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“Haters don’t really hate you Infact they hate themselves Because you’re a reflection Of all that they wish to be”

One of the dictionary meanings of BULLYING is to hurt, frighten someone over a period , ridiculing, isolating, name calling ,to the point of being malicious and intimidating the person.

“And my spirit inside began to dampen gradually as I lived through the horror of those nasty tones, the ridiculing eyes, their ominous laughters and sniggering. Having no friends was as it is a difficult battle I fought everyday. Back home I would dread the thought of meeting people and felt the most at ease being alone”. What’s wrong with me, I would ask my self in the midst of tears and choking ...

Bullying can be extremely damaging and invariably alters the course of one’s life. It is a devastating experience, the impact of which can be felt for a long time if left unattended. I have had myriad cases of children as well as adults being bullied and the trail of blemishes it leaves behind is heartbreaking. Almost all victims of bullying have shown signs of: Depression Anxiety Loneliness Sleep disorders Eating disorders , to name a few.

Kids and even adults who are bullied or have been bullied suffer from social anxiety and start showing decreased interest in play activities or fun activities, become reclusive and withdrawn. Having a very low self esteem, a bleak sense of self further pushes them into a box.

“Getting to office had become an ordeal and the anxiety I felt in the pit of my stomach was almost always unbearable”.

Psychological and physical symptoms seen in adult victims of bullying are: Digestive disorders Headaches Bodily aches and pains Bouts of dizziness Choking Lump in the throat Anxiety and panic Despair and hopelessness Many times extreme anger and aggression Inability to foster meaningful relationships

Here, seeking help and counselling is definitely balming and comforting, reaching out to a professional is a big step in the right direction ( for parents of school children too ) psychotherapy can be very effective in overcoming the trauma of bullying.

For adult victims and parents of little children reading up on bullying and educating one self becomes pertinent as it helps us disassociate form ourselves and view the problem differently. On one hand it helps us concilliate with our situation while at the same time prepares us for a better day. Associating one self with a cause similar to your own or another one works greatly for healing . Admitting and accepting to yourself about your predicament is the first biggest and the bravest step you can take in the right direction.. Dropping the stigma and bias against mental health issues is a necessary hurdle that we need to overcome, having said that , next is to immediately reach out to a professional as a priority. Professional interventions more often than not usher in a healthier and a more empowered state of being.

Will soon come up with signs that parents need to look out for in their children for any mental health concerns.

Dr Deepti Kathpalia

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