Bullying has become an important conversation to have in modern society. Studies have shown that the incidence of bullying among children is very high and this is a problem that’s been addressed in general, but there’s also studies that show how much of an impact can it have in children: Anxiety and Depression, two of the most common mental conditions in recent years are not only worsened but, in some cases, can originate from Bullying. Let’s make a quick revision on these topics and establish the relation between them.
Anxiety is a condition that everybody is prone to suffer from because its origin is linked to the emotional state. Its symptoms vary from patient to patient, but in general, it can present itself in the four following categories and symptoms:
- Panic Disorders and constant sensations of terror, dread or alarm. It strikes at random and tends to paralyze the person.
- Phobias tend to be confused with panic attacks but they work differently because while panic strikes at random and its trigger could be anything, phobias are more specific and centered on objects, places or situations.
- Social Phobia englobes so many aspects that it isn’t considered as a phobia itself. This disorder is triggered by every day social interactions such as meeting and greeting people, talking to your boss, etc.
- Generalized Anxiety Disorder’s symptoms are unrealistic and profound worries about anything even if there’s no reason for such worries. The difference between GAD and Panic Disorders are both its duration and the fact that it’s usually less crippling. Because of this, the patient apparently lives a normal but is consumed by worries on the inside. This condition can be triggered by bullying and it’s usually accompanied by depression.
Depression is described as a feeling of intense sadness, helplessness, hopelessness, and worthlessness that lasts for even weeks and keeps you from living your life to its fullest, and it’s a treatable medical condition. The most common symptoms are:
- Depressed mood most days (especially in the morning)
- A feeling of tiredness and lack of energy
- A daily feeling of great guilt over nothing
- Hard time focusing and making decisions
- Either sleepless nights or too much sleep
- No interest or pleasure in many activities
- Overthinking death or suicide
- Weight problems
Studies have found a link between bullying, depression, and anxiety, especially during childhood. Bullied children may also present serious mental illness, inability to focus, poor to nonexistent social relationships and even trouble finding jobs as adults. In recent years it’s been established that teens who commit suicide often suffer from depression, anxiety or both. Experts don’t link bullying is a direct cause of suicide, but it’s considered an important factor in most cases.
Anxiety disorders and clinical depression can be treated, although a total cure doesn’t exist due to the fact that they originate from the subconscious side of the brain. The most recurrent treatments consist of medications and cognitive behavioral therapy.
Medications are a very delicate way of handling anxiety and depression because there aren’t specific medicines to treat each specific disorder. The most common are Benzodiazepines, which are sedatives focused in relaxing the body muscles and calm the mind, helping reduce the symptoms of anxiety. Antidepressant medications are very common, but they also come with side effects, safety concerns, and the withdrawal when taking them away, if not managed properly, can be very difficult. Cognitive behavioral therapy, which focuses on creating social and personal patterns on the person who suffers from anxiety, thus helping them achieve goals and relax, is often recommended whether the patient is or isn’t under medication.