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The Effects of Bullying on Teenagers.

Theoria Berry Mrs. Verdun Eng IV, 1A 21 February 2014

Theoria Berry Mrs. Verdun Eng IV, 1A 21 February 2014 With the expansion of technology and social media, bullying has become something very common in society. Most people dont realize that bullying is a very common and serious issue in our society. We dont realize the effects of bullying and how it causes stress and depression in teenagers. According to an article on Stopbullying.gov, bullying is unwanted, aggressive behavior among school aged children that involves a real or perceived power imbalance. Bullying can also be described as the use of superior strength or influence to intimidate someone, usually to force them to do what you want. An article on webmd.com states that there are many characteristics of bullies. A person who bullies may witness physical and verbal violence or aggression at home. Other characteristics are that they may hit or push others, are often physically strong, may not be popular, and dont follow rules. They often think highly of themselves and see nothing wrong with their behavior. They expect others to follow their wishes and are often not taught to consider others feelings. The victim of bullying can be practically anyone. A victim of bullying may have an insecure personality. According to an article on webmd.com, researchers believe that a child that lacks assertiveness and security may serves as a cue to bullies that that person is the perfect victim. A victim may also have lower peer acceptance. Those who have fewer friends and are not

socially accepted are targets. Children with some type of physical or learning disorder are mainly targets. The typical victim of bullying is physically weak. Those who are shorter, thinner or less muscular are usually victimized. Another typical victim may have overprotective parents. Those who show the weaker traits that bullies look for are more protected by their parents. Bullying comes in various types. There are verbal, physical, social and cyber bullying. According to an article called Differences between cyber bullying and traditional bullying, verbal bullying is when a victim is verbally teased or mocked in a direct or indirect fashion. Direct verbal bullying is a face-to-face interaction between the victim and the bully that involves name-calling, threats or harmful comments. An example of direct verbal bullying would be if people were in an argument and said things about how they were going to beat each other. Indirect verbal bullying is done without the knowledge of the victim and includes hurtful comments about the victim to other people, such as rumors and gossip. Physical bullying is a form of harassment that involves a bodily attack on a victim. Physical bulling involves punching, kicking, pushing and any other types of physical aggression. An example of physical bullying would be just showing someone, even attacking and trying to fight someone who means to cause you no harm. Social bullying is somewhat like indirect verbal bullying. In social bullying, the bully manipulates the victims social status by spreading rumors to peers. An example of social bullying could also be rumors and exposing, exposing is when someones personal business is showed to the world for everyone to see. The victim often doesnt know the bullys identity. Cyber bullying is a form of interpersonal harassment that is conducted electronically. It can be done with abusive text messages, instant messages, e-mails and social networks. It may also occur with the bully posting embarrassing photos or videos for everyone to see.

There was a movie called Cyberbully that came out in 2011. The movie was about a girl who joined a social network and met a boy through the website. The boy ended up spreading a rumor saying that she had slept with him and people from her school started to call her all types of names to the point where she didnt want to go to school anymore. She later posted a video about how she no longer wanted to live with herself and her best friend rushed to her house to find her trying to overdose on pills but luckily, she could not get the cap off the bottle.

People have begun to come up with anti-bullying strategies. According to an article called Anti-bullying strategies young people who have gone through bullying prevention programs have reported about a 20% decrease in bullying and being bullied. Another antibullying strategy is awareness. It is said that adults need to be more aware of the extent of the program and bullies need to be aware of consequences. Also, that targets of bullying need to know how to ask for help. It is encouraged that students be a hero. An anti-bullying strategy is encouraging young people to report bullies. Although many victims of bullies are afraid to report the abuse, they should feel safe enough to report it and know who to report it to. According Anti-bullying strategies, research shows that holding anonymous surveys is a good way to learn about the bullying situation in a certain community. According to an article on pacer.org, in 2006, the PACER (Parents Advocacy Coalition for Educational Rights) Center named October, National Bullying month. It began as a weeklong

event and became an all month thing. The purpose is to make people aware and encourage the prevention of bullying through lectures, campaigns and classroom activities. Though it may be hard to believe, celebrities have also been bullied at some point in their lives. Celebrities that have been bullied are Rihanna and Tyra Banks. Growing up, Rihanna was bullied by her classmates for being lighter than everyone else. As she got older, she was bullied for her small breasts. Rihanna does not feel like a victim, she feels as if God was preparing her to handle the harsh world of the music business. Tyra Banks bullying in school started when she was about eleven years old. It happened when she grew three inches and lost 30 pounds within a three month period. People often made fun of her because they thought she was sickly and didnt know what was wrong with her, and neither did she. Even though she gained her weight back and became a super model, the insecurities still live inside her. She believes in sharing her story to inspire and uplift other women to be confident within themselves. Keri Hilson was bullied for singing to try to make friends. The children would make fun of her voice which eventually discouraged her because she thought she wasnt good enough. It came to the point where she did not want to share her talent with anyone outside of her family for fear that they would tell her that she would not make it in the music industry. Keri used the negative comments as motivation to keep singing and get her where she is today. Lady Gaga was another celebrity that was bullied in school. She was bullied for being ugly, having a big nose and being annoying. She would be teased for the way she did her makeup and sometimes didnt go to school because of it. Even today, she is bullied in the music

industry for the way she wears her hair and her unique style of clothing. She doesnt really let the comments bother her because she feels like she is truly being genuine to the world and herself. There are many effects of bullying. Bullying can cause stress on a teenager. The stress from bullying can create insecurities and low self-esteem. It can stem from being criticized and not knowing how to handle the situation. The stress can cause people to do things they wouldnt normally do to fit in. It can also cause a person to stop going to school in order to get away from their problems, which will cause that persons grades to drop. Bullying can cause very long-term effects on a person. It can even cause depression. Depression is a state of mental disturbance. It is also the state at which people just tend to shut down. Once a person is depressed, they start to do abnormal things to suppress their pain or seek some form of happiness. It can lead to the abuse of drugs and alcohol because people will feel like they need those things, like they have nothing else. The buildup of stress and depression in teens can even make them consider suicide. Suicide is the tragedy of taking ones own life due to overwhelming hopelessness. According to an article on kidshelp.org, suicide is the third-leading cause of death for 15- 24 year olds, after accidents and homicide. It is also believed that at least 25 attempts are made for every completed teen suicide. The risk of suicide increases when kids or teens have access to a firearm at home and nearly 60% of suicides in the United States are committed with a gun. To prevent this, any gun in a home should be unloaded, locked and kept out of reach. Another common method of suicide is over dosing using over the counter, prescription, and non prescription medication. It is important to carefully monitor all medications

in your home and be aware that they can be used for such things. Suicide rates differ between boys and girls because girls think about and attempt suicide about twice as often as boys. According to kidshealth.org, girls tend to attempt suicide by overdosing on drugs or cutting themselves. On the other hand, boys die by suicide about four times as often as girls. Boys tend to use more lethal methods such as firearms, hanging or jumping from heights. Teens with mental health issues such as anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder or insomnia are at higher risk for suicidal thoughts. Teens going through major life changes, such as those who are victims of bullying are at greater risk of suicidal thought. Factors that increase the risk of suicide include feelings if distress, irritability or agitation along with feelings of hopelessness and worthlessness that came from depression. It can also come from a previous suicide attempt or a family history of depression or suicide. According to kidshealth.org, suicide among teens often occurs following a stressful life event such as problems at school, a breakup with a boyfriend or girlfriend, the death of a loved one, a divorce or a major family conflict. Teens who are thinking about suicide might: Talk about suicide or death in general Give hints that they might not be around Talk about feelings of hopelessness or guilt Pull away from friends or family Write songs, poems or letters about death, separation and loss Start giving away treasured possessions Lose desire to take part in favorite activities

Have trouble concentrating or thinking clearly Experience changes in eating or sleeping habits Engage in risk taking behaviors Lose interest in school or sports

It is important that parents understand the warning signs and not just feel like their child is seeking attention. Although bullying may not seem like a big deal to some, you never know how it affects a person. You can never tell what a person is going through and how your words and actions can make them react. Bullying cause people to feel hopeless and alone and no one should ever feel that way. Instead of spending time putting someone down, that time should be spent uplifting that person. People should be motivated to do better, not pushed away.

Bibliography
"Antibullying Strategies." Gale Student Resources in Context. Detroit: Gale, 2011. Student Resources in

Context. Web. 4 Feb. 2014.


"Differences between Cyberbullying and Traditional Bullying." Gale Student Resources in Context. Detroit:

Gale, 2013. Student Resources in Context. Web. 4 Feb. 2014. Healthwise, . N.p.. Web. 23 Feb 2014. <http://www.webmd.com/parenting/tc/bullying-characteristicsof-children-who-bully>. Izenberg, N.. N.p.. Web. 23 Feb 2014. <http://kidshealth.org/parent/emotions/behavior/suicide.html>. Thill, R. F.. N.p.. Web. 23 Feb 2014. <http://tweenparenting.about.com/od/socialdevelopment/a/Typical-Victim-of-Bullying.htm>. U.S. DHHS, . N.p.. Web. 23 Feb 2014. <http://www.stopbullying.gov/what-isbullying/definition/index.html>.