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How Does Bullying Affect Mental Health?

a bullied teen struggles with their mental health as a result of the bullying

Bullying is most common among teens and adolescents but can happen at any age. It is described as someone acting aggressively toward another who they see as weaker than them to dominate and ridicule. Bullying affects mental health in a number of ways and can seriously impact a teen’s social and educational development. If you suspect your teen is dealing with a bully or is bullying others, an adolescent mental health treatment program can help them process their feelings in a healthy manner.

At Imagine Seattle, we support teen boys and girls between the ages of 12 and 17 who are bullied or acting out aggressively toward others. Our behavioral therapists have experience working with bullied teens to help them process their feelings so it does not disrupt their education or development. For more information about our adolescent mental health treatment program, call 888.346.0473 or fill out our online form today, and we will get back to you within 24 hours.

Why Do Teens Bully Others?

Teens struggle with understanding their changing thoughts and emotions on top of experiencing new relationships and sensations that can be very confusing. If they see someone dressing or acting differently than they do, they can act out aggressively or in a demeaning manner. Or they may bully a smaller child to impress their friends or as a means to cope with physical abuse at home.

Several other reasons why teens will bully others include:

  • Peer pressure
  • Having power over others
  • Problems at home
  • Revenge or payback
  • Prejudices toward others
  • Pleasure

The effects of mental health and bullying are well known, and several therapeutic techniques exist to reduce the harmful effects of bullying. At Imagine Seattle, our certified therapists have experience working with teens who experience bullying. They work to rebuild their confidence and self-esteem while learning to accept themselves for who they are.

How Does Bullying Affect Mental Health?

The effects of mental health and bullying can be devastating to a child if they do not talk with someone about what is happening to them. The lingering mental effects can cause them to withdraw, lose interest in school and favorite activities, and potentially start bullying others.

Here are some of the ways that bullying affects mental health:

  • Chronic depression – Emotional or verbal bullying can cause more damage than physical violence. Bullying can cause a person to feel worthless or that they are not good enough, leading to a serious depression that can last for months to years.
  • Anxiety disorders – Bullying can negatively impact their social development and cause unhealthy relationship traits. Teens who experience bullying are more likely to end up in abusive relationships in the future.
  • Complex post-traumatic stress disorder – Bullying affects mental health similarly to experiencing a traumatic event and can lead to PTSD if the bullying is ongoing. It can cause teens to experience panic attacks, intense fear, and feelings of worthlessness.
  • Suicide – Teens who experience bullying are at a higher risk of suicide and self-harm. The emotional turmoil can become too much for them to handle, and if they don’t find a healthy outlet, it can lead to self-harm, increased aggression and anger, and suicide attempts.

Join Imagine Seattle Today for Our Adolescent Mental Health Treatment Program

At Imagine Seattle, our outpatient treatment facility helps teen boys and girls aged 12-17 who are dealing with a bully and need support before their mental health is negatively affected. Our team is well aware of the effects of bullying and mental health and has experience working with teens to help them cope with their feelings.

If you suspect others are bullying your teen at school, call 888.346.0473 today to learn how we can improve your teen’s mental health so they can lead a healthy and productive life.