Bullying can take many forms. Some involve being attacked by physical force. Other forms of bullying are not physical but in some ways even more harmful: verbal abuse, isolation, and rumor spreading are among these. Studies of school-age children over the years have discovered that bullying can have devastating effects on children. Bullying can be common in any area of life – at school, at work, in families, even among “friends”.
Children are victimized by others who exert an imbalance of power to harm or distress them.
Often, people, I see in my office that come to me with symptoms of depression, low self-esteem and confidence issues tell me that they experienced some form of bullying when they were young. Sometimes they can’t even bring themselves to tell me what the bullies said or did to them, yet they still feel some shame and pain even thinking about it. Even though it happened in a period of their lives over 20, 30, even 40 years ago, they may re-experience the emotional sting of that time as if it were happening today.
At no other time are we so impressionable than when we are children when we are learning about the world and our place in it. And if childhood experiences tell us that we are ‘not good enough’, or ‘unlovable’, that ‘no-one wants to be your friend’, ‘no-one likes you’, then it’s clear to see how we can learn to place little value on ourselves.
Many of my clients who have low self-esteem or low confidence were victims of bullying at school, by their family members or you guessed right, by their peers as an adult. So, how can hypnotherapy help if your child (or you) are the victim of bullying?
Pediatric hypnosis can help to increase your child’s confidence, feel stronger, and have a voice to either report the bullying or even say something to the person who is bullying them. It is much easier when they feel more confident about who they are – learning to stand up for themselves. To know and believe “I Matter”.
Mental Effects of bullying
Children who are bullied are more prone to develop mental disorders such as anxiety and depression and have low self-esteem. The damage to these children’s sense of self-worth can impede their progress later on in life. For example, a child may grow up to be an adult who is highly introverted because he automatically always expects to be attacked.
Physical Effects of bullying
Aside from the bruises and cuts that come from being physically assaulted, kids who are bullied often suffer from stress-related illnesses such as stomachaches and headaches, bed wetting, or out of the ordinary screaming – or plainly shut down. In addition, their immune systems may be weaker, causing an increase in common childhood illnesses.
Poor Academic Performance
Children who are bullied often experience a lower GPA and do less well on standardized tests. This is in part due to the fact that many bullied kids miss school to avoid their tormentors and in part because they view school and school-related activities as a source of emotional pain. 15% of all school absences are directly the result of children fearing bullies.
The consequences of being a victim of bullying include developing a seemingly irrational fear of school and increased risk of truancy or dropping out. Victims of bullying are far more likely to bring weapons to school to protect themselves. Victims, in general, reveal an overall average to the below-average rate of adult criminal behavior but remain at higher risk for suicide over the long term.