What Effect Does Bullying Have on Mental Health?


Bullying has become an increasingly pervasive issue in our society, and it can have serious long-term effects on those who experience it. While we often hear about the physical harm that bullying can cause, the mental health implications are not discussed nearly as often. Bullying can have a profound impact on mental health, leading to depression, anxiety, low self-esteem, and more. In this blog post, we will explore the effect bullying has on mental health and discuss ways to combat it. 

What is Bullying?

Bullying is a form of repeated, persistent, and aggressive behavior directed at an individual or group that is intended to cause harm or distress. It can take several forms, including physical, verbal, and emotional, as well as cyberbullying.

Bullying has the potential to have a severe effect on the mental health of the targeted victims, leading to feelings of isolation, fear, restlessness, anxiety, overthinking, depression, and in some rare cases, even suicide.

Therefore, it may be concluded that this is not right. Thus, it’s important to get assistance if you or someone you know is either facing bullying or becoming a bully. It can be stopped, and the people affected can get the treatment they need with the correct kind of support.

Different Types of Bullying

Bullying can differ variably:

  1. Verbal Bullying – This type of bullying involves the use of words to hurt, threaten, tease or embarrass another person. It can take the form of name-calling, mocking, spreading rumours, teasing and insulting.
  2. Physical Bullying – This type of bullying involves physical contact such as pushing, shoving, hitting, kicking and slapping. It also includes stealing someone’s possessions or damaging their property.
  3. Social Bullying – This type of bullying includes tactics such as intentionally excluding someone from a group or activity, spreading rumours about them online or in person, or embarrassing them publicly.
  4. Cyberbullying – This can take place using electronic means, such as the Internet or mobile phones, to harass, intimidate, or harm a victim. Cyberbullying can include sending threatening or cruel messages, posting humiliating photos or videos and creating fake accounts to harass someone online.

Causes of Bullying

Bullying isn’t caused by just one factor or cause. In fact, it can be caused by several different factors and causes, some of which are listed below:

  1. May be due to learned behaviour and observations: In some cases, it may be due to learned behaviour from observing others around them, such as in the family or at school. 
  2. May be due to personal issues: For others, it could be stemming from personal issues such as feeling insecure or threatened in some way. 
  3. May be due to obsession with controlling others: Bullying can also be a way for someone to try and establish dominance over others.
  4. May be due to a lack of empathy: Some people who bully may have difficulty empathising with others, leading them to view their victims as less than human.
  5. May be due to a need for attention: For some, bullying could be a way of gaining attention, which they may not get enough of at home or in other areas of their lives.

Whatever the cause may be, it’s important to understand that bullying is never acceptable and can have serious consequences for both the victim and the perpetrator. 

Effects of Bullying on Mental Health

The long-term effects of bullying can be serious and negatively impact a person’s mental health. Here are some common effects of being bullied on mental health: 

  • Development Of Mental Health Problems: Bullying has been related to the onset of mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder.
  • Low Self-Esteem: Bullying holds the potential to make a person feel worthless, as though they don’t matter to anyone and are a waste of space. This leads to a general lack of confidence and a sense of being inadequate.
  • Trouble Sleeping: Victims of bullying may have difficulty sleeping due to fear or anxiety about facing their bullies the next day.
  • Finding It Hard To Concentrate: Isolation and difficulty focusing on academic or professional tasks are two additional outcomes of bullying.
  • Thoughts Of Self-Harm Or Suicide: In extreme cases, feelings of isolation, depression, and hopelessness caused by bullying can lead to suicidal thoughts or behaviours.
  • Experiencing Physical Health Problems: One might even find himself experiencing physical health problems, such as fatigue, etc.

What are the other Consequences of Bullying?

  • Substance abuse: Bullying can also lead to the development of unhealthy coping mechanisms such as substance abuse. Bullied individuals are at increased risk of turning to drugs or alcohol as a way of coping with their feelings of powerlessness and low self-esteem.
  • Depression: It even has the potential of leading both the victim as well as the bully to depression. Victims often feel a sense of hopelessness and powerlessness, while bullies may feel guilt and a lack of control over their behaviour.
  • Bulimia nervosa: It can even lead one to face eating disorders. Victims of bullying often develop eating disorders such as anorexia or bulimia as a way of dealing with their body image issues.
  • Self-harm: Self-harm is a common coping mechanism for those who have been bullied. It is often seen as a way of regaining control over one’s body and life.
  • Suicide: The most extreme consequence of bullying is suicide. Individuals who are repeatedly bullied often feel like there is no way out and that ending their life is the only solution.

How to Overcome Bullying?

Bullying is a major problem that can have serious consequences for both the victim and the bully. You can take a hint from the following mentioned ways to protect yourself from being bullied:

Reach out to a support system. Bullying can be very isolating, but it’s important to remember that you’re not alone. You can talk to someone you trust about what’s going on, like a parent, teacher, school counsellor, or friend. Talking about what’s happening can help you feel better and figure out what to do next and can help you get emotional support.

Stand up for yourself. Standing up for yourself will boost your self-confidence, and even make the bully cease his bullying.

Ignore the bully. If you don’t give the bully the attention they seek, they may get bored and move on, which is good news for you.

Get involved in activities and hobbies that make you feel good about yourself. Doing things that make you happy can help boost your self-confidence and make it easier to ignore bullies.

Report bullying to an adult. Don’t be afraid to tell a trusted adult what’s going on so they can help you address the situation.

Follow all these steps and become self-reliant and confident. Never back down against bullies and have confidence in yourself that you can fight it!


Bullying has a major effect on mental health, with both short-term and long-term consequences. It may cause one to experience emotions of alienation, anxiety, depression, fear, a lack of confidence, and even suicidal ideation. If you or someone you know is facing bullying, they must seek professional help and learn coping strategies that can protect their mental health in the future.