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Bullying Abuse: Connection Between Addiction And Bullying

Both bullying and addiction are severe problems with a complex relationship, with both influencing the growth and severity of the other. Particularly, bullying is often both the cause and outcome of mental, physical, and emotional trauma that can lead to substance addiction and bullying abuse.

What Is Bullying?

Typically bullying comprises cycles of abuse or patterns in which the bullying causes the victim. The kind of abuse can be verbal, physical, mental, emotional, or any combination thereof. Bullying has gathered much media attention in recent years. Moreover, bullying-related suicide is not a recent phenomenon, an increasing number of suicides have happened due to bullying currently, and there is an increased awareness of its consequence. Bullying affects both the sufferers who have been bullied and the bullies themselves. Bullying can occur to both children and adults. Bullying in the workplace can affect the financial health and well-being of those affected. Roughly seventy percent of workplace bullies are male, and sixty-one percent are bosses.

Adolescent Bullying

According to a study, a student is bullied every seven minutes. Approximately 1,200,000 high school dropouts happen each year because of bullying. In addition, there are 500,000 suicide attempts yearly and 5,300 suicides in relation to adolescents define bullied. Roughly forty to sixty percent of children are bullied, and seventy-five percent of school shooters are either bullies or victims. Unfortunately, suicide stays the second leading reason of death among teenagers and continues to get worse. Nonetheless, having anti-bullying programs in schools can reduce bullying by twenty-five to fifty percent.

Types Of Bullying

Bullying is repeated exposure to bullying examples such as cruel words, violence, exclusion, manipulation, and other harmful behaviors. There are various kinds of bullying behaviors that can affect victims. Some of the ways bullies can harm people are:


Examples contain kicking, hitting, punching, pinching, slapping, pushing, spitting, and vandalizing property.


Examples of verbal bullying are name-calling, insulting, mocking, harsh teasing, racist, homophobic comments, and intimidating or threatening remarks.


Examples of social bullying include “ganging up on” the victim, keeping the victim from social events, gossiping, starting rumors about the victim, damaging someone’s reputation, and humiliation through embarrassing photos and mean jokes.


Cyberbullying includes hacking accounts and humiliating others through unkind, abusive, and hurtful text messages, online posts, comments, gossip, or rumors, spamming someone’s online accounts, and stalking social media accounts.

Relational Aggression

It includes sneaky, undermining passive aggressive comments which are aimed at causing harm. This can be hard to detect as this method of bullying is subtle. Breaking confidences, social manipulation, and emotional bullying are other examples.


Examples of bully sexual include calling people harsh names related to sexuality, slut-shaming, inappropriate touching, unsolicited sexual text messages, crude comments about sexual orientation or sexual attractiveness, sharing sexual rumors or pictures, or using blackmail to gain sexual access. Unwanted touching and sexual assault are other instances of sexual bullying.

These kinds of bullying can lead to deep-seated trauma and more bitter episodes of abusive behavior. Also, victims of bullies can become bullies to protect themselves, perpetuating the abuse process. Such bitter experiences with bullying could lead to unhealthy coping mechanisms, like dropping out of school, turning to substances, or quitting work.

Effects Of Bullying On Bully Victims

A study noted children who are perceived as different were more likely to be targeted by bullies. Children who have been bullied report lower grades in school, anxiety, depression, and other mental health problems. There were also noted incidents of substance abuse, namely alcohol consumption and nicotine use, among children who were bullied due to the trauma they endured.

Studies link school shootings with effects on the bully, citing “12 of 15 school shooter cases had a history of being bullied.” In current years, the connection between suicide in adolescents as an outcome of bullying has made headlines. Adults who have been bullied can encounter similar symptoms, like stress, poor work function, mental health problems, eating disorders, and decreased social skills.

Effects Of Bullying On Bullies

Bullies are also impacted by bullying in various ways. In some cases, the effects of bullying on bullies as they are victims of parental abuse, harm, and neglect. In turn, bullies harm others, as they have learned how to bully from the comfort of their homes. Kids who bully others may not always be victims but are more probably to abuse harmful substances, like alcohol and drugs, which can lead to addiction. Moreover, bullies are more likely to have an earlier onset of sexual activity, earn more traffic citations, become criminals, get into fights, and drop out of school.

Bullying, Mental Health, And Behavioral Health

Relationship bullying breaks down a person’s self-esteem, deforms their self-image, and triggers a host of mental and behavioral conditions. It produces dangerous and stressful settings for the victim. Feelings of stress and anxiety can disrupt the victim’s mental state and result in cortisol being released in the body. As per the E3 Scholarship Fund, there is a different set of behaviors and consequences bullying has on the mind, which comprise but are not limited to:

  • Insecurity
  • Anger
  • Low self-esteem
  • Resentment
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Suicidal thoughts

Other problems like low self-worth, isolation, hopelessness, and suicide can occur in response to feeling such emotions. Depression, for instance, can bring about a drinking problem. Thirty to forty percent of people with an alcohol use disorder suffer from depressive disorders. As a result of such complex and stressful emotions, a person who has been bullied may look for techniques to self-medicate, such as teen bullying treatment.

Get Help For Bullying-Related Addiction

Bullying and substance abuse create distressing signs that can be lifelong. Children who abuse alcohol and drugs are more likely to retain a chemical dependence in their later years. If your child goes through substance use disorders or a loved one fights addiction due to bullying, you may want to assess treatment options such as bully rehab. A facility would screen patients for other probable underlying factors leading to substance abuse and give counseling and bully meds into getting to the root of the problem. Do not delay and start the steps towards treatment.

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