• PTSD and Bullying

    Bully and PTSDResearchers at the University of Norway have made new links in PTSD and bullying after analyzing data from 965 14-15 year-old students. The study, which was published by Thormod Idsoe, Atle Dyregrov, and Ella Cosmovici Idsoe, found that bullied children can suffer from PTSD, and those effects can linger into adulthood.

    PTSD is characterized by nightmares, flashbacks, hyper vigilance, severe anxiety about the event, avoidance behavior and uncontrollable thoughts.

    Of the students who reported being bullied, 27.6% of boys and 40.5% of girls showed PTSD behavior. Those with the worst symptoms were students who were not only victims of bullying but had demonstrated bullying behavior themselves.

    What symptoms of PTSD should parents look for if they suspect or know their children have been bullied?

    • reliving the event over and over
    • avoiding situations that remind their child of the event
    • feeling numb or unable to express feelings
    • disinterest in activities in inability to enjoy them
    • feeling jittery or hyper vigilant or “on guard”

    Children may also demonstrate other behaviors. Younger children may become clingy and desire to be close to their parents. Adolescents may act out the trauma or run away. Parents may expect to see a drop in school performance or avoidance of school altogether.

    If your child has been bullied, consider psychotherapy, and see if your school has an anti-bullying program. Check into resources recommended on this site, such as the anti-bullying approach taught by bullying experts Brooks Gibbs and Izzy Kalman. Whatever you do, take action and show your child you care.


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