I am always shocked by the number of news stories and articles that I read verifies all of the statistics and predictions about victims of bullying. An article in a publication entitled, TIDEWATER TIMES, included an article, “Mariah’s Mission”, on a young woman who was subjected to bullying in her middle school years. As stated by her parent, “….going into middle school, some of the bullying started and I could see her struggling with anxiety and depression.” ” In high school, seeking shelter from the perfect storm of bullying , anxiety and depression, Mariah began self medicating with alcohol and prescription drugs.
This true story of the struggles associated with Mariah’s mission to seek a valid diagnosis for her emotional dysfunction, I am certain will sadden all who learn of this young woman’s life. In spite of her abuse at the hands of bullies, incorrect mental diagnosis and her need to numb the emotional pain with the use of alcohol and drugs, she did continue to function academically and participated in school activities. However, as the years progressed, her emotional pain became too great and ultimately, Mariah did take her life. I do suspect that , as a psychologist, Mariah’s early abuse by school bullies did open her emotional wounds and she continued to bleed since the pain and destruction of bullies did nothing to heal her wounds and they opened the doors to other destructive behavioral patterns.
As many victims of bullying, Mariah did not displace her pain on others but directed that rage upon herself. Many victims of bullies, displace their anger and pain at innocent victims. It was documented that the perpetrators of Columbine kept diaries on how they were hurt and rejected by school bullies as did the Sandy Hook murderer who targeted young victims within the very same school building where he attended and was brutally abused by bullies for many years.
Knowledge is power and I would like to provide shocking statistics on bullying, this dysfunctional and lethal behavior;
70% of children suffer bullying at their schools or 38,500,000 victims
One half of suicides among young people are directly related to bullying
Bully victims are between two to nine times more likely to consider suicide than non-victims ( Yale University)
30% of students are either victims of bullies or bullies themselves
160,000 children stay home from school everyday for fear of bullying
Bully related suicide can be associated with any form of bullying: physical, emotional, cyberbullying, texting.
Since the 1990’s, there have been 12 to 15 school shootings related to perpetrators having been bullied as students.
Yes, these statistics are quite frightening but they can be altered by social and school interventions. Schools should be a safe place to learn and anti-bullying programs are relevant in the prevention of the loss of another life. Knowledge is power and children, parents and schools need to understand this violent and dysfunctional behavior.
As a psychologist and author, I have focused on my quest in addressing this bullying dilemma. My latest book, NICKI NICE’S BULLY, helps children understand bullies and their behavior and how to deal with these frightening classmates. My website, nicknicesbully.tateauthor.com does provide much information about this book which empowers children to protect themselves from bullies.