We all know that bullying can leave our children with bumps and bruises. But the effects of bullying can last for many years and can cause serious issues into adolescence and even adulthood. Bullying and depression often go hand in hand. Anyone can be affected by bullying and it often happens in school, online, and in the workplace. In today’s fast-paced world, bullying can occur just about anywhere. The rise of the internet has given bullies a new way to torment their victims- cyberbullying- and the results are sometimes tragic. As we will learn below, suicide brought on by the effects of bullying is a growing trend of concern. Here we are going to discuss more about the long-term effects of bullying and what it can mean for your child and how the effects of bullying can carry over into the teenage years.
The Connection Between Bullying and Depression
As noted, bullying can leave your child with bruises that will eventually heal, but there can be lasting effects of bullying that can really wreak havoc on your child’s life into their teenage years. Depression is one of those side-effects that can cause serious long-term problems. Children that are verbally and physically bullied are at greater risk of developing depression and it can stay with them for years. In fact, one study has found that some people who were bullied as children are still experiencing mental health issues 40 years after being bullied. As you can imagine, that can truly be devastating to a person’s life and how they cope well into the future. Depression can cause a wide-range of issues and in extreme circumstances, could lead to suicide. Suicide is devastating to not only the person that commits the act, but to their family as well.
Signs of Long Term Depression from Bullying
We all get a little down now and then. But when your child or teen seems to be feeling blue most of the time, there is something going on. If your child has withdrawn from the family and keeps to themselves, it’s a sign that he or she is depressed. They may stop doing many of the things they love and they may even start to have behavior issues at school. Their grades will often become affected by their depression and they may fail some classes. This can be very alarming to parents and many will have no idea what is causing this. Parents should consider bullying as one cause.
The effects of bullying can be catastrophic and depression can be a major side-effect. Depression, if left untreated, can cause major problems throughout your child's life- from the teenage years and well into adulthood. He or she will not only do poorly in school, which can affect their ability to attend college, but they may also have a difficult time navigating life in general. As they grow older, the depression will often get worse and many will turn to alcohol and drugs as a coping mechanism. This can lead to serious mental health issues.
So instead of letting long-term depression cripple your child or adolescent, do something about it and stop it in its tracks. There are many different ways to treat depression that stems from bullying and it doesn’t have to control your child’s life.
How You Can Help Your Child or Teen
As noted,, depression can be a direct result of bullying and can have a lasting impact on your child. As a parent, this can be heart breaking and not knowing how to help is common. But there are quite a few things that you can do to help your child or teen fight bullying and get help for treating their depression. First, you need to get to the root of the problem and find out what is going on. Speak with your child’s grade or high school and inform them of the issues they are having. After you have figured out who has been bullying your child, the school should be able to take measures to prevent the bullying from continuing. Once the bullying has been stopped, the healing process can begin.
The next step to healing is dialog. By having an open conversation with your child or adolescent about their signs of depression, you are showing them that you care. Next, if their depression is severe, you should seek professional help. By letting a therapist or psychiatrist talk with your child, they can work together to come up with a solution. Sometimes medications are needed to treat depression along with some different types of therapies.
Tackling Adolescent Depression Is a Team Effort
Starting at home, the members of your family should be 100% supportive of your child even during difficult times. If the affected child has siblings, speak with them separately and explain to them what is going on. Make sure to ask them to be patient with their brother or sister and be supportive.
Next, you will need the help of your school counselor and other staff. Because your child will still need to attend school with their bully, they will need a support system there. This will prevent future bullying and help your child cope with their depression. The next member of your support team will be the professional help that you will seek for your child. Depression specialists will help your child or teen recover by getting them in a therapy program. It takes a village to fight depression, so getting as many people involved in your child’s recovery is important.
Here at Houston Behavioral Healthcare Hospital, we strive to help those who have been victims of bullying. Bullying is a serious problem and it has many lasting effects. We understand that dealing with depression can be a difficult task that should not be handled alone. Our dedicated staff of professionals can help your adolescent feel better so that they can get on with their lives. There is no reason why anyone should suffer from depression when we can help. So, contact us to get the healing process started.