Bullying: A Long Tail

New research published in The Lancet Psychiatry reveals the extent of the damage from childhood bullying. Professor Wolke from the University of Warwick began studying the subject after noticing the similar effects of bullying and parental abuse.

“Bullied children go on to self-harm, suffer depression, and have psychiatric problems,” he said. “These are similar to those reported after abuse, sexual or physical, from parents.” He went on to say: “We found the effects of bullying were not just as bad, but even worse.”

Research showed those bullied in childhood were 5 times as likely to experience anxiety and twice as likely to report depression and self-harm compared to those who were free of bullying.

There are medical consequences later in life as well as psychiatric ones. All the more reason for society to take bullying seriously and for those who recognise some of these symptoms or for whom the memories are still alive in one way or another to seek help. Don’t write it off as nothing, or as something those around you managed to deal with. There may be others around you now who are feeling the consequence of that bullying too. Anxiety can be treated. As can depression. Get in touch if you or someone you know is suffering.

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