“If People Are Trying To Bring You Down, It Only Means You Are Above Them.”
School bullying can have a serious and lasting impact on a child. Victims of school bullying may develop severe reactions such as varied anxiety disorders after prolonged sessions of bullying. It is also possible for victims to develop eating disorders, depression, and even suicidal thoughts. Several studies have shown that victims of bullying do show increased levels of anxiety compared to students who were not getting bullied.
School bullying can result in the victims suffering from these 4 major types of anxiety disorders:
GAD/Generalized anxiety disorder: Children with GAD typically suffer from chronic fears and worries that hamper them from carrying out daily routine activities. They tend to keep harping about something bad that will happen to them. People often tend to dismiss such worries and may term the victims as being unnecessarily worried.
It is however important to remember that GAD also causes physical symptoms like stomach aches, insomnia, fatigue, and restlessness. Thus, parents can easily identify the condition in case constant worry is accompanied by such physical symptoms.
It may also be noted that worrying about some bad thing happening in the future is not incorrect, as being bullied is something that is bad, and which they have suffered from, and which they may experience again. Such prolonged stress and worry can subsequently transfer to other aspects of life and turn into GAD.
PTSD/Post-traumatic stress disorder: People often suffer from PTSD after experiencing a life-threatening or traumatic event, like loss of a loved one or being in a serious car accident. It can also occur after undergoing severe and prolonged bullying or abuse at school. Children with PTSD may suffer from flashbacks, withdraw from family and friends, alarm easily, and have nightmares.
Kids who have experienced chronic bullying or abuse for a long period of time are at the highest risk of developing this form of anxiety disorder
Social anxiety disorder: This type of anxiety disorder can develop when a person is afraid of getting negatively judged by others or getting embarrassed or humiliated. People tend to be overwhelmed with excessive consciousness about normal daily social scenarios.
Their main fear is that others will see them in negative light. The people also tend to worry about their behavior, the way they act, and/or their appearance as these could trigger ridicule from others. In serious cases, affected people may altogether avoid social events or gatherings.
Children who get bullied at school can also develop social anxiety disorder, particularly if they have been repeatedly shamed publicly or humiliated. Their main fear is that the humiliation they experience at school will happen in other places as well.
Panic attacks: This type of anxiety disorder is marked by repeated and sudden episodes of panic attacks. When experiencing a panic attack, sufferers tend to suffer from sensations of terror that suddenly strike without any kind of warning. Common physical symptoms include pain in the chest, sweating, and irregular or rapid heartbeats.
In case panic disorder is not treated, people may avoid doing the things which they liked in the past lest they suffer from a panic attack. Hence, they remain indoors to be able to deal with panic attacks and eventually might develop health anxiety.
Dealing with anxiety caused by school bullying
Parents need to talk to their children in case they notice anything out of order. Then they have to speak to authorities at school to prevent school bullying all together (something not enough parents are doing today). Once the source of anxiety is eliminated, parents can begin different self-care measures like breathing techniques, yoga, exercise, etc.
In case anxiety does not alleviate in a child who was bullied at school, parents need to become educated in the methods of CBT for cognitive and behavioural restructuring so the child gains cognitive flexibility in his day to day life.
Have You Witnessed School Bullying First Hand? Share Your Experiences In The Comment Section Below.