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Bullying is a form of abuse, or any sort of act of abuse perpetrated upon a victim who does not in any way deserve to be treated in that manner. Those who organize such aggression and dominance bullying behaves do not consider the emotional and physical health of their victims but desire to meet their own desires.
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Within a society, identity is a social process contributed by other people. Within children and young people, it is difficult to know who they are. However, much of what passes for identity in the young is a kind of other-confidence demonstrated by telling others that they are good and worthy people. This helps them to feel good about themselves. Bullying makes it easy for those being bullied to start thinking that they are as weak, worthless, pathetic, and incompetent failure in life. Such sorts of thoughts lead to depression, or plan to revenge by bullying others. The immediate effect of bullying is having a wounded self-concept. This makes it harder for you to believe in yourself, which makes it even harder to persevere through any difficult situation and challenging circumstances later in life. Children who succumb to depression when bullied became demoralized and may opt to ditch school to avoid bullies. Lack of schooling or poor schooling ultimately result to the children losing out on opportunities for advancing their studies and on employment (Whitted, & Dupper 167-1750).
Bullied children develop internalize negative attitude about themselves setting them apart from the rest such as sexual orientation, group membership and religious affiliation resulting to peer pressure and self rejection which may lead them to become homosexual.
The effects of bullying can be serious and even fatal at times. Research indicates that individuals who are persistently subjected to abusive behavior tend to develop stress related illness which can lead to suicide (Kim & Leventhal, 133-54).
Bullied victims can suffer from either short term or long term emotional and behavioral problems. Some of the long term problems that are mostly associated with bullying include loneliness, depression, feeling of low self-esteem, susceptibility to illnesses, and anxiety disorders.
The long-term effects of bullying on children.
Many children who are bullied tend to exhibit lonely traits in their lives. Loneliness in this sense does not mean that the child is alone, but they lack sense of identification with other children or with other members of the society because they feel threatened, they do not understand others and generally lack compassion. The lonely child yearns for love and companionship, which is unfulfilled, incase such is not achieved, it to emotions such as rejection, despair and feeling of low self-esteem.
Bullying over a long period of time creates an unbearable feeling of separation that can manifest itself in feelings of abandonment, rejection, depression, insecurity, hopelessness, unworthiness and meaninglessness. If these feelings are prolonged they prevent the child from developing healthy relationships and lifestyles later in their lives as teenagers and adults. Incase, were the child at their later stages is convinced that they are unlovable, they will increase their experience of suffering and avoiding any form of social contact resulting to low self-esteem which will trigger social disconnection.
Loneliness is correlated with increased life threatening conditions such as increased risk of cancer, increased risk of stroke and other cardiovascular diseases. Children who grow up isolated report poor sleep and thus have very low restorative processes. It also plays a part in alcoholism in that children who were bullied and segregated from the rest of the children during their early days of life tend to get comfort through taking alcohol so as to flash out memories of the bad things that happened to them. They also develop several forms of antisocial and other destructive behaviors that might be hostile and delinquent behavior. Learning and the level of memory concentration is greatly affected by felling of loneliness.
Children who are bullied often show signs of depression. Depression is a state of low mood that is usually accompanied by aversion to activity. It can easily be confused with defense mechanism. Children experiencing depression usually experiences sudden feelings of sadness, helplessness and hopelessness which are temporal and unconditional. The frequency and severity depends on individuals.
The child usually suffers depression simply because they feel that the circumstances before them that they are supposed to endure are beyond their control and that other people have power over them. Such depression if not controlled extends to adulthood affecting the individual social relationships within the society. Individuals who get into slight depression go through feelings of sadness, interrupted sleeping, irritability, getting easily annoyed and at time feeling tired, but the condition is reversible in the short term but with the help of a support therapy (Elizabeth,35-98).
However, children who develop severe depression may induce feelings and thoughts of suicidal ideas. They may feel sad constantly, cry for no reason, they have trouble sleeping and focusing, they at times develop headaches and at extreme cases backaches. Anxiety
Bullying causes anxiety among children. Anxiety is the psychological and physiological state that is characterized by cognitive, emotional, and behavioral components which creates an unpleasant feeling among the bullied child associated with feelings of unease, fear and worry.
Anxiety occurs without any identified trigger making it one of the worst complications on a child who experienced bullying at one time of their lives' because they feel constantly threatened even when the bullying experience is long gone. Such fear causes them to develop behavior of escape and avoidance.
Excess anxiety in children results to anxiety disorder which is often a debilitating chronic condition that perceived to be uncontrollable or unavoidable. Mostly, anxiety disorders are usually associated with sexual dysfunction later in live, although it is not essay to determine exactly the relationship between anxiety and sexual dysfunction.
Severe anxiety is commonly induced by alcohol abuse which in most cases may increase anxiety and depression levels in the individual causing life stresses (Elizabeth, 35-98).
Children who are bullied usually experience low self-esteem. Self-esteem usually refers to overall evaluation and appraisal of one's own worth. Self -esteem is all about beliefs such as "am I competent or incompetent", "I believe am a good person, and feel proud of myself ". Bullying destroys ones confidence and reduces an individual ability to freely interact. Children who are abused and bullied rise to domestic abuse also with spouses who had poor educational background result to violence as a way to assert their superiority yet these has been triggered by a feeling of low self-esteem.
In conclusion, the experience of being bullied usually end up causing long lasting damage to victims. There is no point to be physically harmed but words and gestures are quite enough to pass information. It is important for all to understand that physical and emotional damage sustained by children in their childhood years is usually resilient and the child does not forget. In case you are bullied damages your loss your ability to view oneself as desirable, capable and an effective individual.