(Editor’s Note: This blog was written and provided to the Humanity Project by Lisa Bonet, a writer on mental health issues. We believe it focuses on a little understood consequence of bullying. A portion of the article and a link to the full story by Ms. Bonet are included in the post below.)
The mental impact of bullying is well-known, with anxiety and depression in later life being heavily linked with childhood bullying. However, what isn’t as well known is the physical impact bullying can have. Tension headaches, muscle pain, stomach problems and weight fluctuation can all be a physical result of bullying. This startling information indicates that bullying is a huge issue which needs to be stopped in order to save the health of those being bullied. If you’re being bullied or know someone who is, this articletells you the physical affects it can have on you and advice on what you should do. The beginning of the article is here:
Physical Effects Of Bullying
Government figures show that at least a quarter of children experience bullying at school and according to the Workplace Bullying Institute more than a third of adults are bullied in the workplace. While bullying has a serious impact on mental well-being, with victims more prone to anxiety, low mood, disturbed sleep, reduced confidence and problems with low self-esteem, bullying can also trigger a range of physical health problems. From aches and pains to increased susceptibility to infections and digestive upset, experiencing harassment at school or work can leave you more vulnerable to ill-health, which in part explains why you are more likely to take more sick days when bullied. Here we take a look at the physical effects of bullying and why they occur.
The Stress Response
Bullying doesn’t just place you under mental stress; it places your body under physical stress as well. Exposure to stress triggers a series of physical changes within your body, known as the fight-flight response, designed to protect you from danger. In its simplest terms, when your brain recognizes a stressful situation, it stimulates the release of a hormone that encourages your kidneys to release epinephrine. This in turn triggers the release of the stress hormone cortisol, which raises your blood pressure and pulse, increases your blood sugar levels and prepares your muscles for action, while suppressing less essential processes such as immune and digestive function. While these changes are effective at protecting us from danger, when triggered on a daily basis due to bullying, this is bad news for us and explains the physical effects experienced by victims.