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Bullying and Mental health: 5 Ways Bullying Stalls Kids’ Growth

5 Ways Bullying Stalls Kids' Growth

Just as technology changes the way we do business and process information, it also impacts the way kids interact with one another.  Unfortunately, some of the benefits of enhanced communication and hyper-connected access to peers are cancelled out when the same problems plaguing kids in-person eventually expand to interactions online and through social media channels. Learn about the 5 Ways Bullying Stalls Kids’ Growth and the relationship between Bullying and Mental health. 

Bullying, for example, is no longer limited to playgrounds and school hallways; it has made the leap to Internet and mobile platforms, making cyberbullying one of the most prominent issues currently facing children, parents and educators.  In much the same way traditional bullying gets in the way of a victim’s personal development, cyberbullying slows a child’s ability to make advances in school and beyond.

Whether it happens face-to-face or through an electronic interface, bullying has far-reaching significance for victims, parents – and even for bullies, themselves. To stop bullying, we must first understand the ways in which it robs children of precious progress during their most important formative years.

Bullying and Mental health: Emotional Toll of Bullying Manifests in Several Ways

Bullying is unnatural.  And when victims are confronted by degradation, humiliation and physical intimidation from bullies, they are often ill-equipped to respond in productive ways.  Instead, victims become sad and ashamed, leading to depression and anxiety.  Coming forward exposes victims to embarrassment and harsh judgment among family members and peers, but remaining silent keeps victims living under dreaded conditions.  The no-win circumstances cause many victims of bullying to withdraw socially, as a coping mechanism.  Left unaddressed, bullying can have lasting impacts on victims’ emotional development.

Bullying and Mental health: Bullying Distracts Victims from Positive Pursuits

In a purely practical sense, bullying is simply a waste of time for everyone involved.  Bullies and victims alike are distracted from the positive features of their lives, in order to interact in wholly unproductive ways.  Healthy pursuits, like hobbies, sports and academic achievement end up taking a back seat to bullying issues, stunting kids’ development during vital growth years.

Bullying and Mental health: Physical Health is at Risk Among Bullying Victims

Bullying often includes threats of violence, and sometimes devolves into physical altercations.  But direct harm from aggressive bullies is not the only lasting impact suffered by long-term victims.  Bullying can lead to eating disorders, as victims struggle to reconcile the irregular events with the otherwise normal lives they might lead.  Nightmares and sleep disorders are also common among victims of bullying, who take fear and anxiety to bed with them each night.  The pressure associated with bullying become so intense for some victims that they take their own lives, convinced that suicide is the only way to alleviate the anguish they experience.  Highly publicized acts of retaliation against acts of bullying, like some school shootings attributed to the phenomenon, draw bystanders into the equation, taking innocent lives in the process.

Bullying and Mental health: Bullying Undermines Scholastic Success

Bullies and victims are less likely to succeed in school than students who manage to sidestep the distress of bullying.  Victims, for example, become disconnected from normal school functions, resulting in poor grades.  And lower participation and completion rates are common among victims and bullies, who are more likely to have poor attendance records than their well-adjusted counterparts.

Bullying and Mental health: Confidence and Self-Esteem Suffer at the Hands of Bullies

Kids build social confidence through healthy interactions and normal engagement with other students.  Bullying disrupts the development process, stalling the growth of self-esteem and positive self-image.  Unaddressed, bullying can create lasting trust issues for victims, who don’t feel comfortable in their own skin.  Instead of developing resilience and positive social coping mechanisms, victims of bullying shut-down altogether, refusing to participate in normal social rituals.

While the face of bullying shows itself in many ways, victims share similar impacts of this form of abuse.  Mental and emotional development, for example, are stalled among most bullying victims, who find themselves subjected to physical threats, intimidation, and humiliation.  And victims of cyberbullying feel the same immediate consequences from bullying campaigns carried out online, including poor scholastic performance and low self-esteem.


Daphne Holmes is a freelance writer and a blogger from Her writing specifically focuses on issues related to social justice, bullying and domestic violence.  Sometimes, she also writes about tech security and crime in general. you can reach her at [email protected]

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