What is Bullying?
Bullying is deliberate action taken with the intention of inflicting emotional and/or physical pain. Bullies assume a position of power through degrading another persons self worth through intimidation and humiliation. It can take form through overt actions such as name calling, taunting and physical violence, or indirectly through excluding someone from a group, spreading rumours and in recent years, through the use of mobile technology and social media (cyber bullying).
Bullying can be extremely detrimental to the healthy development of children and adolescence, leading to anxiety, social isolation and depression, in addition to adversely impacting a child’s performance at school. These problems can also lead to developmental issues that can follow a child/adolescent into adulthood.
Children who are experiencing bullying often display the following signs:
Avoiding school or specific social surroundings
Becoming withdrawn and secretive
Elevated levels of unhappiness or anxiety before or after school or other social events where
bullying may be occurring
Emotionally volatile – overly sensitive or bouts of anger
Complaints of headaches, nausea or lethargy
Bullying can often trigger depressive thoughts, feelings of anxiety and low self-esteem. This can culminate in self-defeating thoughts and destructive behaviours. Effective treatment can help victims of bullying become aware of their thoughts and feeling, improve their ability to communicate these emotions and allow them to develop effective coping mechanisms.
A mental health assessment can help formulate a tailored treatment plan and counselling techniques.