Each person’s response to being bullied is unique, but research has shown some general tendencies.
StopBullying.gov reports that youth who are bullied have a higher risk of depression and anxiety. Symptoms may include:
- increased feelings of sadness and loneliness
- changes in sleep and eating patterns
- loss of interest in activities
- more health complaints
Youth who are bullied are more likely to struggle personally and at school. They may:
- miss, skip or drop out of school
- receive poor grades
- have lower self-esteem
- use alcohol and drugs
Bullying can lead to thoughts about suicide, sometimes persisting into adulthood. In one study, adults who were bullied as youth were three times more likely to have suicidal thoughts or inclinations.
Youth who are bullied may retaliate through violent measures. In 12 of 15 school shooting cases in the 1990s, the shooters had a history of being bullied.