Harmful Effects of Bullying at School

Published: 07th April 2011
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Self loathing and underachievement is a common sequelae to bullying in school. Children develop a very low self esteem when everybody laughs at someone who makes their life a misery and enjoys destroying the self confidence. It is hard to understand how someone can be so cruel.

Self esteem will fade through the period of bullying. There is a point of no return where the child is so utterly humiliated and has such a low self worth, that they will always live life in fear preventing them becoming everything that they could be. There is deep psychological scarring that may never be undone. It is a lonely place indeed when one is forced to turn away from society at a very important time in social development. the scars may never heal. Underachievement will be ingrained and life will become one chronic coping strategy designed to live with the expectation of failure.

This fear of living leads to more serious psychosis that can directly result in self induced physical harm such as anorexia nervosa or suicide. There is a deep seated self loathing that developed as a consequence of the unwavering bombardment of emotional abuse as well as physical pain and humiliation. You cannot improve and grow as a person if you lack self confidence and develop a self loathing whenever you look at yourself in the mirror. Bullying destroys self confidence. The fear of failure becomes entrenched in the bullied child. The child becomes afraid to try for fear of being humiliated by the bully. The child will never learn to recogniose opportunities and lose the confidence and desire to pursue them.

The simplest things in life become all too much. The unfortunate person with low self worth becomes totally overwhelmed by the challenges of life and the only way of coping is to lock yourself away from society and do nothing.

I was able to overcome the feeling of inadequacy and self loathing that I developed as a consequence of being bullied. Despite the emotional and physical tortue of harrassment, brutality and humiliation, I was able to overcome my self loathing and go on to succeed in my life....but I was lucky. Walking into a school for the first time in two decades with my little boy brought back long forgotten memories of the fear and sadness I had learned to endure. I recognised the distant look in his eyes and the body language of "overwhelm" and depression that had previously not been common in my boy.

Sitting on the front step crying was my son who did not wantto go to school. His bottom lip quivered as he fought back the tears. His shoulders were stooped and his little face was a picture of sadness. There was no spark suggesting he was excited about joining his new cohorts in a day of colouring in and playing in kindergarten. I recognised immediately what was wrong since I had lived that sadness and fear and anxiety for more than a decade myself. The symptoms I knew well.

When I questioned him about how much he liked school and whether he had any friends and whether anybody was being mean to him, the tears flowed. An overwhelming tide of emotion and frustration was released. The advantage in being four years old is that you are not quite so acutely aware of what society imposes on our personalities, that is "boys don't cry". He told me of how several boys had decided to gang up on him and tease him and bash him.

I felt pretty bad about it. It is just so hard to know what to say or do to help yopur child. Pain both emotional and physical is such a personal experience.


Stop bullying at school and learn about the harmful effects of bullying

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