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babm
babm asks:
Q:

what are the long term effects of bullying into adulthood?

How can I help an adult friend ( 41yrs)who was badly bullied at school and suffers with depression and poor body image ?When he looks into the mirror hs sees a small pathetic,anorexic man ( he is 6ft 4" tall and weighs 15 stone) who is weak and vunerable. he constantly wants to bulk himself up with protein drinks to give this image he is strong and not to be messed with. He can't go shopping or in town unless he has his children with him
In Topics: Bullying and teasing
> 60 days ago

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Expert

Boys Town National Hotline
Sep 18, 2009
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What the Expert Says:

The effects of childhood bullying certainly can last into adulthood. The long term effects can easily include many of the things you mentioned that your friend is experiencing, such as depression, anxiety, poor body image, and low self esteem. It sounds like he's been dealing with this for such a long time and it's beginning to effect his life in dramatic ways. If continued, the behaviors he uses to avoid dealing with his feelings could become unhealthy. That's an indication that he may need to get some further help for what he's experiencing. Professional counseling can be very effective in helping someone deal with trauma they experienced from bullying.

In a loving way, suggest to your friend that they talk to a therapist/counselor. That person will help them talk about what they went through and how it's still affecting them to this day. Explain to your friend that he may be passing on unhealthy habits to his kids without even realizing it, and that alone is reason enough to get help!

You're a great friend for caring enough about your friend to want to help him. Have an honest conversation with him that includes your observations about his behavior, and the suggestion that he get some professional counseling. Offer to go with him if he's reluctant. If you approach him with a loving, caring manner rather than an accusatory one, he's more likely to be receptive to getting help.  Good Luck!

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Additional Answers (4)

bob
bob , Parent writes:
As to what are the long-term effects, Education.com has articles on the topic that might have your answer.  Links are below.

As to how to help your friend, unless you are a counseling professional, the best thing I think you can do is be supportive and caring.  If he were my friend, I'd try to steer him to a professional that he can talk through the issue with.

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eliad
eliad , Parent writes:
I'm sorry to read about your friend. It's hard to see a friend suffering. but you must be a good friend, seeking out help for them.

Here is an article that talks about the long term effects:
http://www.education.com/reference/article/Ref_What_Happens_Over/

I know it's a hard topic to bring up, but did you try to suggest your friend to go and talk with someone?

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stebbinsd
stebbinsd writes:
If he's already 41 years old, it's pretty much a done deal.  Just like with disciplining spoiled brats, you have to stand up to bullies from the very beginning.
> 60 days ago

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Loddie1
Loddie1 , Parent writes:
This may be a disorder. I would see about getting your friend to talk to a professional counselor. When anxiety kicks in to this degree, and it affects everyday life, it is time to possibly get on meds.
> 60 days ago

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