Bullying and its Effects on Depression
Depression is widely known and evident worldwide in a variety of different situations. “It is a mood disorder that causes distressing symptoms that affect how one feels, thinks, and handles daily activities, such as sleeping, eating, or working” (CDC 2019). Over 264 million people globally are affected by depression (CDC 2020). It became more noticeable in the younger population. In 2016, 3.2% of children aged 3-17 had depression (Ghandour et al. 2019). In addition, “Depression is the leading cause of disability in the United States for individuals ages 15-44” (CDC 2011). Therefore, analyzing the roots or origins of depression in the youth is vital. What are the leading causes of depression in adolescence and young adults? Studies have shown that bullying is a leading cause that correlates with adolescent and teen depression.
“Bullying is any unwanted aggressive behavior(s) by another youth or group of youths, who are not siblings or current dating partners that involves an observed or perceived power imbalance and is repeated multiple times or is highly likely to be repeated” (CDC N.D.). Over the years, children get exposed to bullying. The current statistics state that one in five children get bullied in America (US. Department of Education 2019). Also, “About 10%–20% of children and adolescents are regularly involved in school bullying as either victim, bullies, or both” (Kaltialal-Heino et al. 2011). Bullying or intending to lower the self-esteem of victims can occur anywhere. It is not limited to a particular group of people or gender. The report indicated that people getting bullied include those with disabilities (Rose & Gage 2016) and those of color (US. Department of Education 2019), which occurs in schools or during online engagement. The negative effect of bullying is enormous, ranging from lower self-esteem to depression and even suicide.
Bullying became a large problem, not only in schools but also online and in other places. Studies have shown a correlation between depression and bullying is important because depression leads to disabilities and suicides. It is crucial to acknowledge other causes of depression and suicide. However, stopping bullying is the first step to decreasing the number of depression and suicides among the youth.
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“Preventing Bullying.” CDC. (2019). (https://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/pdf/yv/bullying-factsheet508.pdf).
Rose, Chad A., and Nicholas A. Gage. "Exploring the involvement of bullying among students with disabilities over time." Exceptional Children 83.3 (2017): 298-314. (https://doi.org/10.1177/0014402916667587).
“Student Reports of Bullying: Results From the 2017 School Crime Supplement to the National Crime Victimization Survey.” U.S. Department of Education. (2019). (https://nces.ed.gov/pubs2019/2019054.pdf).