The Psychiatric Effects of Bullying

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For the duration of their school aged years, children spend more time with their peers than they do with their parents. It is this simple fact that suggests this time is just as important in shaping their long-term functioning as their home lives. In fact, Alexandra Sifferlin reports for Time that a child’s interaction with peers, specifically bullying or being bullied, can create long-term psychiatric effects later in life.

Not just the victims of bullying, but the bullies themselves and those who are involved in both sides saw an increase in some sort of psychiatric disorder later in their life. Depression, anxiety, substance abuse and antisocial personality disorders could all be traced back to interactions with peers in school categorized as bullying.

Anti-bullying movements have been gaining traction lately in the wake of school shootings, but here is yet another reason why parents and educators must take bullying very seriously. It is not a rite of passage or normal childhood behavior, but rather a behavior that can be seriously detrimental to an individual’s well-being.

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