Understanding The Long-Term Effects Of Bullying & How To Overcome Them
Being bullied can be disheartening and miserable for the one being subjected to bullying. Bullying not only happens to children or teenagers but adults can too become victims of bullying – at the workplace, in families, in relationships, and other social settings.
The capacity, setting, and dynamics of bullying can impact a person’s mental, emotional, and social health. Bullying can leave some long-lasting scars and wounds that can severely affect a person’s daily life.
One of the things that you need to understand is that the long-term effects of bullying are real and should be taken seriously. Many people think that the effects of being bullied leaves can diminish over time but it’s not true. For a long time, bullying was regarded as something that people were expected to get over but what many of us fail to understand is that bullying can have very real emotional and psychological effects.
Long-Term Effects Of Bullying
1. Loss Of Self-Worth
The first thing that bullying does is – takes away a person’s self-esteem and self-worth. When a person is exposed to bullying constantly, they start taking the words spoken, the actions to heart. More often than not, bullies focus and try to assert the message that a person is worthless, not important enough, or not good enough.
2. Trouble Maintaining Relationships
Bullying can not only cause social isolation but the lack of self-esteem can drive a person to create walls around themselves. This act of self-protection can cause people to distance themselves from healthy relationships and positive people – or anyone that can make a positive difference in their life. This emotional effect of bullying can prevent people from opening up fully to others and can cause difficulty in maintaining healthy relationships.
Being bullied can be heartbreaking and cause a person to feel worthless. If someone finds themselves constantly being bullied, it can make them feel trapped. Eventually, this feeling of being stuck in a negative situation can cause them to feel depressed. People who are depressed are more prone to social isolation, self-harm, and suicide.
Depression is a serious and real mental health condition that isn’t to be taken lightly. The symptoms of depression can be; negative thinking and persistent low mood among others. If these feelings and symptoms seem to last longer than a month or two, it is recommended you seek professional help.
4. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
PTSD or post-traumatic stress disorder is something that can happen as an aftereffect of traumatic exposure. If a person has been subjected to extreme bullying such as physical violence, then they may develop PTSD.
If the symptoms of PTSD are causing someone to feel out of control and are affecting how they function day-to-day, then it is recommended that you seek professional help.
How To Overcome Effects Of Bullying
Being bullied relentlessly can have some adverse effects that can be both challenging and difficult to move on from. However, it is important to understand the ways one can overcome the long-term effects of bullying:
1. Allow Yourself To Feel
The first thing you can do to overcome the effects of bullying is – allowing yourself to just feel the emotions flowing through you. Many times, people are told to “get over it” but it is not healthy if you don’t allow yourself to process your emotions. Bullying can cause you to feel anger, sadness, hurt, frustration, irritation, etc., and experiencing such emotions is okay.
Take as much time as you need to express yourself and your emotions freely. Anger is okay. Sadness is okay. All your emotions – negative and positive are valid. Don’t let anyone tell you any different.
2. Create A Strong Support System
Having a strong support system can help you feel not alone. Having people you trust around you to back you up can be helpful. Your support system is there to help you, encourage you, and help you stay positive. If you’re having trouble dealing with bullies, then you can trust your support system for advice. Bullying can be scary but it can feel less scary when you have a support system to fall back on.
3. Speak Up
If you find yourself being bullied, then you need to speak up and report the incident to concerned authorities. Staying silent when you’re being bullied is not healthy or helpful. If you speak up and stand up against your bullies today then you are less likely to feel the long-term effects of bullying.
Remember that by speaking up and standing strong, you’re also helping others who can’t stand against their bullies themselves.
4. Find Healthy Outlet For Your Feelings
As I said before, bullying can make you feel angry and frustrated. When faced with such emotions, it is better to find a healthy outlet for your feelings. This outlet can be in the form of meditation, working out, running, volunteering, or even engaging in an activity such as painting or dancing. Whatever helps you process your feelings.
Finding a healthy outlet for your feelings can be very beneficial. If you don’t have a way to process your negative feelings, they can fester and can eventually lead to developing anger issues, depression, or other mental health disorders.
5. Seek Professional Help
Like mentioned before, dealing with bullies and the effects of bullying can be challenging. If you’re facing trouble overcoming the challenges, it is better to seek professional help from a mental healthcare provider. A therapist or counselor can help you learn how to block the source of bullying and find various coping techniques to help you deal with your bullies.
Also Read: The Importance Of Therapy In Your Life
Being bullied is not a pleasant experience and it can be even more challenging if you’re already facing other problems in your life. If you’re being bullied then it is suggested that you take effective preventive measures to help you overcome the effects bullying can cause.
Join a support group, take a recreational class, start a hobby, or focus on self-care. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle can ensure that when faced with challenges, your mind is clear and that you’re ready to face them.
“One’s dignity may be assaulted, vandalized and cruelly mocked, but it can never be taken away unless it is surrendered.” – Michael J. Fox
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You are strong, you are enough!