Consequences of Bullying
It is a common thought that bullying is a normal stage of childhood, but more than a part of growth is a violent act that nowadays has taken place in many schools around the world. However, studies show that this issue would bring big consequences to all the factors involved on it; bullying can cause more than negative academic, physical, social, emotional, and psychological consequences on victims and bullies. These consequences can be short-term or long-term.
Bullying can also greatly affect the overall climate of a school.
On the first place, as a result of being bullied, victims may experience different and immediate mental and physical health related consequences. They may present a higher level of anxiety, and longer spaces of sadness, also some sleeping difficulties, head and stomach ache, and above all these, victims may present a very low self-esteem. Researchers from Finland discovered that victims are more likely than bullies to suffer from anxiety disorders, such as depression, separation anxiety, panic disorder, among others.
Also, this psychological stress can cause victims’ bodies to be less resistant to disease and infection, and therefore they may get sick more often. In the social area, is hard to victims to have friends in general because of their high anxiety level and low self-esteem, for this reason they have just a few friends or none at all. This may lead to feelings of isolation and believing that they are not even worthy of having friends. Also, other kids often do not want to become friends with the victims, because they are afraid that they will be bullied as well.
Another reason that other kids do not hang around with victims is because they worry that peers will not like them if they associate with the victims; those feelings of loneliness and sadness presented on victims can also lead to consequences related to their learning and school success, the victim might present poor school attendance because in many case they may become afraid of going to school and many activities at school, for this reason students often receive lower grades due to attendance problems, and also due to their stress and concern.
The victims in general become obsessed with the bullying and how to try to avoid it. This leaves them no time, energy, or concern for schoolwork and learning. A vicious cycle can occur because the victim’s poor school performance can lead to embarrassment and anxiety, which can in turn cause them to be picked on even more. Another possible result of being bullied is that the victims may become violent, either at the time of the bullying or in their futures.
This violent behavior may be focused toward themselves, toward their school in general, or may even be directed as revenge toward the bullies themselves. Sometimes that violent behavior can lead to a higher level of bullying towards the victim, as the bullies would want revenge on the victim for bullying them. It is believed by experts and researchers on Finland that some of the school shootings are related to bullying. Students who committed school shootings were over two times as likely to have reported that they were victims of bullying.
In some cases the bullying may become brutal on extreme and last for so long time that the victims may present thoughts of suicide, or in some cases the victim actually commits suicide on secret, because not even their families believe the issues that the child was living. On the other hand we have the bullies; children who bully others also experience several short term and long term consequences of their bullying behavior. They are more likely to get involved in harmful activities, both as a child and as an adult.
While they are still young, they may steal or vandalize property, start or join in on physical fights, become injured in a fight, skip school, carry a weapon in order to scare others, or use alcohol and other drugs. They are also five times more likely to be taken to criminal court and to be found guilty of a crime than are their peers who do not participate in bullying behavior. Most of bullies do not overcome that violent behavior when they get older. Instead, the aggressiveness continues through adulthood.
Also, the bullies may be four or more times as likely as non-bullies to be involved in numerous convictions of crimes. The bullies in general develop a necessity for power that is carried into their adult years. As adults, these bullies abuse of this power by being involved in sexual and racial harassment, child abuse, domestic violence, etc. Their need for power can also show up in how they parent their own children. In turn, their children may even bully other children in the future. In some cases bullies tend to have an antisocial personality disorder as opposed to anxiety disorders.
An antisocial personality disorder involves a long-term disregard for others, delinquent behavior, violence, aggression, and violation of the rights of others. In other words, since bullies do not learn appropriate social skills when they are young, they grow up to be antisocial adults. They will have poor relationships with others, including family members, friends, and co-workers, among others. Finally victims aren’t the only ones who may become depressed, think about suicide, or carry out suicide; in some cases, the same can be true for bullies.
To conclude, it is important to notice that all these signs, which may not be present in the moment, would cause awful consequences to every part of this issue in the future and is not something that may be taken easily, on the contrary, must be treated carefully to help as much students as can be taken out of that, for those results presented before, we must stay alert at the sight of them and not blinding ourselves, in order to avoid the involvement of more students in the future.