Nobody likes a bully. Bullies don’t even like themselves all that much.
In terms of treatment, most people naturally focus on the victims of bullying, and with good reason. Bullying can cause anxiety disorders, depression and even contribute to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in teens. Bullying doesn’t just come from an adolescent’s peers – parents and authority figures can be bullies as well, causing the same harmful effects.
But what about the bully themselves?
Sovereign Health understands the mental health issues bullying disorder both causes and relies on for fuel. Our residential bullying treatment center for adolescents in Rancho San Diego provides patients with a pleasant, safe environment to work on and find solutions for their difficulties.
Bullying is simply a display of dominance over a person the bully perceives as weaker. There’s a host of reasons children become bullies:
- A lack of attention from parents or other authority figures
- Having parents who are substance abusers
- Being the victims of bullying themselves, or believing that bullying offers protection from others
- Feelings of inadequacy and powerlessness
Bullies lack empathy and are often seriously incapable of thinking through the consequences of their actions. Also, bullying isn’t always physical – verbal bullying, which tears down the victim’s sense of self, can be every bit as devastating as a punch to the face. Emotional bullying, an attempt to make the victim isolated from others, can be dangerous, as it easily creates depression and suicidal thoughts. Finally, cyberbullying – which uses social media, instant messaging and other tools to constantly harass victims – is an emerging form of bullying with devastating emotional effects.
And it’s not just hyperbole to describe bullying’s effects as “devastating.” According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Service’s StopBullying.gov site, victims of bullying experience depression, anxiety, loneliness and feelings of sadness. These effects often last into adulthood. Additionally, bullying makes its victims afraid to go to school, resulting in lowered GPA performance, creating social phobias and decreasing participation in school activities.