Linking Bullying and Depression

According to an article by Karen Kaplan, published in Los Angeles Times, a recent study, reveals teen bullying is linked to depression in adults.

By tracking 2,668 people from early childhood through adulthood, researchers found that 13-year-olds who were frequent targets of bullies were three times more likely than their non-victimized peers to be depressed as adults.

In general, I have a lot of respect for researchers, but I have to wonder why it took so long to present facts that were obvious to me 30+ years ago. Hey researchers, let me give you some ideas for your next brilliant findings.

Some of the other traits bullying adversely affects include:

  • Motivation
  • Creativity
  • Interest
  • Confidence
  • Isolation
  • Attitude
  • Personality
  • Behavior
  • Wellness (mental, physical, spiritual, and emotional)
  • Anxiety
  • Sleep
  • Performance (academic, extra curricular, and occupational)
  • Truancy and sick leave
  • Suicide

The lesson schools and businesses are teaching is that bullying, hatred, discrimination, and intolerance are acceptable. This needs to change . . . now!


  1. During middle school, my daughter was bullied during which she was told she was fat and stupid. She was not. She was extremely beautiful and very bright. Its very difficult to convince your child they are not these negative things when they are told over and over from their peers something different. During, high school my daughter developed an eating disorder. She will tell you that that bullying had a direct impact on her visual image of herself and on her confidence.
    I believe this issue has gotten worse with cell phones and social media. Please watch your children and young adults for signs of bullying and seek counseling when needed.

    1. We also need support from the schools that have ignored bullying even when it is reported. I like the idea of two strike and you are out — even if the bully is a star athlete. After two reports of bullying, the bully is automatically removed from the team and transferred to a different school. Administrators that ignore bullying, especially by star athletes should be fired and reported for child endangerment. Those two rules should be implemented and enforced at every school district in the United States.

  2. Interesting.. I wonder how this applies to people before and after Boot Camp where it was very common for Drill Sergeants to go way over board with bullying. For me, especially i had about 75% to 90% of the nights i had less than 2-2.5 hours of sleep for eight weeks, and that just one thing i mention.

    Recently, I have had former Drill sergeants tell me when he use to get into it with his wife in the middle of the night. He would go take it out on their recruits in the middle of the night when the Recruits were suppose to be sleeping.

    One Marine asked me if in the Army after boot Camp and our Specialty Training if we had to take all our stuff out of the barracks and set them up out side for inspection as if it were inside and then do it again inside every Thursday for the 3 years.

    I seen many for of Bullying by Rank when i was in the Military. Seems to me this and a lot other ones not mentioned could cause PTSD and other Mental issues. what do u think?

    1. David, I will tell you what I think, but keep in mind my answer is dependent on my subjective thoughts. I have never been a drill sergeant or military training specialist. I believe there are drill sergeants who cross the line, but I also believe their role may require the behavior. At school, work, and on the internet, the bully attacks people who did not agree to be bullied. I believe military recruits signed up to be trained in a manner approved by the military. If I were in charge, I would have a difficult time telling the military to change its training practice if the end result is solders who are ready for combat and survival.

      Now to directly respond to your question, I believe it is possible the military training technique could cause, or increase your susceptibility to, PTSD and a host of other mental problems. However, I do not feel I have the military background necessary to weigh the costs and benefits. The training may actually have many benefits. I’m honestly not sure.

      — Additional Reply to Your Comment

      David, I asked one of my friends about your question because he has a lot more experience with military training than I do. He believes the activity you described is “hazing” and “a rite of passage” rather than bullying. The activity helps people prepare to be a soldier and a captive.

      He sees bullying at school and on the internet as neither hazing nor a rite of passage. The victim of bullying at school, on the internet, and in the corporate world receives no benefit from the bullying. In other words, bullying is not the appropriate term for the military activity you described.

      If we asked more people, we might receive more answers, but I cannot predict how many would agree with your terminology and how many would not.

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