Bullying is repetitive and aggressive behaviour toward another person that is designed to belittle or control that individual. There are different types of bullying, including verbal, physical, and cyber. Depression is generally defined as feelings of extreme sadness, hopelessness, and in inability to cope with daily life that lasts over a long period of time. It’s not surprising that different types and stages of depression are often the result of bullying. The relationship between bullying and depression is complex and doesn’t affect each individual in the same way. In order to help those who have suffered depression as the result of bullying we need to understand the long term effects of bullying, recognize the types and symptoms of depression, and how bullying can continue into adulthood.
Long Term Effects of Bullying
Unfortunately, even years after the bullying has ended, what happened in childhood may manifest itself in the teenage years as well as into adulthood. According to a study co-authored by William Copeland, a professor at Duke University, bullying can have as much of an impact on a person during adulthood as even child abuse. The study found that those individuals who were bullied during childhood were more likely to suffer from mental health issues such as depression and forms of anxiety. Even more severe disorders such as psychotic depression may be linked to bullying early in life. The following are different types of depression those who have been the victims of bullying may suffer from.
Types of Depression
There are several types of depression that may affect individuals who have been bullied. Major depression is also called clinical depression. Those suffering from this kind of depression find it difficult to even go about their daily lives. Symptoms often include a sense of despair and overwhelming hopelessness, inability to eat or sleep, and sometimes thoughts of suicide.
Chronic depression differs from major depression in that it is considered less severe and doesn’t completely disable an individual in the same way the major depression does. Chronic depression, however, is long term and is usually diagnosed after a person has suffered for at least two years. The symptoms are less severe but last for a longer period of time.
Psychotic Depression is a disorder that is a combination of some kind of depression coupled with a psychosis. Those who suffer from a psychosis may hear voices or have hallucinations. These individuals generally have had some sort of break with reality. Other symptoms may include an inability to communicate in a coherent manner. They may even become bedridden and slip into a catatonic state.
Atypical depression is one of the least understood types of depressions. There are physical symptoms such as having a heavy feeling in the arms and legs. Sleeping and eating excessively are two of the most prominent symptoms of this type of depression.
Children who are bullied may also be at risk for developing disorders such as Agoraphobia, which is an extreme fear of being in places where the individual might feel trapped or helpless. The fear is usually associated with some sort of public place.
Some studies have even suggested that youngsters who are the bullies during childhood also have a higher incidence of suffering from anxiety and depressive disorders than those who have neither bullied or been bullied. Sometimes those who were bullied as children or were bullies themselves continue in this pattern of behavior in adulthood.
Bullying doesn’t always end when children leave the classroom. Bullying exists in adult relationships as well as the workplace. Often it is more subtle, especially on the job. Those individuals who are bullied at work often resort to sedatives and sleeping pills to deal with stages of depression, and a variety of other mental health issues. While most bullying done at the adult level is about power and control, there are several categories that these individuals may fall into.
Impulsive adult bullies usually don’t plan out their behavior and instead act in a more spontaneous manner. Sometimes the bullying may be unintentional. The behaviors may be the result of their own emotional or mental health issues and the individual may not even realize how he or she is affecting the other person. The Narcissist bully has little or no empathy for others. These people not only feel good about themselves, but are not concerned about the consequences of their actions. Bullying at the adult level rarely gets physical, but a bully may at times threaten physical violence to intimidate his victim. Secondary bullies normally don’t initiate the bullying but will join in for fear they will be harassed later on. These individuals may feel bad about what they are doing but feel trapped and unable to stop the behavior.