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Long-Term Effects of Bullying on Teens

teen talking with a therapist about the effects of bullying

Did you know the long-term effects of bullying can affect the lives of your teens long after they graduate from high school? That’s why teen treatment programs for bullying are offered by mental health centers, even though being a victim of bullying is not equal to a mental health diagnosis.

Being bullied can be heartbreaking and miserable for those targeted. But many adults, unless they too have been bullied in their younger years, have a hard time understanding just how much teens can suffer, even after the bullying situation has passed. They fail to realize that the consequences of bullying are significant and can have a lasting impact, especially if the traumatic memories associated with the bullying behavior aren’t processed with professional help. Looking for teen treatment programs for bullying in Colorado? Contact Imagine Fort Collins today by calling 970.680.5887 or reaching out to our team online.

What Are the Long-Term Effects of Bullying on Mental Health?

Studies show that some long-term effects of bullying exist. In fact, one study found that the consequences of being bullied may have a greater impact on mental health in adulthood than most people think. It’s important to remember that the experiences that people have when they’re young can mold them into the adults they later become. There’s it’s not so surprising that being bullied results in effects that linger well into adulthood. Below are just some of the long-term effects of being bullied as a teen:

  • Academic impact: Teens who are bullied often suffer academically. Bullied teens struggle to focus on their schoolwork, and slipping grades is one of the first signs that a teen is being bullied. Additionally, bullied teens may skip school or classes to avoid their bullies.
  • Emotional and social impact: Teens who are repeatedly targeted by bullies often suffer socially and emotionally. Not only do they find it hard to begin and maintain friendships, but they also struggle to balance their emotions. Bullying victims tend to experience a wide range of emotions. Consequently, they may skip classes and self-medicate with drugs and alcohol to numb their pain. If the bullying situation is ongoing, they may even develop depression and contemplate suicide.
  • Impact on family: When a teen is bullied, it’s not uncommon for their parents and siblings to also be affected. Parents often feel a sense of failure because they’re powerless to fix the situation. Multiple family members may also feel alone or isolated or become obsessed with the abusive situation — often at the expense of their own health and well-being.
  • Physical impact: Aside from the bumps and bruises that occur during physical bullying, bullied teens often experience anxiety. This causes stress on their bodies, which can result in a variety of health issues—including being sick more often and suffering from ulcers and other conditions caused by persistent anxiety.

How Can Teens Deal With the Effects of Bullying?

Now that you know what the effects of bullying are, it may be easier to understand why some parents, guardians, and school staff members choose to have their bullied teen participate in treatment programs for bullying as mental health centers.

These treatment programs provide the best way for teens to learn how to deal with the effects of bullying through the following interventions:

  • Counseling: If parents and school staff members can’t do so effectively, usually it is a counselor’s job to attempt to gain a teen’s trust and help them figure out an effective way to deal with a bullying situation.
  • Family therapy: If being bullied has affected a teen’s family dynamics, or if their family could be more supportive but somehow isn’t, family therapy can aid in expanding their communication habits and conflict resolution skills.
  • One-on-one talk therapy: If the bullying has left a significant impact on your teen, changing their mood and behavior considerably, it may be time to consider bringing your teen to a professional. Talk therapy can help your teen understand that their negative behaviors, feelings, and thoughts are unwanted and detrimental. It can also help them build the strength and emotional resilience to reject these unwanted behaviors, feelings, and thoughts and instead embrace healthy coping mechanisms.
  • Social skills training: Learning how to interact with the world and with others, especially in stressful situations, is important. Bullies will pick on a teen who is weakest, not physically or mentally, but socially. Teens must learn to be both respectful and empathic while also being confident in themselves and their ability to resolve conflicts.

When Should You Consider a Teen Treatment Program for Bullying?

Again, taking part in a teen treatment program for bullying can help teens handle the effects of bullying on their mental health. Ideally, both bullies and victims should undergo treatment because bullies have their reasons for acting the way they do and often also need professional help. But while it may be hard for a bullying victim to admit that an abusive situation is happening, it’s even harder for a bully to admit that what they’re doing is wrong and is indicative of them needing treatment.

The effects of bullying are not temporary or short-lived. Bullying has serious effects on a teen’s physical and mental health, as well as their behavioral and emotional well-being—and these effects can stick around until they’re an adult. A teen treatment program for bullying can help them stand up to their bully and even improve their future.

Reach Out to Imagine Fort Collins Today

If you’re searching for teen treatment programs for bullying in Colorado, contact Imagine Fort Collins today. Call 970.680.5887 or reach out to our team online.