By Hannah Eres and Celine Rouphael
Mental bullying involves bullying yourself inside your mind - putting yourself down and thinking horribly about yourself are just a few examples. You are the bully and the victim. Thinking badly about yourself can influence your actions - for example, you might not bother putting in any effort into your maths test because you say to yourself, "No matter what I do, I will fail, because I am a failure." Because you have told yourself you won't succeed, you won't and you'll end up feeling even worse than before.
Social bullying can occur verbally or non-verbally It involves rumors being spread, being left out or having no attention given to you. It may start off without the victim noticing because it occurs with a close group of mates - friends not responding to texts, or saying they can’t meet up with you every time you ask. The victim may take a little while to realize what is actually happening, as the factors aren’t always crystal clear. Sometimes people will just say it to your face, and tell you how they feel without considering your feelings.
Physical bullying is a type of bullying, where you are being injured constantly by the one person or group. It can involve punching, kicking, choking, etc. but can also involve having your possesions destroyed, damaged or stolen.
What happens to people who bully?
What happens to bystanders?
What happens to the environment?
How does bullying affect you mentally?
Bullying can make you fear other's opinions of you. It can make you feel powerless and even worthless. Lots of children in this situation don't feel as if school is safe, and refuse to attend. Those victims who do go to school - reluctantly - may be failing class, just because they feel as if their life is pointless. Every hit the victim receives(physically and metaphorically) lowers their self-perception (self esteem). People suffering can have nightmares about the day ahead will bring. In more severe cases, bullying can lead to depression - a serious mental illness affecting people of varying ages. Depression is not as simple as feeling down or a little blue, it must be diagnosed and involves your whole world and everyone in it becoming your enemy and, in numerous but very intense situations, can result in suicidal thoughts/actions. Bullying can cause serious resilience issues, along with the increased rate of "substance abuse" - whatever the substance may be.
How does bullying affect you physically?
How does bullying affect you socially?
Why do people bully?
How to Cope With Bullying?
Depending on the type of person, you may be able to handle bullying extremely well and won’t need any help. But, most of the time, people need advice and strategies to overcome bullying.
Here are some strategies:
Talk to someone
Whether it be a family friend or a relative, getting the assistance you need from someone you know and trust can be the best way to go. Having someone's support and - especially from an adult - experience about the matter is crucial.
Sometimes, being assertive is a great option. Confront the bully and tell them that what they are doing is wrong (but not in an aggresive way).
Having a friend
Having a friend come along with you where the bullying most commonly occurs will probably scare bullies away - when they see you have someone to defend you, they will most likely back down and leave you alone.
Humour is on your side
If you are not getting too bogged down by the comments of others, joining in for a laugh can leave them lost for words. For example, somebody continuously labels you dumb, retarded, stupid, etc. A victim who is able to respond calmly could fake-agree with this person and jokingly asking the bully to tutor them. Most bullies will be shocked as they would never guess someone would bash themselves along with them, and will have no way of responding.
Which Health Resources Can Support You?
A doctor - your GP, for example - although this is not their most refined area of expertise, should be able to give you a few strategies to solve some of your issues.
Your parents/guardians are much older than you are, and have seen the world from many different angles and perspectives. Most children don't consider the fact their parents/guardians were once children themselves, and have experienced these sorts of things throughout their lifetime. They love you and only want what is best for you, and would be happy to sit down and discuss some possible solutions.
If the issue has not cooled down after a lengthy period of time, an appointment with a pyschologist or psychiatrist may be in order. The information you provide them with is strictly confedential and would not be shared with anyone. These people are specialised in different areas and can definitely improve the situation drastically
Problems occur in schoolyards all the time, and someone who can take matters into their own hands is a teacher. A teacher is not only their to teach, but to assist you. They can have a chat to the people concerned in the matter, and patch up the holes which have been made quite nicely.
What's a good website to check out?
The ‘Psychology Today’ organization has many strategies which are helpful but will not backfire. It has a section for parents, stating what they can do to help their child through being bullied. One of the key things about this website is that these strategies can apply to people of any age in any situation.
Another, more reliable organization would be the Department of Education and Training's Bully Stoppers section. It is specifically designed for students/children and not only does it have the impact on bullying towards the victim, but to the bully, bystanders and school's environment. It describes the different types of bullying thoroughly, and what people in certain positons can do to assist or to cope - students, parents, teachers and even principals. Along with that it includes advice sheets, with strategies on how to handle and avoid being bullied.
Department of Education and Training 2013, The Impact of Bullying, Australian Government, Victoria, accessed 3 June 2015, <http://www.education.vic.gov.au/about/programs/bullystoppers/Pages/impact.aspx>.
Kids Helpline 2012, Information Sheet - Mental Health Issues, accessed 1 June 2015, <http://www.kidshelp.com.au/upload/22928.pdf>.
Mental Bullying n.d., No Bullying, accessed 6 June 2015, <http://nobullying.com/mental-bullying/>.
Top Strategies to Handle Bullying n.d., Pyschology Today, accessed 1 June 2015, <https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/brainstorm/201003/top-strategies-handling-bully>.
Don't Be a Bully, Be A Friend n.d., Illustration, Australian Curriculum Lessons, accessed 10 June 2015, <www.australiancurriculumlessons.com.au>.