People who Were Bullied Could Face Health Issues

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A study published in the Australian Journal of Psychiatry has discovered that adults who were bullied as children are likely to not only suffer from depression and anxiety they will suffer greater chances for physical illness.

The research completed in Australian asked 3,000 adults about their physical and mental health and if they experienced routine bullying by peers as a child. Almost 19 percent reported that they had been victims of regular and traumatizing bullying, either physical or verbal.

It is uncertain exactly how bullying leads to physical health problems, says the study’s lead author, Dr. Stephen Allison, a researcher in the department of psychiatry at Flinders University of South Australia. Allison suspects that the daily stress of being bullied can translate into long-term damage to your body.

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Researchers believe it can be traced back to the fight-or-flight response. When the brain senses a threat, it activates that response which can increase in hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline. The heart speeds up, muscles tense, blood vessels narrow and digestive system slows down. The changes brought about by chronic stress can also lead to increased inflammation and a weaker immune system making you more susceptible to colds.

Allison found that adults who’d were bullied as children reported poorer health in general that got in the way of both work and leisure activities. Those bullied were more likely to report body aches and pains and to complain of low energy levels and fatigue.

Bullied kids are more prone to feelings of loneliness, depression and low self-esteem, as well as physical ills like headaches, abdominal pain, nausea, and recurrent upper respiratory infections and sore throats.

Bullying is widespread in American schools, with more than 16 percent of U.S. school children saying they had been bullied by other students during the current term, according to a survey funded by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development.

Anti bullying programs are in most schools and parents should be alerted and help prevent childhood bullying as it can effect the victims in adulthood.

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