Friday, March 8, 2013

Study tracks effects of bullying into early adulthood

A study published in February found that depression and anxiety tied to bullying in childhood persisted at least through people’s mid-20s. As reported by Genevra Pittman for Reuters Health:

“‘It’s obviously very well established how problematic bullying is short-term,’ said William Copeland, a clinical psychologist who led the new study at Duke University Medical Center in Durham, N.C.
“‘I was surprised that a decade down the road after they’ve been victimized, when they’ve kind of transitioned to adulthood, we would still see these emotional marks for the victims and also the bullies/victims.’”
These findings are significant and reflect my experiences with bullying in Calistoga Joint Unified School District schools: I was physically and verbally abused and ostracized by my schoolmates.

If study authors would examine them, I believe the effects of bullying persist later into adulthood. I  shared my own long-term consequences when discussing the rate that bullying affects children on the autism spectrum and believe them worth restating here.

At more than 40 years old, I find it hard to recognize potential friendships. It is difficult to understand people laughing with me instead of at me and when someone seems upset in my presence, I assume I am the cause.

There are also situations I refuse to place myself in. I object to civic groups publicly fining members for transgressions that seem capricious and invented. To me, this method of raising funds seems a license for humiliation.

Bullying is a documented factor in many young people’s suicides and has also been identified as a contributor to Complex PTSD (that’s post traumatic stress disorder caused by cumulative traumatic events rather than a short-lived trauma).

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