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Bullying not only causes social distress but also has physical and emotional consequences. Some individuals may suffer depression as a result, while others may have the emotional capacity to tolerate the problem and resolve it. The concern with abuse comes from certain people's lack of knowledge of the multiple methods of victimization. Most of the time, a person has little idea what he or she is doing to someone when they call them names, whether deliberately or accidentally. The consequences of this type of abuse may be either long-term or short-term. As such, the purpose of this paper is to look at the issue and discuss the impact of bullying on an individual’s physical, social, and emotional wellbeing. Statistics
As at 2013, Do.Something.org reported that the figures behind this victimization indicate that harassment should be seen as a criminal offense which will not be ending anytime soon. Annually, the data suggest that more than 3.2 million individuals are targets of bullying. Moreover, over the approximate number of one hundred and sixty thousand teenagers who skip school for fear of the mistreatment, fifty-six percent of them have witnessed an act of oppression. Of the total identified cases, Seventy-one percent of the cases are traceable to schools whereby one student out of every ten often drops out because of the problem. The worst part is that out of every four teachers, one of them will see no wrongdoing in such acts and has a four percent chance of intervening in such circumstances. Since the majority of this victimization takes place in schools, a higher percentage of students acknowledge that schools poorly respond to these actions and the help offered by adults is often infrequent and at times ineffective (DoSomething.org,).
Given the negative impacts arising the victimization, the bullied individuals often have suicidal thoughts. Unlike their friends who have not experienced similar encounters, teenagers who have been tormented tend to become suicidal since the experience is humiliating. They think of committing suicide to avoid a similar occurrence (Sijtsema, Rambaran, and Caravita). Other short-term effects include possible lack of sleep as well as eating disorders.
More often than not, once a student goes through such a humbling experience, he may lack sleep and at the same time, lack an appetite to eat. With regards to sleeping, victims often find it challenging to fall or stay asleep. Thus, they do not get enough rest, and this would usually affect their performance at school. If they get to sleep, unlike their peers who have not been tormented, they are most likely to have nightmares which are menacing and at times vivid. As a result, it affects their quality of life for a while. Moreover, according to Fraser-Thill, a person who has been intimidated especially girls, often develop an eating disorder.
Swearer and Cary state that individuals who are exposed to bullies for a long time are at high risk of getting involved in criminal and delinquent activities. This can be attributed to the negative attitude they acquire against the society. Bullying signifies public flaws, and once a person suffers from the experiences of the injustice, the retaliatory actions might be an engagement in criminal activities.
Another long-term effect of mistreatment is the probability of an individual suffering from Chronic Anxiety and depression (Pappas). Such victimization causes psychological harm to an individual, and if the situation is not managed correctly, the short-term depression and anxiety problems will often become long-term thus influence the quality of life of the target. As a result, the person may develop agoraphobia which causes him or her refuse to interact with others thus shutting down. This would further result in depression.
Low self-esteem and Trust issues often arise once a person has been subjected to humiliation through bullying. The thought of an aggressor’s action will negatively influence the ability of the victim to trust others. Moreover, low self-esteem results to the socialization problems. The impact is not only felt by close friends, but the society as a whole since the antisocial tendencies will be passed to the workplace or any organization to which the survivor is party to (Pappas).
Most notably, alcohol and substance abuse are often used as an avenue to forget the harmful actions and experiences by a bullied individual. By falling into these activities, it is more likely that the person will also engage in other self-destructive acts such as sexual immoralities which also affects the society. According to Koeppel and Bouffard, alcohol and substance abuse exposes the tormented person to health issues such as cancer and HIV, while also homelessness is a possibility due to careless actions.
Since a community is made up of individuals, the effects of bullying on a young person are not only felt by the individual and his family. The actions by a tormented individual will also be passed to the people interacting with him thus drawing wrong actions. Since victimization is prevalent during in elementary and high school, it is the role of the management to come up with efforts to discourage the vice. Moreover, parents have a responsibility of guiding their children into proper behaviors to prevent their children from viewing name calling and other bullying actions as a norm.
DoSomething.org,. "11 Facts About Bullying." 2017. 19 October 2017. .
Fraser-Thill, Rebecca. "Understanding the Short-Term Effects of Bullying." 5 June 2017. 19 October 2017. .
Koeppel, Maria and Leana A. Bouffard. "The Long Term Health Consequences of Bullying Victimization." (2012). 19 October 2017. .
Pappas, Stephanie. "Long-Term Effects Of Bullying: Pain Lasts Into Adulthood (STUDY)." 20 February 2013. 19 October 2017. .
Sijtsema, J. J, et al. "Friendship Selection and Influence in Bullying and Defending: Effects of Moral Disengagement." Developmental psychology (2015). .
Swearer, Susan M. and Paulette Tam Cary. "Perceptions and Attitudes Toward Bullying in Middle School Youth: A Developmental Examination Across the Bully/Victim Continuum." (2015). 19 October 2017. .
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