LONG TERM EFFECTS OF BULLYING
I once believed that being bullied was the same as rape in terms of long-term effects. I no longer believe that. The dynamics of emotions is similar, but not the same. Actually, the long-term effects of modern bullying is much worse, not because the bullying takes place over months to years while rape is a one-time event, but because of the difference in emotional dynamics. In rape the primary emotion is helplessness and the dynamics involve fear, anger and rage. In modern bullying where the bullied are not allowed to protect or defend themselves, the primary emotion is hopelessness and the dynamics involve embarrassment, humiliation and shame. A rape victim has the emotional advantage of being able to fight back and often escape or disable the rapist while the bullied have to accept the humiliation and shame as something deserved. The exceptions are when rape victims become hopeless when threatened by a knife or gun and when the bullied are allowed to fight back or run.
Over ensuing years, the dynamics of rape and bullying have different effects. Rape victims have a wealth of trauma methods of treatment to change or erase memories while the bullied will face patterns of embarrassment, humiliation, shame, hopelessness and despair that most often lead to unfulfilled lives often ended by suicide.
Therapy for the hopelessness is scarce simply because most therapists have had no reason to notice the dynamics or devise ways to treat it. Well-meaning counselors unaware of the dynamics often cause more damage than good. I wondered for years if I had wasted over a year working with low-functioning Borderline Personality Disorder patients until I realized that the hopelessness factor in them was present in other types of personality conflicts. Lately, I’ve taken an interest in motivating children and teens who more and more appear to be controlled by this hopelessness factor. For the record I will state that a lifetime of texting has exacerbated the issues in that our youth have less relational skills that are needed to feel less hopeless.
The fact is, parents and teachers have a hard time noticing when bullying is taking place. Read my introduction at top of page under “Bullied”. I have had so many parents or relatives describe bullying events but insist that their child has had no repercussions. I do not believe it, but no matter what I say as the professional expert, they are willing to have their child destroyed for the sake of their own pride. The same is true for relatives of those who have the Bipolar Disorder.
If you even SUSPECT that your child, grandchild, etc has been bullied, please contact me and let’s talk more about it. My contact info is below.
Lane A. Stokes, L.P.C., S.M.H.C., M.Div., M.S., C.P.E.
Counseling Services Atlanta Group LLC
11285 Elkins Road, Roswell GA 30076