have fun.
– Pessimistic vision of life. They see everything black, that nothing can be fixed.
3DECREASE IN SCHOOL PERFORMANCE
Bullying leads to a drastic drop in grades, it is usually evident, it is not uncommon to find children who go from scoring 9 and 10 to scoring insufficient. This can even last in time even if the bullying has ended, until the child no longer has other symptoms, but of course, that will also depend on the mental strength of each one
Verbal aggressiveness with the people you love but also physical aggressiveness. It is common for children who are bullied at school to unload at home with the family. It is what is called “The circle of screams” , this theory has been parodied in some television series such as “How I met your mother” (there they called it “the chain of screams”) but the truth is that It’s true. If we receive violence (verbal or physical) from someone we are going to have a predisposition to discharge it with other people who we see vulnerable or we simply have more at hand at that time. Therefore, if you notice that your child is more aggressive than normal at home, suspect that there could not be something more serious behind it.
On the other hand, there are children who suffer bullying and the desire for revenge is such that they feel they may be capable of committing something crazy. It may sound bizarre but it is real, in countries where children can easily access weapons (as in the United States) there have been cases of boys who go to high school willing to harm and even kill their classmates and teachers. They are usually boys who, in addition to being bullied, have a predisposition to schizophrenia, which by the way, almost 1% of the population has it. Therefore, all the accumulated stress can produce the necessary spark for a psychotic break to appear.
We have all heard of at least a couple of cases where the child or adolescent ended up committing suicide. It is not normal, those who do it usually have other associated problems in their life , such as low self-esteem, insecurities, lack of social and family support. But even so, it is a reality. The latest study by the American Association of Pediatricians revealed that 78% of young people between 13-18 years old who committed suicide had suffered some type of bullying, physical or cyberbullying.
Finally, if from the family we want to alleviate the consequences of having suffered bullying, the best way is to show the child that whatever happens, they will always receive our unconditional support. We have to believe, understand and support you at all times. Those who suffer or have suffered bullying must have the perception that there is a solution and that they will receive the help they need at all times.