bullying teens

Bullying and its Affects on Teenagers

June 15, 2017


Bullying is a problem that is all too real and all too common. It goes beyond teasing, and some teens try to keep it to themselves, either because they are embarrassed, or they feel that no one will care or help them. Many people don’t realize the negative impact that bullying has on teenagers. The negativity affects both the kids that are bullied and the kids who do the bullying.

Symptoms of Bullying

So, what are the symptoms of bullying? For the teens who are bullied, they can experience depression and anxiety, eating and sleep disorders, feelings of loneliness, worthlessness, and sadness. The kids who are the bullies are more likely to experience problems such as drug and alcohol use, dropping out of school, constantly engaging in fights, future abuse of a spouse or partner and future criminal records.

As anyone can see, teen bullying is not a subject that can be taken lightly. We can’t ignore it, hoping it will go away or tell bullied kids to “just ignore it”. We also cannot expect the bullies to just “grow out of” their behavior. This is a serious issue, and fortunately, help is available.

Possible Causes of Bullying

We may ask ourselves why kids bully others. The first step toward fixing adolescent bullying is understanding what causes it. While it’s true that a bully is acting out for attention, the problem is usually deeper rooted. The bully may be suffering from abuse at home. Whether the abuse is physical, verbal, or sexual, it is causing the teen to have emotions that they don’t know how to deal with. They may be filled with sadness, anger, or shame, and the only way they know how to get their aggression out is at the expense of others.

bullying teensIt may also be that the teen is having problems in class. This can cause them to feel inferior, and they may even think that other students are laughing at them. As a result, they bully others in order to feel “cool” or “tough”. They may feel that if people see them as “cool” or “tough”, then they won’t see them as “inferior” or “stupid”.

Another cause is that the teen may be bullied themselves. Perhaps someone is being bullied by neighbors, older brothers or sisters, or other family members. As a result, they choose someone to bully as a way of releasing their anger about being a victim.

Some bullies may lack empathy. They know they are hurting someone, yet they just don’t care. What they do care about is themselves, and the attention they are getting by doing the bullying. They feel that others see them as “in control”, and this makes them feel superior to their peers.

Bullies might come from dysfunctional families. This is a common cause of bullying. A teenager has a horrible home life. Perhaps their parents are constantly fighting, and the children are being mistreated. There may be no communication at home. Living in such a negative environment takes a huge toll on teenagers, and sometimes causes them to resort to bullying.

There is a treatment for bullying. Inpatient treatment can include counseling, and help the bully identify the underlying causes for their behavior. The bully will learn what is causing them to hurt others, and how to fix the problem so that bullying does not result.


Bullying is a serious issue that many people face. Hillcrest Adolescent Treatment Center can provide the help that teenagers need to remedy this all too common problem. Treatment can steer teens in the right direction to get them started on a better, more productive path in life. Together, Hillcrest Adolescent Treatment Center and teenagers can eliminate bullying in our society that is negatively impacting kids everywhere.