Bullying May Lead To Depression, Suicide, and Violence
Arguably the most traumatizing aspect of school life, bullying has been described as the use of force to intimidate an individual through the abuse which may be physical, mental, or even verbally. While there is no standard definition of the term in the United Kingdom, various states of America have described it as a heinous act commonly experienced in the place of work or such social institutions as schools. Research across the United States indicated that the conduct was more common in the high school institutions as well as colleges where the freshmen were the targets. The aggressors were found to be fond of harassing the junior students on such prejudices as color, size, sexuality and social background. Most states in America have made legislation against the behavior and have had the aggressors prosecuted and sent to juvenile institutions. The people that are usually victimized are referred to as the targets. The most common consequences of bullying include violence, suicide and depression. Generally, bullying has detrimental effects on the academic performance of the parties involved. Contrary to common belief, bullying affects both the aggressor and the victim negatively. “Bullying is double edged; it affects both the victim and the victimizer” (Monks and Iain 116). The victimizer and the victim may suffer mental torture as a consequence of the traumatizing ordeal. This paper seeks to explain the negative effects of bullying in light of violence, trauma and depression, as well as, suicide.
Depression is one of the most significant consequences of bullying. Depression has been described as a mental state where one is stressed to the extent that they develop weird tendencies such as the preference for isolation and the abuse of drugs (Sanders and Gary 70). According to prominent psychologists, stress and depression are common causes of such mental disorders as amnesia and mental breakdowns. A victim of bullying develops stress as a result of low self worth. The psychological setup of a young individual is in such a way that they develop a sense of low self worth every time they are discriminated against. Maltreatment may make a victim consider themselves as lesser beings. They feel hated and less affiliated to the society. This may cause them to develop mysterious behaviors such as being paranoid and overly suspicious of dangerous situations. This way, an individual loses their self esteem and may resort to such behaviors as the abuse of drugs and substance. The psychologists recommend that such individuals require the services of a counselor as a method of early intervention. Sanders and Gary (90) state “the negative effects of bullying include low self concept and serious depression.” Research indicates that bullying results in depression when such conduct takes place repeatedly.
Suicide is a possibility in situations where bullying is rampant. Hinduja and Justin (190) note “bullying causes depression and low self worth. These may degenerate into suicidal ideas.” The stress and depression associated with bullying may be mentally burdening especially when there is nobody willing to listen to the victim. Psychologists argue that having someone to talk to reduces the burden a great deal. However, in the event that the victim has no one to turn to in cases of violence, they turn to the use of drugs and alcoholism. After using the drugs for some time, they realize that they are actually wasting their time and lives. For this reason, they seek to establish a better solution. In their search for more effective solutions, they stumble upon suicide, which they consider the most effective way of ending the social torture and suffering. This way, they resort to suicide causing considerable losses to the family and friends (Hinduja and Justin 204). A research carried out among high schools in four states, in central America, indicated that 85% of the suicide cases in high school institutions were somewhat linked to bullying. The researchers recommend that to stop such high rates of suicide among the youth, parents and school administrations should seek to address the issue of bullying so that the problem can be attacked from the root. Early intervention is highly recommended as the most effectual way of helping the victims regain their self esteem.
Twemlow and Frank (184) note “an act can be described as bullying when a person intentionally inflicts injury or discomfort upon another person through physical contact, through words or in other ways.” Further, the two warn that the school authorities should endeavor to establish the difference between occasional acts of violence and bullying. According to Twemlow and Frank (171) an act qualifies to be referred to as bullying when such an act is done repeatedly and in a manner likely to injure an individual directly due to their social orientations such as race and color, or such institutional status such as a class or level. Violence has been described as being an integral part of bullying. Arguably, the majority of the bullies uses violence as a way of intimidating the targets. The targets, which are in most cases junior and younger students or colleagues, fear the seniors for unknown reasons. This way, the senior aggressors, take advantage of this fact and abuse the young ones physically. Cases have been reported where the violent aggressors have gone to the extent of sexually assaulting their victims. In retaliation, the victims may become violent in a bid to defend themselves. In the ensuing violence, physical injuries are sustained, and deaths become a possibility.
In conclusion, it is unmistakable that, from the foregoing, bullying is a serious menace in the learning institutions, and to some extent, the workplace. Bullying is associated with such negative effects as violence, trauma, depression as well as suicidal tendencies. The social menace has negative impacts on both the victims and the aggressors. This may include such issues as poor academic performance, low self esteem, trauma, depression and guilt. It is highly recommended that the social institutions prone to bullying should endeavor to come up with regulative measures. Such measures may include such options as the institution of strong disciplinary structures. These are meant for handling the victimizers as a way of discouraging prejudiced aggression within the institutions. Such disciplinary measures as expulsion and suspension are prospective ways of reducing the menace. In extreme cases, such as the ones including the physical injury of an individual, prosecution is the most appropriate option for such people are potential criminals. Some of the most effective in identifying the bullies within the school is the appointment of whistle-blowers among the members of the same institutions. Experts recommend that the identified culprits should be acted on as soon as possible. This is a way of handling the problem from the roots. As for the victims of aggression, guidance, counseling and multi-disciplinary early intervention are the most recommended options.
Hinduja, Sameer, and Justin W. Patchin. Bullying Beyond the Schoolyard: Preventing and Responding to Cyber bullying. Thousand Oaks, Calif: Corwin Press, 2009. Print.
Monks, Claire P, and Iain Coyne. Bullying in Different Contexts. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2011. Print.
Sanders, Cheryl E, and Gary D. Phye. Bullying: Implications for the Classroom. San Diego, Calif: Elsevier/Academic Press, 2004. Print
Twemlow, Stuart W, and Frank C. Sacco. Preventing Bullying and School Violence. Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Pub, 2012. Print.