This blog post on bullying and mental health was kindly written by Stephanie from Happy Beginnings. For full details of her work and social media handles please see below.
Mental health is important at every stage in our lives: from childhood to old age. It has the capacity to impact our behaviour emotionally, psychologically, and socially. Throughout our lifetime, many factors contribute to our mental health. One of these issues is bullying and it can have a long-lasting effect depending on severity.
Personal Experiences of Bullying
The most common types of bullying I have encountered are: physical and social. Both types have had devastating emotional effects on my mental health. Physical is easiest to identify because it is unambiguous and the intentions are clear. It is the most understood form of bullying. However, the social kind can be difficult to notice because it is almost invisible to detect. From my own experience, girls used social bullying to gain social hierarchy. And it was always emotionally destructive to my mental health.
Speaking personally, I have dealt with the social aspect all my life. It started in my early teenage years, progressively worsening in my 20’s, and now it has finally thinned out as I’m maturing. Because of this, I feel less worthy during interactions with people. As a disabled individual, I do not have the courage to speak up for myself due to my naivety. Over the years, it took a toll on my mental health. The most common symptoms I experience are isolation, being ostracized, anxiety, depression. And fearing to stand up for myself.
The road to recovery was a long painful process. I researched articles on mental health issues. Now, my main priority is accepting myself. And being happy on a daily basis. I, slowly, decided to cut ties with anyone or anything that has a negative impact on my life. Because the more I removed all the negative energy the less weight I have upon my shoulders. My confidence and self-worth returned when I realised I no longer need approval from these negative influences.
In conclusion, bullying and mental health go hand in hand. It takes years for an individual to fully understand the connection and long term consequences. The symptoms are there. However, we sometimes overlook them because some cultures consider talking about mental health issues a taboo.
For four ways to check in with your mental health read here.
For inspirational quotes for your mental health read here.
What do you think about bullying and mental health? What are the connections and what should we do to help?
This post was written by Stephanie from Happy Beginnings blog. You can connect with Stephanie on Twitter.