Can Bullying Cause Depression?

As adults, most of us are well aware that bullying is wrong, and there are many other problems associated with it. Depression is one of those issues that can last well into adulthood if not addressed as soon as possible. There are many effects that can cause all kinds of problems. They may:

1) Not want to go to school
2) Be unusually quiet or secretive
3) Be more unhappy or anxious than usual, especially before or after school, sport or wherever the bullying is happening
4) Not have many friends
5) Become more isolated – stop hanging around with friends or lose interest in school or social activities
6) Seem over-sensitive or weepy
7) Have angry outbursts
8) Have trouble sleeping
9) Complain about having headaches, stomach aches or other physical problems.

Depression is one of those side-effects that can cause serious long-term problems. Children that are verbally and physically bullied are at greater risk of developing depression and it can stay with them for years. In fact, one study has found that some people who were bullied as children are still experiencing mental health issues 40 years after being bullied. As you can imagine, that can truly be devastating to a person’s life and how well they are able to cope with the daily stresses well into adulthood. Depression can cause a wide-range of issues and in extreme circumstances, could lead to suicide. Suicide is devastating to not only the person that commits the act, but to their family as well.

The effects of bullying can be catastrophic and depression can be a major side-effect. Depression, if left untreated, can cause major problems throughout your child’s life – from the teenage years and well into adulthood. He or she will not only do poorly in school, which can affect their ability to attend college, but they may also have a difficult time navigating life in general. As they grow older, the depression will often get worse and many will turn to alcohol and drugs as a coping mechanism. This can lead to serious mental health issues. Helping your child is paramount.