It is always the goal of this blog to be informative. At the same time, I want to share my experiences on the topic in question. I wanted to write today about the realities of bullying and effects it can have on mental health when we are younger.
It was different when I was a kid. The technology that our kids (whether they be your child, a niece, or a nephew) have at their disposal changed the game when it came to bullying
Any expert will tell you that bullying at a young age can cause serious emotional distress. and even develop into mental disabilities.
I can remember some level of bullying when I was a child. In my own experiences, I am not sure if it affected my mental illness as much. In middle school, the bullying I received could have been one reason for later issues. It could be why in high school I became a loner introvert. When depression became a constant companion in my teenage year’s bullying didn’t help.
In my own experiences. Other things in my childhood have more bearing in what were causes in my mental illness, but I won’t discuss that here.
In my middle school years my bullying was for being geeky (I played video games and D & D) had some bearing.
It’s different in today’s world. I can remember in my early twenties with MySpace and Facebook online bullying was taking shape. I am going to age myself a bit. I can also remember when chat rooms were big when I was a teenager. It often was a place for online bullying for those that were different.
Bullying can cause so much damage at a young age. It could interfere with social development. I became more myself when I was alone. I reveled in it. But it made it harder for me to be social in high school. It’s one of the causes of my social anxiety now.
It can hurt your self-esteem the more bullying takes place in your life. I know the bullying I received in middle school for being a teacher’s pet or a geek it often made me depressed. I can even remember times when I was anxious to go school during my high school years.
I remember once talking on MySpace about my cutting and self-harm. I got such negative remarks from people because it’s such a taboo subject. The ridicule I received was that of an outsider in the normal world. When I took such lengths at such a young age (my teenage and first years of adulthood) it people used it against me. So I became more secretive and hid in shame.
In the last ten years, I have seen bullying turn to mental health issues for others on a global scale. I have seen people bullied online for going through depression or self-harm. People tend to not realize that those of us who talk about these issues might be reaching out. Talking about self-harm or suicide might be the last ditch hope to have someone listen.
The biggest thing I want to talk about here is for parents. It’s important to talk about bullying with your kids. It is paramount if your kids are starting to show signs of mental illness. If you are looking for things like prolonged depression or constant anxiety it will show up. You can watch. Ask questions.
Don’t be afraid to check your teen’s social media. It is the biggest place that I have seen the most bullying in today’s world. I can’t imagine going through bullying during the day at school. Then you go online and you subjected to bullying there too. So many teens spend so much time in the digital world it’s become the breeding ground of online bullying.
We see the stories all the time, and I mean those of us in the mental health community. Kids so young taking their lives because bullying is such a major part of their daily routine. It becomes too much and we lose human beings who only want to be kids.
This saddens me that so many young kids and teens are losing hope and turning to suicide. Bullying is a big part of this problem. I am not a parent but I have nieces at the elementary, middle, and high school levels. Sometimes the most silent of us is being hurt the most. Words can cut deep. It’s important for parents to be active in their child’s life. Down the road, it could lead to an undiagnosed mental illness.
I was twenty-two when I was first diagnosed and no one realized I was in a bad place for so many years.
This part of the post is for those that are suffering from bullying and see no way out.
Get help. It’s important.
Writing my memoir has made me realize a lot of things. If I would have talked to my parents about how deep my depression was at fourteen I might have gotten the help I needed. I struggled so much because I left things unsaid. It was until I was in my early twenties before it got so out of control that I chose to commit suicide.
With technology overwhelming us with so much negative every day and with so much bullying online, its become a major issue. The human beings that we are losing are getting younger and younger.
On both sides, parents, and kids, the most important thing is to communicate with one another. It was a different world I grew up in. The stigma was tougher for those of suffering and it was easier to not talk about a mental illness. But this thinking in my mind now is wrong. You must talk about bullying and how it can lead to a mental illness down the road in your own life.
That’s the biggest mistake you can make in this life.
I am speaking to parents, children, teens, young adults, and even adults. We say such hurtful thing to one another on social media as adults. What are we teaching our children?
Learn from the mistakes I made.
I write these blog posts because the topics mean a lot to me. I want to be a voice. But those of us in mental illness community that have experience, have to be a more active voice for the younger generation.
I am adding a new thing to my blog. I will ask my fellow bloggers to share their own experiences with bullying and mental illness. Not just in my comments on this blog. In your own blog space.
I challenge you to, if you can, share your own experiences and add to what kids, teens, and young adults can do to combat bullying in a technological world.
Always keep fighting.