Bullying – Let’s Build Awareness and prevention

January is one of the most depressing months of the year. If you deal with depression year round, then today is just another day to get through. But for millions of people who are generally happy, and don’t struggle with mental illnesses  – today might STILL be the day you wished you stayed in bed. Depression is hard enough, and if you are dealing with adversity or other battles, such as Bullying, it can make today (and these cold, winter months) that much more debilitating and even more depressing.

 

Bullying Sucks.

Bullying is intentionally being maliciously mean to another person over and over again. Bullying often includes:

  • Teasing
  • Talking about hurting someone
  • Spreading rumors
  • Leaving people out on purpose
  • Attacking someone by hitting them or yelling at them
  • Threatening someone
  • Destroying someone else’s property

Nowadays, Bullying does not always happen in person. Cyberbullying is a type of bullying that happens online, through text messages, emails or social media. It includes posting rumors on sites like Facebook, sharing embarrassing pictures or videos, and making fake profiles or websites.

Over 3.2 million students are victims of bullying each year.

  • 1 in 10 students drop out of school because of repeated bullying.
  • It is estimated that 160,000 children miss school every day due to fear of attack or intimidation by other students. Source: National Education Association.
  • Bullying statistics say revenge is the strongest motivation for school shootings.

Bullying hurts.

Statistics show us that 1 in 10 drop out of school each year because bullying gets so bad, but 10 in 10 have the potential to be bullied. 1 in 5 struggle with mental illness, but 5 in 5 have mental health.  And someone who experiences bullying is a lot more likely to struggle with depression, anxiety, panic attacks, self harm, thoughts of suicide, and even attempted suicide. Everyone knows someone. These struggles are sadly so common. So why not talk about it? 

A little support can create a lot of change.

  • Don’t be a bystander. This can give bullying an audience, which encourages the behavior. Instead of laughing or watching, you can let the bully know such behavior is NOT okay.
  • Help them get a way from the bully. There are several ways to do this, depending on the situation. Remember to only do this if you feel safe to do so, and never use violence to help the person get away.
    • It can be as simple as walking up and saying something like “Hey, where’s your next class?” or “Mr. so-and-so is looking for you, they need to see you right now. Let’s go.”
    • You can create a distraction so that the bullying doesn’t have an audience, and give everyone a chance to focus on something else.
  • Tell a trusted adult, such as a teacher, the school counselor, or a parent. They can intervene and also be a support.
  • Set a good example. Bullying is not cool. Be a leader and help set that example. You can also take it a step further and get involved in anti-bullying activities and projects.
  • Be their friend. They may really need one. It can be as simple as just being nice and friendly to them, which can go a long way.

Learn more about how to STOP bullying and be an advocate at StopBullying.gov

Seeking Help.

Don’t let the Stigma of bullying, mental health, or going to therapy keep you from getting the help you need and deserve! There are several treatment options, some that don’t even involve much talking, such as EMDR, SandTray therapy, and Heart-Centered Hypnotherapy – that can help you process and desensitize your disturbing bullying experiences. The results I’ve experienced are amazing and very powerful!

If you’re not ready to seek help, that’s okay too. I, for one, didn’t start seeking help until I was in college. We are all on different pages, and in different chapters of our own healing and recovery. You don’t always have a choice if you struggle with bullying and its side effects, but you DO have a choice of how to cope with it. Remember, you are not alone.

Find a therapist near you, here.


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