Being bullied on a daily basis is a common complaint of American students. Unfortunately, it is only growing, as harassment is carried out not only in person but also online. Continuous bullying scars one mentally and emotionally to the extent that the person being bullied may even consider suicide.
A new research shows that chronic bullying can change an individual’s brain structure. It decreases the volume of two parts of the brain which link to one’s learning. Those who are bullied are at higher risk of developing mental health problems such as anxiety. The study also states that bullying has a massively negative impact not only on its victim and his family but the society too.
What Does This New Study Reveal?
The new research carried out at the King’s College London, United Kingdom shows that bullying takes a toll on one’s mental health. According to this new study, those who are bullied regularly experience changes in their brain structure. Bullying also puts individuals at higher risk of developing mental health problems. This new research has been published in the Molecular Psychiatry journal.
For it, researchers analyzed the questionnaires and brain scans of about 600 IMAGEN program participants from various parts of Europe. Analysis was done when the participants were 14 and 19 years old. The study found that above 30 of them were victims of chronic bullying.
At the age of 19, their brain volume had altered and they also experienced anxiety in comparison to those who had not experienced bullying. As per the findings, bullying reduces the volume of the caudate and putamen parts of the brain. The former plays a part in one’s learning skills and memory. The latter is responsible for the regulation of movement and also impacts learning.
How Does Bullying Impact Health?
Bullying has a serious influence on one’s health. It has emotional, physical, and mental health problems linked to it. Those who are bullied struggle with weakened self-esteem and have difficulty adjusting in school. They may also display academic problems, resort to substance abuse, and eventually become violent.
Research shows that those who are bullied as well as those who bully have a higher risk of developing depression. The former even more so. Both the bullies and the victims of bullying may exhibit behavioral and mental problems. Whereas those who are both, the bullies and the bullied, may experience a higher form of depression.
The victims of bullying also have performance issues in both their personal and professional life. Therefore, the effects of bullying stretch to later in life as well. Being bullied can even drive a person to consider suicide. In such cases, help must be sought immediately.
Bullying is a widespread problem that seems to have no solutions. Victims of bullying have a damaged self-esteem and a higher risk of depression and other mental ailments. A new study highlights that bullying alters brain volume and increases risk of mental problems. It also shares a link with anxiety.