The Effects of Bullying

by Elizabeth Welz

The Wall Street Journal released an article in 2012 highlighting that we may have a “bullying crisis” in the United States. After reviewing our society and how it has changed within four years, has anything improved?
The idea of bullying being bad has been ingrained in the brains of the youth in this country. They have been lectured multiple times on the long term effects of bullying, but they’ve also continued on their path of bullying and destruction. With the crisis seeming to only rise, it is important to remember that the youth of America, although they may be the future, learn and model the behavior of the adults around them.
According to the Dealing With Bullying web site, the problem is that children are learning destructive behavior from the adult influence in their lives. When that happens, children hold the power to influence and change the course of their peers’ lives. That change can impact their peer’s future and more likely than not the change is negative. It is important to note the ongoing struggle that child and adult victims of bullying endure. According to an article published by the Huffington Post, although bullying may be known as the typical occurrence of growing up, it can lead to negative effects on someone’s mental health.
In an interview with the Huffington Post, Dr. William Copeland, a clinical psychologist at Duke University Medical Center, explains the long term effects that bullying has on a person. “To my surprise at least, there were some very strong long-term effects on their risk for depression, anxiety, suicidality, a whole host of outcomes that we know just wreak havoc on adult lives,” stated Copeland.
It’s apparent that bullying is harmful to a child’s development and can have many negative impacts on that child’s future. However, little is being done to help prevent these situations. As someone who has felt the impact of bullying, it is painful and unfortunate to find that not much is being done. Children’s environment and influences are what impact their actions. What brings me hope is that there is a chance to break the vicious cycle and a chance for children and other bullying victims to be able to live their lives to the fullest without fear.