What is the relationship between bullying and issues such as eating disorders, depression, and anxiety? There are many children that experience bullying throughout their years in school. What kind of effect does this have? How could we possibly raise awareness about this issue?
We find out every few months that there has been another school shooting. Violence in schools is typically the result of someone acting out that has had the experience of being bullied by other students. However, schools across the nation have done very little to address this issue. People respond by saying how helpless they feel and like there is nothing that can be done to prevent these tragedies. Many Americans have come to accept that it is just a way of life and that it is somewhat of a lost cause.
In addition to violence there are a large number of students that simply internalize their aggression and act out with self-harming behaviors. Many students develop depression, anxiety, and eating disorders where they engage in this self-harming behavior. Kids will cut, burn, starve, and make themselves purge to avoid feeling pain from the ridicule they receive from other students. Whether it is externalizing or internalizing, children will find a way to cope with the effects of being bullied.
I strongly believe that we, as a country, can come together to make a difference. We need to teach children kindness and respect at an early age. We need to take the time to educate students and help them understand the effect that their actions have on others. The more time we spend doing this better chance we have at reaching children at a young age. Early intervention strategies should be implemented in schools to help teach children the effects of bullying and how to improve communication with one another.
Teaching children to act kind and be respectful to others will model appropriate behavior. If fewer children are bullied they are at a lower risk to develop eating disorders, depression, anxiety etc. Children can learn to have a greater acceptance of others. We must educate future generations if we want to see positive changes happen.
Websites like http://www.standuptobullying.org attempt to outline the effects of bullying and raise awareness on this issue. The more we stand together to shed light on this issue the better chance we have of preventing future bullying from taking place.