Bullying, which is defined as a form of intentional and recurrent aggression characterized by power differentials between the victim and perpetrator carries with it serious social, financial and psychological costs for the victims, perpetrators and the health care system in general because it has serious negative health outcomes. Although bullying is ubiquitous and transcends sociodemographic categories such as gender, age, race, profession or academic achievement, it is mostly endemic in schools. However, technology has expanded the sphere of bullying to after school and after work hours. Children engaged in the practice of bullying experience significant risk of developing certain health problems that include anxiety, irritability, physical injuries, insomnia, headaches, suicide and depression. Bullying is also associated with increased absenteeism, lack of focus and educational problems culminating in poor grades. Physical bullying make up to 30% of school bullying. Verbal bullying makes up over 46% of total bullying incidents at school. Bullies come from all walks of life but they are usually individuals who have endured being bullied themselves. Thy feel that bullying is the only way they can command respect from their peers.
An astonishing form of bullying is adult bullying. Although we do not usually hear about it, adult bullying is quite rampant, particularly in work places. Adult bullying is usually verbal. The adult bully, like the young bully, does it to gain control and respect from the victim. Narcissism is often a motivating factor for bullying others. Sometimes this type of bullying results in litigation.
If it goes unmitigated, bullying can destroy the lives of both the victims and perpetrators, irrevocably. Although there are health services and resources provided by the Clinic for Health Problems Related to Bullying, the best medicine is complete eradication and prevention of bullying in any form.
Being a victim of bullying can make us feel alone and rejected. When we feel isolated and ostracized, and everything around us seems bleak, we need to remember that God has said He will never leave us nor forsake us (Hebrews 13:5). In His sight our intrinsic value never diminishes because it emanates from His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.
Learn more from the book, The Perfect Prescription: God’s Wisdom on Public Health, from Amazon.com