First ofall, as a result of being bullied, victims may experience many immediate mental or physical health-related consequences. Studies show that victims have more anxiety, sadness, sleep difficulties, low self-esteem, headaches, stomach pain, and general tension than their peers who are not being bullied. Researchers from Finland discovered that victims are more likely than bullies to suffer fromanxiety disorders, such as depression, separation anxiety, panic disorder, etc. Also, this psychological stress can cause victims' bodies to be less resistant to disease and infection, and therefore they may get sick more often.
In the social area, victims have few friends or none at all. Due to their high anxiety level and low self-worth, it is very hard for them to make friends. This leads tofeelings of isolation and believing that they are not even worthy of having friends. Also, other kids often do not want to become friends with the victims, because they are afraid that they will be bullied as well. Another reason that other kids do not hang around with victims is because they worry that peers will not like them if they associate with the victims.
Feelings of loneliness and sadness onthe part of victims can also lead to consequences related to their learning and school success. Being a victim can result in poor school attendance, because many victims become afraid of going to school. They are also scared of riding the school bus or using the bathroom at school. One study found that 8% of 8th graders in the U.S. miss at least one day of school per month for fear of bullies.Victims often receive lower grades due to attendance problems, and also due to their stress and worry. They become obsessed with the bullying and how to try to avoid it. This leaves little or no time, energy, or concern for schoolwork and learning. A vicious cycle can occur because the victim's poor school performance can lead to embarrassment and anxiety, which can in turn cause them to be picked oneven more.
Another possible result of being bullied is that victims may become violent, either at the time of the bullying or in their futures. This violent behavior may be directed toward themselves, toward their school in general, or may even be directed as retaliation toward the bullies themselves. Sometimes the violent behavior can lead to even more bullying towards the victim, as the bullieswant revenge on the victim for bullying them.
Some experts believe that school shootings are related to bullying. Students who committed school shootings were over two times as likely to have reported that they were victims of bullying.
As mentioned earlier, victims are more likely to suffer from anxiety disorders and depression, and these disorders can continue into adulthood. Sometimes thedisorders can also cause difficulties with the victims' family, friends, and co-workers in their futures.
In some cases, the bullying may be so severe and may go on for so long that the victim has thoughts of suicide, (which is also called suicidal ideation), or he or she may actually commit suicide. Victims are also more likely to have attempted suicide than their non-bullied peers. The term"bullycide" is used to describe a victim's suicide that occurs due to extreme bullying behavior by a bully toward that victim.
The following poem (from the 4 Troubled Teens website) shows the sadness and desperation on the part of a 13 year old boy in Manchester, England who hung himself as a result of serious bullying:
I shall remember forever and will never forget
Monday: My money taken...