What Are The Effects of Bullying – Psychological, Physical, and Social

Psychological Effects of Bullying - 360 Psyche

When it comes to bullying, the bully and the bullied are both affected. The pangs of bullying are inevitable and they can stay long-term, sometimes for a lifetime.

Recent research shows that when an individual is being bullied they mostly do not report the bully cases. This can be attributed to the shame of being a victim, the trauma experience, or fear of further harm from the bully.  These repeated and continued bullying experiences increase the effects of the bullying experience.

Effects of bullying may be physical, psychological, or social on both the bully and the bullied.

Effects of Bullying on The Victim


  1.  Headaches
  2. Muscle aches
  3. Low self-esteem
  4. Changes in eating habits
  5. Change in sleeping habits
  6. Avoidance from social gatherings like schools (social isolation)
  7. Anxiety symptoms such as excessive worry, fearfulness, etc.
  8. Depression symptoms such as prolonged feeling of sadness, uninterested in activities once loved, etc.
  9. Deterioation of school performance or work productivity
  10. Feelings of guilt or shameshame
  11. Tendency to bed-wet
  12. More susceptible to illnesses


When the short term effects aren’t well handled and resolved, they turn into long term consequences and the victims are at risk for the following;

  1. Anxiety
  2. Depression
  3. Deteriorating or poor health
  4. Substance abuse and addiction.
  5. Self-destructive behavior
  6. Prone to suicidal thoughts, suicide attempts
  7. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
  8. Anger management issues
  9. Interpersonal relationship challenges

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Effects of Bullying on The Bullies


While the effects of bullying are known to be common amongst the victims the bullies also are at risk. They are prone to experiencing the following in the short run;

  1. Poor school performance probably as a result of an absence in school due to suspension.
  2. Increased risk of substance use and abuse.
  3. Inability to maintain healthy social relationships.
  4. High risk of truancy


Without any intervention with the short term effects, the effects are most likely to continue for a long time and leave the bully at risk for the following;

  1. Risk of sociopathic and antisocial behavior.
  2. Increased risk of being domestic abuser.
  3. Substance abuse.
  4. Low tendency to be employed or/and educated.

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Effects of Bullying on Bully-Victims

A bully victim is a person that was previously a victim but turned bully. Bully-victims also aren’t left out. Because they are a hybrid of both sides of the bully situation, they tend to suffer similar, but more intense, trauma compared to the bullies and victims.


Bully-victims are at risk for these in the short run;

  1. Symptoms of anxiety.
  2. Stress.
  3. Symptoms of depression.
  4. Loneliness.
  5. Have trouble fitting in and are less sociable.
  6. They struggle in school.
  7. Have emotional challenges like anger management issues.
  8. Overly aggressive.


In the long-run, bully-victims are prone to;

  1. Social isolation.
  2. Struggle with keeping healthy relationships.
  3. Difficulties trusting people.
  4. Psychotic symptoms including hallucinations, incoherent speech, etc.
  5. Substance abuse.
  6. Being anti social.

Being a bully, victim and a bully/victim is not an easy sphere to be in. We strongly advise professional intervention be sought for all three categories of people involved in a bully situation.

Here are self-help tips to help a bully situation.

If you need professional help from a therapist with experience, you can start here

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