Rogers Behavioral Health

How does bullying impact mental health?

Posted on 02/13/20 09:42:am


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20% of students ages 12 to 18 report they’ve experienced bullying. 30% of young people admit to bullying others. Research shows that students who experience bullying are at an increased risk for:

  • poor school adjustment 
  • sleep difficulties 
  • anxiety
  • depression
  • low self-esteem

There’s no question these statistics are heartbreaking.

To help understand how bullying can affect mental health, we spoke with Dr. Stephanie Eken, Rogers’ regional medical director.

“Victims of bullying are at risk for a variety of mental health concerns. Some of them are at risk for experiencing an acute stress or trauma reaction,” explains Dr. Eken. “Depending on the form of bullying, they could have posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), but depression and anxiety are the most common mental health disorders we see in kids who are bullied.”

She points out that physical bullying isn’t the only area of concern parents and educators should be watching for.    

Types of bullying

  • Verbal: teasing, name-calling, threatening to hurt someone
  • Social: leaving someone out on purpose, telling other children not to be friends with someone, spreading rumors
  • Physical: hitting, kicking, pinching, taking or breaking someone’s things
  • Cyber: sending or posting negative, harmful, false or mean content about someone on a digital device such as apps, texts, or social media

Mental health help for children and teens who are bullied

Rogers provides treatment to children and adolescents across the U.S. struggling with OCD, anxiety, eating disorders, PTSD, substance use, and depression and other mood disorders. If you’re concerned about your child’s mental health, call 800-767-4411 or request a free, confidential screening online.

For additional resources on how to manage and understand anxiety in children, listen to our Anxiety in Schools and Understanding School Refusal podcasts.

If you do not feel your child needs treatment right away, but may be concerned, we offer online quizzes to possibly provide some relief. While these quizzes do not provide a diagnosis, it could be the first step in finding the treatment your child may need. Take one of our online quizzes:

Call 800-767-4411 or go to to request a free screening.