Childhood bullying is a problem that has increasingly been coming into the public eye. When one thinks of the effects that bullying has on children, one probably thinks of short-term effects. A recent study indicates, however, that bullying's effects can be very long-lasting. The study found that being bullied as a kid may increase a person's risk of developing harmful mental conditions later in life.
The study was conducted by British researchers and it involved the review of data regarding over 7,700 individuals. The data included information such as whether the individuals were bullied when they were ages 7 and 11 and what the mental health picture was like for these individuals in later years.
From the review of the data, the researchers found that individuals that were occasionally or frequently bullied as children had an increased likelihood of showing psychological distress at ages 23 and 50 and had an increased depression risk at age 45.
It is worrisome when anything increases a person's depression risk, as depression can alter a person's life in substantial negative ways. A person who suffers from depression may even find themselves unable to work due to the effects the mental condition has on them. Here in the U.S., Social Security Disability benefits may be available to individuals who have been deprived of the ability to work by depression or other serious mental conditions.
The researchers found that being frequently bullied as a child was also associated with an increased risk of anxiety disorders and being suicidal at age 45.
It is alarming to think that childhood bullying could have as major of long-term effects as this study indicates that it may. These results underscore how important taking steps to address the problem of childhood bullying is.
Source: Medscape, "Effects of Childhood Bullying Persist Well Into Adulthood," Pam Harrison, April 22, 2014