Bullied Children Can Suffer Lasting Psychological Harm as Adults

Bullied children grow into adults who are at increased risk of developing anxiety disorders, depression and suicidal thoughts, according to a study led by researchers at Duke Medicine.

"We were surprised at how profoundly bullying affects a person's long-term functioning,"...

As adults, those who said they had been bullied, plus those who were both victims and aggressors, were at higher risk for psychiatric disorders compared with those with no history of being bullied. The young people who were only victims had higher levels of depressive disorders, anxiety disorders, generalized anxiety, panic disorder and agoraphobia.

Those who were both bullies and victims had higher levels of all anxiety and depressive disorders, plus the highest levels of suicidal thoughts, depressive disorders, generalized anxiety and panic disorder. Bullies were also at increased risk for antisocial personality disorder.

The researchers were able to sort out confounding factors that might have contributed to psychiatric disorders, including poverty, abuse and an unstable or dysfunctional home life.

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Replies to This Discussion

Yes, I would agree that being abused by bullies can give you issues.

Trust issues - is what I think probably is the most common issue among those bullied.

Anxiety - I would agree that issue probably comes up the most often.

Home life - very important confounding factor - yes!

In adolescence I mostly avoided my immediate neighborhood, where there were lots of bullies. Other times I have felt anxiety about going to various public places. The worst thing is having an inferiority complex.

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