We are born into a society that rewards “winners”, yet some people discover that they can get success without putting in the effort. Those individuals purposefully bring others down in order to raise themselves. They steal credit for other people’s ideas by lying, cheating, or stealing credit for their own. To make themselves look better, they criticize, mock, or belittle others. Bullies are those who use their positions of authority to injure others on a regular basis.
Bullying and addiction are both significant issues with a complicated relationship, with each influencing the intensity and development of the other. Bullying, in particular, is frequently both the source and the effect of physical, mental, and emotional damage, all of which can lead to substance abuse and addiction.
Bullying can cause long-term trauma and victims learn to use substances as a coping mechanism. Over time formation of physical dependence occurs. Teens and adolescents are particularly vulnerable to bullying and social pressures with the prevalence of cyberbullying in modern society. Adolescence is a critical developmental stage as one transition into adulthood. At this age, we begin to consolidate our identities, develop our personalities and find our place in the world.
The trauma bullying has on teenagers can lead to major depression, low self-esteem and anxiety. Combine these factors and the connection between addiction and bullying becomes clear. Chronic anxiety and panic disorders can lead to social isolation as well as the inability to trust easily. Vulnerable teenagers often find themselves submitting to peer pressure in an effort to belong and be accepted.
Bullying can cause serious physical, social, psychological, and emotional harm to a child or adolescent. Victims of bullying are six times more likely than their peers to be diagnosed with a serious illness, to smoke frequently, or to develop mental health problems. As a result of their harassment, bullying victims frequently develop progressive disorders (such as depression and anxiety). When combined with a victim’s low self-esteem, these circumstances may lead to drug and alcohol experimentation as a way to cope with the helplessness they feel as a result of bullying.
What can you do as a parent to help your child?
As a parent, you may feel hopeless and unable to help your child cope with bullying. Unfortunately, many parents fail to recognise the changes in their teenager’s behaviour until it is too late. They may assume that their child’s uncharacteristic behaviour is a part of ‘growing pains’ and not take the situation seriously until intervention is needed.
Depression and anxiety can also present as rage or aggression. All these confusing emotions make communication during this phase critical. It is vitally important to have an open relationship with your teen. Family therapy provides a safe, neutral environment where problem behaviours can be addressed.
If you suspect your teenager is taking drugs, speak to an intervention counsellor today. If you are unsure of how to handle the situation, contact Recovery Direct for expert advice. If your child is already in the grips of drug addiction and you are seeking counselling for teens, call us today. While it is important to have the full cooperation of a person suffering from substance abuse, sometimes you need to help them take the first step.
Bullying is more than teasing, roughhousing, or joking about. It can be a risky activity with negative bodily and psychological consequences. Bullying is a major risk factor for substance abuse and addiction, but the victim isn’t the only one who’s at risk.