Repeated threats, physical or verbal attacks, rumors, and exclusion all fall into the category of bullying. Unfortunately, in recent years, bullying has become prevalent at college campuses, and according to the National Center for Educational Statistics, approximately 20% of all students reported being bullied in 2016.
Bullying is considered a type of psychological, as well as physical harassment that is linked to various mental health challenges, and in more serious cases, even suicide. While the relationship between suicide and bullying is not one of a cause and an effect, there is a certainly a correlation. In Washington State, suicide rates jumped by 7 percent between the year of 1999 and 2014, as reported by the Seattle Times, and numbers continue to rise as at least two young people between the ages of 10 and 24 take their own life on a weekly basis.
The Association Between Bullying and Mental Health
The impact of bullying has manifold long-term negative effects on the victim, which range from physical ailments, such as high-blood pressure and a low immune system, and psychological symptoms including depression, anxiety, and loneliness. All of these physical and mental repercussions of bullying rob young adults of joy, and make it hard for them to face their college days with enthusiasm and fervor for life.
Some of the most common mental challenges that may arise due to bullying are various types of anxiety disorders like post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), panic attacks, and even depression. All these conditions carry a host of unpleasant manifestations such as insomnia and nightmares, stomach aches, fatigue, and restlessness, which can impede social interaction among young adults, and even stymie their educational progress.
Bullying and Suicide
According to a study conducted by Yale University, victims of bullying are 2 to 9 times more likely to entertain the thought of suicide than non-victims. Also, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that approximately 4,400 young people take their own life annually, which makes suicide the third leading cause of death among the youth.
While bullying alone is not the leading cause of suicide among young people, it does contribute a great deal to it along with a variety of additional stressors that may stem from family or romantic relationships, as well as school pressure.
Bullying is a dire problem that ails our society. To avoid long-term repercussions of this type of victimization, make sure to address the problem as soon as it arises. Reach out to college counselors, teachers, peers you trust, and parents to help you overcome this social affliction.