Did you know getting bullied as a teen can impact your health as an adult?
Bullying is a nightmare, not only for the kids who are getting teased, but for the parents who have to watch them go through it as well. And we know that victims of bullying are often prone to isolation and depression, especially in their critical teenage years. But now, a new study is saying that teens who have been bullied also show long-term health effects that last well into middle age.
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The shocking but enlightening research comes from a Swedish study that followed almost 900 students in the country from the age of 16 to the time they turned 43. What they found was that bullying impacts people even long after they leave school. In fact, results showed that victims of bullying had the highest risk of suffering from serious health issues by the time they reached mid-age. By their early 40s, they were also more likely to develop heart disease, diabetes, obesity, high cholestorol and other metabolic conditions.
And this trend didn't occur only in the kids who were bullied. Anyone who experienced less social interaction as a child had health problems later, although the effects were generally stronger in those who experienced more suffering as a teen. The study also concluded that the health effects of bullying were slightly stronger in girls than it was in boys.
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Wow! Pretty scary stuff! It just goes to show that getting teased or mocked by peers during adolescence can have far-reaching and potentially serious effects throughout the rest of your life. And with bullying at a peak these days, parents NEED to pay special attention to their teens and get involved if they notice any warning signs in their behavior. It could literally be a matter of life or death because if parents don't get involved or turn a blind eye, the child could sustain long-term health issues that will impact them for the rest of their lives.
Above all though, the results show that bullying is not something to ignore or be taken lightly by anyone. I only hope that findings like these will make more people--from parents to officials at schools--aware of how important it is to pay close attention to the cause.
What do you think of the study? Tell us in the comments below!
Image via Flickr