Anxiety and Bullying

Anxiety & Depression Association of America


There are four primary anxiety disorders that anyone who is or has been bullied can suffer from.

1) Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. PTSD is not a medical issue that is suffered only by military war veterans. It can be caused by any traumatic event such as parental abuse, rape, or bullying. Any of these events and more can have a long-lasting effect on the victim. This can cause all kinds of problems like sleep issues, depression, feeling vulnerable or powerless, and many other issues. It can also cause a whole host of stress-related issues.

Research also shows that girls are more affected by PTSD than boys. This is primarily due to sexual assault.  Plus, women are more likely to blame themselves than men. Moreover, the stress experienced by bullying does not necessarily cease when the bullying stops. As a result, PTSD can show up in a person’s life long after the bullying has ended.

PTSD in children

PTSD can have a significantly different effect on children. It depends upon their age. A first-grader would react significantly different from an eighth-grader. Teens can have suicidal thoughts.  This has been known to affect virtually every aspect of their lives. Poor grades, inability to socialize, depression, low self-worth, and anger are only a few of the ways it can manifest itself. It is a serious problem that needs to be addressed as soon as it is discovered.

It can have lifelong effects well into adulthood if it is not treated.

2) PTSD can cause panic attacks in children. They have to deal with sudden and unexpected feelings of panic. When this happens they experience feelings of terror that strike suddenly without warning. Other symptoms might include sweating, chest pain, and rapid or irregular heartbeats.

Left untreated, panic attacks can lead both children and adults to avoid going out or doing things they once enjoyed. They worry that they will experience another episode. So they stay in, just in case they have another panic attack.

Generalized Anxiety Disorder

3) It’s possible to develop Generalized Anxiety Disorder as a child or an adult. Generalized anxiety disorder has symptoms that are similar to panic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and other types of anxiety, but they’re all different conditions.

Living with generalized anxiety disorder can be a long-term challenge. In many cases, it occurs along with other anxiety or mood disorders. In most cases, generalized anxiety disorder improves with psychotherapy or medications. Making lifestyle changes, learning coping skills and using relaxation techniques also can help. Generalized anxiety disorder symptoms can vary.

They may include:

• Persistent worrying  about a number of areas that are out of proportion to the impact of the events
• Overthinking plans and solutions to all possible worst-case outcomes
• Perceiving situations and events as threatening, even when they aren’t
• Difficulty handling uncertainty
• Indecisiveness and fear of making the wrong decision
• Inability to set aside or let go of a worry
• Inability to relax, feeling restless, and feeling keyed up or on edge
• Difficulty concentrating, or the feeling that your mind “goes blank”

Physical signs and symptoms may include:

• Fatigue
• Trouble sleeping
• Muscle tension or muscle aches
• Trembling, feeling twitchy
• Nervousness or being easily startled
• Sweating
• Nausea, diarrhea or irritable bowel syndrome
• Irritability

 Social Anxiety Disorder Social anxiety disorder is a common type of anxiety disorder.

4) A person with Social Anxiety Disorder feels symptoms or fear inMan suffering from Anxiety certain or all social situations, such as meeting new people, dating, being on a job interview, answering a question in class, or having to talk to a cashier in a store. Doing everyday things in front of people—such as eating or drinking in front of others or using a public restroom—also causes anxiety or fear. The person is afraid that he or she will be humiliated, judged, and rejected.

The fear that people with social anxiety disorder have in social situations is so strong that they feel is beyond their ability to control. As a result, it gets in the way of going to work, attending school, or doing everyday things. People with social anxiety disorder may worry about these and other things for weeks before they happen. Sometimes, they end up staying away from places or events where they think they might have to do something that will embarrass them.

Some people with the disorder do not have anxiety in social situations but have performance anxiety instead. They feel physical symptoms of anxiety in situations such as giving a speech, playing a sports game, or dancing or playing a musical instrument on stage.

Social Anxiety Disorder usually starts during youth in people who are extremely shy. Social anxiety disorder is not uncommon; research suggests that about 7 percent of Americans are affected. Without treatment, Social Anxiety Disorder can last for many years or a lifetime and prevent a person from reaching his or her full potential.

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