Target for Being Bullied
For those of you who have felt bullied, witnessed bullying, or are a bully yourself, what makes a target for such torment? It is frequently believed that bullying causes depression in those being persecuted, which many times it does, but does being depressed also make you a target for being bullied? A recent study discussed in Time Magazine, “The Relationship Between Bullying and Depression: Its Complicated” states that “children’s depressive symptoms in elementary school precede social victimization and isolation later on”. Children who displayed depressive symptoms such as low energy, passive behavior, and social withdrawal in the 4th grade were more likely to be victimized in the 5th and then socially isolated in the 6th grade. Being visually marked as having a low social status and passive attitude attracts bullies’ attention because it is easily assumed they won’t fight back. The author believes this trend can be seen even through the teen and adolescent years. “As socializing becomes more important in the teen years, vulnerable kids who experience social difficulties like bullying and rejection may become more likely to develop depression, or if they were previously depressed, their social problems may exacerbate their symptoms”. Conclusively this should make us reevaluate society’s activism against bullying. Perhaps interventions should also make an effort to minimize the adverse influence of depressive symptoms as well as encouraging all to strive to be kinder to those who already feel weak and vulnerable. Through this we can aim to prevent bullying before it begins. If you feel you are being ostracized on campus, UNH has multiple outlets to help such as the “Courage to Care” campaign, SHARPP, and the Counseling Center.