Effects of bullying are worse than abuse

This study found that being bullied as a child has more damaging consequences than being the victim of abuse or neglect. These children were five times more likely to experience anxiety and nearly twice as likely to report depression and self-harm at age 18 than children who were physically mistreated.

Victims of bullying were often found to turn to bullying themselves as they lacked the emotional regulation, or the support, required to cope with it. The long-term effects were said to be anxiety, depression or suicidal tendencies. The victims were also over six times more likely to be diagnosed with a serious illness, smoke regularly or develop a psychiatric disorder.

The study investigated the impact on all those affected; the victims, the bullies themselves, and those who fall into both categories; ‘bully-victims’. All of the groups were more than twice as likely to have difficulty in keeping a job, or commit to saving, and all showed signs of having difficulty forming social relationships, particularly long term friendships, or good ties with parents in adulthood.