Long-term depression common in bullying victims

Bullied teens more likely to suffer from feelings of hopelessness says study. Photo via Stock Photo.

What has long been suspected has been given official credence.

Experts at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law agreed that children who suffer bullying – whether at school or on the Internet – are more prone to long spells of depression and suicidal thoughts.  Dysthymia, or long-term depression (LTD), is characterized by persistent feelings of hopelessness, reduced self-esteem and an overall sense of dissatisfaction.

A 2001 study conducted by the National Institute for Child Health and Human Development found that 30% of children – 15,686 in total – from grades 6 to 10, agreed to regular or random involvement in bullying.

Investigators at the University of Cambridge discovered that people who had suffered from bullying at school were more prone to suffer from depression – often running into the 36th year of their life or beyond.

Dr. Eileen P. Ryan from the University of Virginia in Charlottesville says that bullying is directed towards people often seen as “different”. Homosexuality and mental health problems reinforce social perceptions of alienation, and people belonging to  the former variant, and afflicted from the latter, are often common targets for bullies.

Bullying expert Rachel Simmons says actions are often subtle,  and it’s not always easy to spot bullying. “Kids are adept at stealth nastiness and bullies are talented chameleons”.

Source: www.newser.com ; www.4therapy.com ; www.pediatricnews.com