Bullying and Your Health
According to Field ([2002-2004, Web site (accessed 21/08/06): www.bullyonline.org/workbully/amibeing.htm):
‘Bullying causes injury to health and makes you ill. How many of these symptoms do you have?
- Constant high levels of stress and anxiety
- Frequent illness such as viral infections especially flu and glandular fever, colds, coughs, chest, ear, nose and throat infections (stress plays havoc with your immune system)
- Aches and pains in the joints and muscles with no obvious cause; also back pain with no obvious cause and which won’t go away or respond to treatment
- Headaches and migraines
- Tiredness, exhaustion, constant fatigue
- Sleeplessness, nightmares, waking early, waking up more tired than when you went to bed
- Flashbacks and replays, obsessiveness, can’t get the bullying out of your mind
- Irritable bowel syndrome
- Skin problems such as eczema, psoriasis, athlete’s foot, ulcers, shingles, urticaria
- Poor concentration, can’t concentrate on anything for long
- Bad or intermittently-functioning memory, forgetfulness, especially with trivial day-to-day things
- Sweating, trembling, shaking, palpitations, panic attacks
- Tearfulness, bursting into tears regularly and over trivial things
- Uncharacteristic irritability and angry outbursts
- Hyper vigilance (feels like but is not paranoia), being constantly on edge
- Hypersensitivity, fragility, isolation, withdrawal
- Reactive depression, lethargy, hopelessness, anger, futility and more
- Shattered self-confidence, low self-worth, low self-esteem, loss of self-love, etc.
According to Witheridge (2001: 9), depression, suicidal thoughts and divorce are reported as being common symptoms or phenomena and children often receive less attention. Indeed it is not uncommon, suggests Witheridge (2001: 9), for the victim to have murderous thoughts about their abuser. Yet ironically and unfortunately for those who are severely affected, suicide is a more likely outcome as these thoughts are turned inwards towards the self.