Bullying can affect physical and emotional health, both in the short term and later in life. It can lead to physical harm, social problems, emotional problems and even death. 1 Those who are bullied are at an increased risk of mental health problems, headaches, and difficulty adjusting to school. 2 Bullying can also cause long-term damage to self-esteem. 3
Children and adolescents who are bullies are at increased risk for substance use, academic problems and violence towards others later in life. 2
Those who are both bullies and victims of bullying suffer the most severe consequences of bullying and are at greater risk for mental and behavioral problems than those who are bullied alone or who are merely bullies.f = "https://www.nichd.nih.gov/health/topics/bullying/conditioninfo/health#f2"> 2
NICHD studies show that everyone involved in bullying - those who bully others, those who are bullied, and those who are bully and bullied - are at increased risk for depression. 4
NICHD-funded studies have also shown that, unlike traditional forms of bullying, young people who are bullied electronically - such as by computer or cell phone - are at greater risk of depression than those who bully them. 5 Even more astonishingly, the same studies found that cyber victims were at higher risk of depression than cyber bullies or bullies (ie, those who bully others as well as are bullied themselves), which was not found in any other form of bullying. Read more about these findings in the NICHD press release: Depression High Among Youth Victims of School Cyberbullying, NIH Researchers Report .