Short and Long Term Effects of Bullying - The Victim & the Bully

February 17, 2013 at 3:50 PM

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Bullying is a major problem today. Tweens and teens are vulnerable to it even when they are at home because of a new, more devastating form of bullying know as cyberbullying. There are many articles written about the short and long term effects of bullying that victims invariably suffer, but what many parents forget is that even the perpetrator, the bully, can suffer from short and long term damages of bullying.

Parents need to understand that whether their child is the victim or perpetrator, they should seek professional help. Both victims and perpetrators of bullying need counseling, so that they can cope with the issue and its effects. Understanding the short and long term effects of bullying will make the parents more conducive to seeking professional help.

 Short Term Effects of Bullying – The Victim

Here are some of the short term effects that a victim of bullying or cyber bullying may experience:

  • Acute depression. Parents may find their child being constantly sad and withdrawn

  • Having nightmares and waking up screaming or in cold sweat

  • Bed wetting. This is commonly seen in younger children

  • Loss of self-esteem

  • Physical symptoms, such as stomach ache, headache and upset stomach

  • Afraid to go to school or take the school bus as the victim may have to face the bully

  • Perform badly in school causing grades to drop

  • Truancy due to being bullied at school

  • Getting stressed and anxious about attending gatherings with peers

  • Feeling that they let down their parents somehow

  • Feeling embarrassed, as they may think that complaining could be construed as a sign of weakness

Short Term Effects of Bullying – The Bully

Here are some short term effects that the bully may experience:

  • Unable to maintain friendship

  • Does not perform well at school

  • Truancy

  • Bullies are often at a higher risk of getting addicted to illegal drugs and/or alcohol

  • Higher chances of dropping out from school

 Long Term Effects of Bullying – The Victim

Victims often end up scarred for life and may suffer from problems even in adulthood. Some of the long term effects are as follows:

  • Chronic depression, which could result in suicidal tendencies

  • Post-trauma psychological disorders

  • Could cause the victim to turn to alcohol or substance abuse

  • Self-destructive behavior

Victims require psychological help to cope with situation and if this help is given, it could help the child overcome the effects of bullying and being victimized.

Long Term Effects of Bullying – The Bully

Even bullies are not spared and can suffer from long term effects which could have a profound impact on their lives. Some of the effects are as follows:

  • Higher chances of getting convicted for a crime as the bully grows older

  • Being more dependent on illegal drugs and/or alcohol

  • Constant problems in maintaining long-term relationships

  • Higher chances of abusing spouse and/or children as an adult

Children often do not reveal the acts of bullying to parents or guardians. And, statistics show that more than half of the tweens and teens are either victims or perpetrators of bullying or cyber bulling.1 Hence, parents should educate themselves about this issue and on ways to address and tackle it. It is a serious problem that can have repercussions and ramifications even after the child grows up, regardless of whether he is the victim or perpetrator. Consider using a parental intelligence system that can warn you if your child is harassing someone online, or if they are the victim of cyberbullying. If you want more information about cyberbullying, download our eBook "10 Essential Things Every Parent Needs to Know About Bullying."


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Posted by Tim Woda

Tim Woda is an Internet safety expert, and a passionate advocate for empowering families and protecting children from today’s scariest digital dangers. Woda was on the founding team of buySAFE, an Internet trust and safety company, and he started working on child safety issues after his son was targeted by a child predator online. While his son was unharmed, the incident led Woda to kick-start You can follow Tim on Twitter or on his blog.

Topics: digital parenting, bullying, cyberbullying, Parental Intelligence, Internet Safety, victims of cyberbullying, health & wellbeing, Consequences of Cyberbullying

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