Bullying and Mental Illness

I believe bullying can exasperate the severity of mental illness. I know in my case it was very damaging to my mental well-being. Being sensitive and having a kind heart can be seen as a weakness by potential bullies. They find us and then have their way with our already fragile self-esteem. The bullying started in high school from the ages of 14-16 which was when I experienced the worst of it. I have also been a victim of bullying in the work place. It really does scar you. It has made me hyper-vigilant around groups of men. I’m always looking out for potential bullies. It’s like an automatic impulse (Complex PTSD). I’m 35 now and it still affects me to this very day. Sure I have worked on these issues in therapy, but it’s still a struggle.

Has Bullying made your Mental Illness worse?

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22 Replies to “Bullying and Mental Illness”

  1. Yes I agree and it takes many forms. Sometimes bullying is so insidious. People like to think they’re being funny. Oh I was just joking! Oh can’t you take a joke for heaven’s sake! Don’t know how many times I’ve heard that one after some particularly nasty comment.

  2. I am sorry to read of your experience at the hands of bullies JR, and that it affects you still. Both my children were bullied. I have written numerous posts on the topic of bullying. If you’d like to stop in and visit I’d be delighted to hear your comments. I’m glad you’ve decided to share your story. All to often people make light of bullying, making it out to be a bit of fun as you’ve pointed out but it is far from fun, it is a horrible form of socially accepted abuse.

  3. I’ve experienced workplace bullying, and while I’ve come a long way in processing what happened, it still affects me, and makes me reluctant to trust people.

  4. I experienced online bullying, in my 50s, in a place I was trying to use as a safe-space while going through a very bad time. There was no pretext of “kidding.” It was just nasty from the start. It went on for years. I “got over it”, and new bad times have pushed the old aside, and while I can see it was about “them” and not me… I am still scarred. It still impacts how I interact with people, both online and in “the real” world. It has affected how I react to office politics. I’ve always had trust issues, for good reason, and my episode just deepened those issues. It wasn’t “just” the main bully, but there was a small ring of co-trolls/stalkers (people who claimed you can’t do real harm to people online), but some of the most damage came from people who condoned the behavior, in one way or another. The worst were the “good” people who couldn’t see there was a difference between the target and the bully, mainly because they didn’t read things. This was a stalker bully, one who sought me out. “Ignore them. Don’t feed the trolls,” was said so often and was completely off the mark. Ugh.

    1. Yeah I totally understand. Some of my closest friends at high school were the by standers. I wish they had of stood up for me at the time. I ended up cutting them out of my life because they condoned the behaviour. Your not alone.

      1. Thanks. One of the reasons I stated that I was in my 50s at the time of the bullying/stalking/trolling is that too often when people think of “bullying” they think of children. All ages experience it, especially in this age of anonymity and increased aggression.

      2. Yes I’ve experienced bullying as an Adult as well in the work place. When I worked in a butcher shop and on construction sites. It’s pretty wide spread.

  5. The mention of PTSD caught my eye on this one. When I was completing my Masters in English, I worked on a project involving writing therapy for veterans during which I cross paths with Edward Tick’s book Warrior’s Return. In his book, he points out that childhood traumas experienced by veterans often make them more susceptible to the traumas that cause PTSD. I think there’s something to his theory and I think it applies to depression and anxiety issues as well.

  6. Not only does bullying make mental illness worse, it can be the chief cause in some. PTSD can definitely occur due to prolonged exposure to bullying.

  7. I was bullied in elementary school and some of middle school and I definitely don’t think it helps you as you grow up. I don’t know if it made things worse for me because I didn’t have any experiences of mental illness at the time. But I do think it harms a person with mental health issues. I can definitely agree with that.

  8. I was bullied party in the final year of junior school and really bad bullying all through comprehensive and yes it has affected me. I have blogged about this myself. I was dealing with other issues in comprehensive, which I have blogged about, that was happening while the bullying happened, so I had a lot to contend with. It all played a part.

  9. Grade school through junior high for me. And yes, it certainly affected me. I had very few friends and isolated a lot. That had a major impact on my self esteem, I think.

  10. This happened to me when I was younger and has definitely has had major effects on my adulthood – depression at that time allowed it to reappear whenever I’m going through “a cycle”. It’s worse in my opinion as an adult because when you’re younger your innocence leaves you ignorant to the idea that adults are just as bad at times! Thanks for sharing this!

  11. Yes I agree with you. Ive been bullied from age 5-16. And it took time to regain myself back. Right now my life is back on track and doing better. But there was a time where I didn’t feel like living or worthy of life. I’m doing good now. But it’s the small things where I still see the difference between me and others

  12. I think bullying played a huge part in my self esteem and lack of confidence which in turn lead to a debilitating depression. It was really hard for me to love myself when I constantly heard negative things about myself. It really took a lot of work to get to a point wear I could love myself despite the scars left by every negative comment made about me. However, once I did I was almost completely cured of my depression. With that being said I dont think bullies can affect those who are mentally strong and have a strong self worth. Therefore, a bully can only affect those who struggle with mental illness.

  13. I am so sorry to hear that you are also a victim of bullying. I hope things get better in the furtune for you, and ***Please remember that you are perfect just as you are.

    ** I was also bullied since I was 3 (by my Mom), she calls me stupid & unlikable almost everyday for over 20 years. I have Aspergers (a mild form of autism), so I was kind of slow when I was a kid, I also have some emotional & behavioral issues. Anxiety, obsession & social Awkwardness are some of the other symptoms. **I cry almost everyday, & my mom also compared to my cousin all the time (like how come I am not as smart, beautiful & sociable as my cousin), and I could not stand that.

    My self esteem is also very very low. I can not even talk to or see my relatives in person, and I don’t have friends. That is so sad. It only gotten worse as I grow older. I still cry everyday because that is what I think of whenever I think of my mom even after she past away(that I am stupid & unlikable, and I could not be compared to my cousin).

    ** I know I have many problems due to my disability, but being called stupid & unlikable & compared to my cousin for over 20 years is just too much for me to bear. This was a serious form of bullying. 😥😢

  14. The same thing happened to me. My bullying started in middle school and continued until I graduated high school. It is the cause of my depression and social anxiety and other issues I have. I haven’t experienced so much since then but I still feel like people are always judging me and I have a hard connecting and talking with people still. I am 29

  15. I was bullied in middle school and it didn’t stop until I graduated high school. It was the cause my depression, anxiety and other issues. I have a hard time connecting with people and talking to people because of it. I haven’t experienced it in the workplace but I feel like I do because my mind is always thinking about it.

  16. I’ve experienced bullying as a child and an adult myself and it left me with mental health issues depression and anxiety not nice at all 🙁 and it had a lot
    of impact on myself esteem which can cause major effects on our lives. Thanks for posting !!

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