Bullying at the hands of peers shouldn’t be accepted as a normal part of growing up, and kids shouldn’t be expected to just “get over it.” The trauma is so great that bullied kids may experience emotional scars that remain with them throughout life.
Research on the long-term effects of bullying on school age children has been limited, but the matter has drawn more attention in recent years. According to recent studies in the United States, where approximately 10 percent of children experience frequent bullying, the risk of emotional problems down the road for bullied kids are four times greater than for kids who experience abuse at the hands of adults.
Similarly, a nationwide study conducted in Finland indicates that 20 percent of adults bullied in childhood develop mental health problems serious enough to warrant treatment in their teens or early adult years, and more than 10 percent go on to be diagnosed with a psychiatric disorder by the time they reach their thirties.
Similar research in the U.K. suggests that bullied kids are 60 percent more likely to develop emotional problems as adults. Adults who were bullied as kids have a higher risk of developing disorders such as anxiety, depression and schizophrenia, and also are more likely to attempt suicide.