Being under the influence of a hostile individual or a toxic environment can lead to several mental health problems over time. Bullying is one such condition in which both the victim and bully themselves are at a risk for developing some sort of a mental health disorder. So, without further ado, here are some important details about bullying you should know.
What is Bullying?
Bullying can be defined as a form of aggressive behaviour in which an individual intentionally causes someone else harm or discomfort. Bullying is often a repetitive act in which this cycle of abuse goes on for longer periods. Bullying is most often seen in classrooms or playgrounds but it can also be in your home or workplace as well. Mental illness and bullying have a strong connection as it can damage self-esteem and lead to negative effects on an individual’s mindset.
Even though bullying commonly occurs in childhood, its effects can be long-lasting and continue into adulthood. Rates of panic disorders and agoraphobia greatly increase with bullying. Many adults who were once bullied in childhood experience anxiety, depression and low self-esteem.
It was even observed that bullying could induce physical changes in the brain thus making a bullied person more susceptible to mental illnesses. Bullying itself may be a component of a mental health disorder.
Those who were considered bullies were more than twice as likely to experience Depression, Anxiety, ADHD and ADD themselves. Bullying is just not bad behaviour, there are often other factors at play. Other than that, both bullies and those who were bullied suffer from suicidal thoughts three times as more likely as compared to average children.
How to find a Therapist for Bullying Victims
If you are looking to find the perfect therapist for Bullying Victims it is crucial to make sure that they have the appropriate qualifications, knowledge and experience. At Expat Therapy 4U we only accept therapists who have full professional proficiency in English and are highly experienced in working with people from culturally diverse backgrounds. The clinicians we approve share our values and commitment to provide high quality therapy to the expatriate community in the private sector across Europe and online worldwide. We strongly believe that therapy changes lives, and being accredited ensures all our therapists are qualified to a high standard. You can find a therapist for Bullying Victims who is insured to practice and accredited with a recognised membership body online here.
Signs of Bullying
There are several warning signs that could indicate that someone is affected by bullying. This counts for both bullies and the person being bullied. These signs can also point to other mental health problems such as depression or substance abuse. Talking to the person can help identify the root of their issues.
Signs a person is being bullied
- Unexplained injuries
- Lost or damaged clothing, books, electronics or other supplies.
- Frequently feeling sick or faking illnesses. Doing their best to avoid a particular place such as a school or office.
- Changes in eating habits, such as skipping meals or saying they’re not hungry. In cases of children, a bully might have confiscated their lunch, so they may eat more after school.
- Declining grades and a loss of interest in work or school.
- Suddenly a loss of friends or avoidance of social scenarios.
- Low self-esteem and showing feelings of hopelessness.
- Having frequent tears, anger and mood swings.
- Refuse to talk about what is bothering them.
- Self-destructive behaviour such as harming themselves, running away from homes or talking about suicide.
Signs someone is bullying others
- Getting into physical and verbal fights.
- Have friends who are offensive or bully others.
- Are increasingly aggressive.
- Get into trouble frequently for showing aggressive behaviour.
- Have unexplained new belongings or extra money.
- Always blame others for their actions and never accept responsibility.
- Are very competitive and worry about their reputation.
What causes Bullying?
Reasons why someone might get bullied:
- Being physically different from their peers such as overweight, wearing glasses or braces, relating to a different racial group etc.
- Having a cognitive disability such as Autism, Tourette’s syndrome or ADHD.
- Seen as weak and unlikely to fight back.
- Being Gay, bisexual, lesbian or transgender.
Reasons why someone might bully others:
- Feeling powerless in their own lives.
- Being bullied by someone else, so they take their anger and frustration out on others.
- Being jealous of the person they are bullying.
- Lack of understanding and empathy for how the other person feels.
- Seeking attention.
- Being from dysfunctional families.
- Inability to regulate their emotions.
Treatments for Bullying Victims
People that are bullied are often treated in the same manner to people who have gone through abuse. Bullying can be viewed as a form of trauma. The following strategies can of great help.
If the person is still under the influence of the bully, then the first step is to intervene and stop the abuse. An intervention may take place between two parents or authorities. It is better to intervene with a mediator party in between so there are less chances of additional friction and fights breaking out.
Your first priority should be to resolve the conflict by sorting things out. But if the matter does not resolve, you can always take legal action or contact higher authorities to stop the abuse. You can also try relocating or removing the person from that environment if bullying does not stop.
Majority of bullying victims benefit from seeking professional help from a psychotherapist. Bullied individuals have traumatic memories from the abuse. Because of this, they may develop irrational fear, low self-esteem, and other troubling signs. After stopping the bullying, the next step is to learn ways to move on from the abuse and boost one’s confidence and lift them from their negative experiences.
Depending on the intensity of bullying, people may also develop anxiety or depression. Psychotherapy can also address any underlying causes which you may not be aware of. In this way, psychotherapy can help you regain confidence and get back to thinking normally. Similarly, psychotherapy can help the bully too by teaching them to overcome their aggressive traits.
If psychotherapy does not help with symptoms of depression and anxiety, you can contact a psychiatrist for antidepressants or other medicines that can help you stabilize your thinking. Often, therapy alone is enough to get you back on track, but if you do not feel any benefits, then you can always consult a psychiatrist for medications.
Bullying is a serious concern and it can even lead to suicides in some cases. If you suspect someone is either bullying or being bullied, you should try to help them if you can or direct them to higher authorities. Fortunately, help is always available and you can overcome abuse with contacting peers, intervention, legal action and psychotherapy.
Further Readings on Bullying
About Expat Therapy 4U
Expat Therapy 4U is the result of 5 years’ experience running The International Psychology Clinic, the first private therapy service based in London specialized in multilingual and multicultural therapy.
The platform is run by Dr Martina Paglia. Dr Martina is a leading dual qualified Clinical and Counselling psychologist who helps patients by providing bespoke psychological services including Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Counselling and Psychotherapy in London and online worldwide.
Our network comprises highly qualified and experienced private therapists who have made a positive difference in the lives of thousands of expats worldwide. All members of our community are highly experienced working in cross-cultural environments.
We are passionate about delivering first-class patient-centred, safe and effective care. If you would like to work with a warm, inclusive, caring and professional English-speaking therapist in Europe or online worldwide you have come to the right place.
If you are looking for the perfect expat Therapist in Europe or online worldwide, our team is dedicated to help you find your best match. We offer a client guarantee where clients can re-book with a different therapist if they are not satisfied with their first therapy session.
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