Children who were victims of bullying are consistently found to be at higher risk of being diagnosed with anxiety and depression in adulthood. They never truly get over it.

Long-term effects of bullying

Definition and epidemiology

Bullying is the systematic abuse of power and is defined as aggressive behaviour or intentional harm-doing by peers that is carried out repeatedly and involves an imbalance of power, either actual or perceived, between the victim and the bully.1 Bullying can take the form of direct bullying, which includes physical and verbal acts of aggression such as hitting, stealing or name calling, or indirect bullying, which is characterised by social exclusion (eg, you cannot play with us, you are not invited, etc) and rumour spreading.2–4 Children can be involved in bullying as victims and bullies, and also as bully/victims, a subgroup of victims who also display bullying behaviour.5 ,6 Recently there has been much in… Continue Reading (11 minute read)

11 thoughts on “Children who were victims of bullying are consistently found to be at higher risk of being diagnosed with anxiety and depression in adulthood. They never truly get over it.”

  1. DarkestTimelineF

    Researching developmental trauma has taught something much of society could learn from: neurons that fire together become wired together.

    If your Brian relegates a lot of its functioning to soothing and predicting bullying behavior as a child, your brain will continue to anticipate and respond to those threats even if they aren’t represented in your life anymore— this is where hyper vigilance comes from!

    Bullying causes observable neurological changes.

  2. gk99

    I feel like this is super obvious but that might just be because I’m the one who’s got issues with anxiety and depression from bullying.

    I’m 23 and still have issues speaking to strangers. Typing is fine, but I don’t even use my mic in online games.

  3. Infernalism

    Can confirm. Am 48 and still have weekly nightmares about my childhood. Both home life and school were horrific.

    You don’t ever get over it. You just learn how to deal with it, day to day. You’re stuck in those moments forever.

  4. T00Bytoon

    As someone who’s been bullied his whole life (including by supervisors at my last last job) and I can concur.

    Most of them are not repentant about it either. That makes the anxiety worse

  5. aestep1014

    Why you gotta attack me like that?

  6. SMIDSY

    How COULD I get over it? I never got an apology from any of them. Nobody ever proved that things had changed. When I see people, I see them as they were: bullies and their enablers. They get to go about their lives forgetting that chapter as if it never happened. If they remember, It’ll just be a “yeesh, that was messed up of me.” and they go back to their lives. But I’m in my 30s and still have to convince myself that my mom, who is a saint, won’t make fun of me for calling her to wish her a happy birthday.

  7. relaxlmao

    I’ve heard an alternative explanation of this is that children who show signs of depression and anxiety are more likely to be targeted by peers in the first place.

  8. ripyourlungsdave

    Makes sense. My relationship with my parents has only recently, in the past few years, begun to be normal again after their more abusive ways when I was a child. And the bullying I faced in middle school and high school still sit in the back of my mind when I try to make friends. I still have this aching feeling that whoever’s treating me well is doing it ironically as a joke.

  9. came4thefreefood

    Could this be considered a form of PTSD?

  10. STylerMLmusic

    Being at a developmental age and learning people can be cruel, and that there’s no justice…yeah how could that not be internalized.

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