How Cyberbullying Can Cause Psychological Distress?
What is Cyberbullying, and why should it be a matter of concern? Can Cyberbullying cause psychological distress? Cyberbullying is nothing but bullying or harassing someone online. Now you may ask if it is online then it means that the bully is not even present at the moment there, so how can he harass anyone?
Well, what if I have some personal information about you, like your private pictures, old and embarrassing chats, things that you want to hide from the world outside.
Bullying is any form, whether offline or online, is never justified. And when such things happen, it puts a lot of pressure on the mental health of the victim. With the fear lingering around for a long time, the person can start showing withdrawal symptoms.
He or she may stop going outside, stop conversing with people, also eat less as it can also affect appetite, etc. The most affected section of the population in today’s world with cyberbullying are the children.
Here are some facts about Cyberbullying and teens that may surprise you.
1. 95% of the teen population in the US alone are connected to the internet daily.
2. Mobile phones are the most commonly reported medium of Cyberbullying.
3. A majority of teens have reported that they have been bullied online in one way or the other and that too more than once.
4. Around 23% of them have admitted that they have bullied people, said something and or had done something cruel.
5. Girls are more prone to cyberbullying than boys, but shockingly they are also ahead in bullying other people.
6. The young generation, experiencing cyberbullying, are at a higher risk of developing suicidal behaviour.
How Cyberbullying Can Cause Psychological Distress?
The list doesn’t end here. It just goes on and on. And at times, it can have some severe complications if left unchecked.
1. Feeling Helpless
If a kid is under continuous criticism from others and is not able to see his way out, then he can feel helpless and seriously overwhelmed. Keep this constant, and you will have a person who is socially awkward, scared and will find him mostly alone.
The situations can feel out of hand sometimes, and if the person getting bullied has no one with them, then it can even become haunting.
2. Feeling Humiliated
They can feel deeply humiliated. Personal information out on the internet can be hard and tough to find. You may think you can google it out, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Any information can even end up in deep and dark web networks. So if any personal information gets leaked, it can be circulated on the internet for a pretty long time.
The same can be traced back to the source by hackers, and some disturbing elements can kick the peace of the mind to the curb. So this adds to the pain, and people can also start feeling ashamed of themselves, leading to low self-esteem and no self-worth.
3. Feeling Depressed
If you are continuously bullied and disturbed, all this can lead your mind to chaos and depression. You may stop doing things that you like, stop working hard as you have been doing so far, feel like life has no meaning or purpose, etc. This depression can eat you up without you even realizing it.
People who are going through this can also start to stay away from their family and friends. Continuous crying and gloomy thoughts can also develop if this situation persists for an extended period.
4. Feeling Unwell
Our thoughts have a potent effect on our body. Don’t accept that or agree on that? Notice your breathing, heartbeat, clenching of jaws, swallowing patterns and even sweat generation the next time you are filled with fury. All of this can happen within just minutes of change in thought patterns.
Now imagine what kind of effect these thoughts have when they bombard your mind and body for an extended period. You may start feeling stressed out and out of energy even without doing anything for real.
Mixed with depression and other thoughts, you can almost feel powerless and helpless. If not consulted with a medical professional, it can further lead to severe consequences.
What Can You Do About It?
If you or anyone you know, has been suffering because of Cyberbullying, then you can use some of these tips to kick away that psychological distress out of the system. Have a look.
1. Seek Help
I know that it can feel impossible to go and ask for help. You may think that:
No one you know is capable enough to help you
You would embarrass yourself, and no one would help you because they would be disappointed in you.
Well, no one ever said that this is going to be comfortable and you never know how much people can help you unless you ask for their help. Maybe your parents are not programmers or “the hackers”, but most of our parents aren’t. But there are resources in place by governments and even private companies that can help you solve your problems. All you need to do is to reach out for help.
2. Distance Yourself
Not from your friends, family or colleagues but social media and the bullies. Until the issue is not resolved, distance yourself, and resolution of issue here means that you get out of that state of mind and are back again on track.
Distancing yourself from the bullies can do a lot of good to you. Sometimes it can be hard, especially if you are being threatened to stay in touch. But you can come to this step after you have already taken the first one.
3. Pick a Hobby
We aren’t made of social media; it is made of us; society and people. And if you think that there can’t be life without social media, then also remember that social media almost ruined that life and that’s why you are even reading this article in the first place.
So now, put this notion aside and start planning how you want to spend the rest of your life. Now that would be hard if you are working at the office of Facebook, but you get the gist. So pick a hobby or continue the one on which you have left midway.
The psychology here is to indulge yourself in something that would take your mind off the chaos and would help you ease the pain. Now when you pick up something that you already like, then it would help you to maintain your focus on that thing. So could you do it?
5. Build Yourself
Go ahead and beyond is all I want to say, and this doesn’t mean that I am asking you to get reckless. Build your confidence that may have been shattered due to incidents, it may be hard for some people to go out again, meet people, speak in front of a group or a gathering but you can start small.
There are so many people around you to help. Even if you find yourself around strangers, there are many you can make a casual conversation with. It will help you to get comfortable with people and human touch.
Though there are many factors and human nature is not so simple to understand in itself. Efforts should be made, and steps should be taken. Some progress is way better than no progress at all. Another thing that I would like to point out here is the psychology and thought process of the perpetrator.
People who bully you are just normal as well. You may be sitting with a bully beside you, but you don’t know it. It’s because people act differently in public and in private. So not only the people who are being bullied but also people who are the cause should be treated and cared for deeply.
Hope it helps.
Thanks for reading!
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