Bullying affects teenagers’ mental health

Bullying can leave scars that are not visible to the human eye. One in five kids aged 13-18 experience severe mental health issues during this time in their life. According to a Live Science article, adolescents who are bullied at a young age have been proven to develop a mental health issue as an adult over someone who has not experienced bullying.

Bullying can be defined as unwanted aggressive behavior, and repetition of behaviors or high likelihood of repetition (Facts About Bullying). Bullying can be direct or indirect. Direct bullying is bullying someone to their face, while indirect bullying is done behind someone’s back. There are also four different types of bullying: verbal, physical, relational and damaged property. In schools, the two most common types of bullying are verbal and physical. Physical bullying includes fights, which have occurred at RM in the past three months.

“I have seen and heard many rumors being passed around, I don’t know if they’re true or not, but in this environment people are always talking about one another,” junior Elaina Sahakian said about rumors, a form of verbal bullying.

Scientists have found that kids who are both verbally and physically bullied are more at risk for depression as a young adult. Students gain low self esteem, low school performance and suicidal thoughts as side effects that could occur from bullying. There’s a common misconception that bullying is just a part of growing up and that it’ll toughen you up. This is wrong. Many people don’t realize how serious the issue is and that it can destroy you inside and in severe cases lead to death.

A recent example of bullying that happened in the  MCPS system was at Bethesda Chevy Chase High School in Bethesda, Md. when a group of male students

Grace Burwell
The security office at RM.

created a list that ranked girls by their appearance. According to the Washington Post, “They felt violated, objectified by classmates they considered their friends. They felt uncomfortable getting up to go to the bathroom, worried that the boys might be scanning them and ‘editing their decimal points, said Lee Schwartz, one of the other senior girls on the list.”

Although bullying can come off relatively subtle and, in the perpetrator’s eyes, even seem like a compliment, it occurs much more often than people think. In this incident at BCC the girls felt so insecure and had so much anxiety to even stand up in front of their peers. This “list” will most likely cause lasting effects, causing them to feel watched and judged for the rest of their life.