Can Bullying Cause PTSD?

There are many different events and circumstances that can induce post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Whether the event, or series of events, occured in childhood or as an adult, developing PTSD from bullying can have devastating effects on a person’s wellbeing. Whether you are a survivor, or are supporting someone going through treatment and therapy for PTSD, there are a number of ways in which you can aid the healing process.

You can try to incorporate some of these practices into your daily routine to see how they can positively affect your life as you continue on your road to recovery.

  • Recognize your value and worth

Bullying is fueled by targeting an individual’s insecurities and breaking down their resolve and self-confidence overtime. As a result, experiencing bullying can significantly affect self-esteem and self-worth. It can take a long time to try and rebuild after being bullied, but it’s important to focus on learning to become you again and accepting past insults as nothing more than means to hurt you.

To start healing, begin by making a list of your positive characteristics, such as what your strengths are and what other people like about you.

  • Prioritize your health and recovery

Victims of bullying can show symptoms of other health issues, aside from PTSD, these can include stress, headaches, insomnia, anxiety, eating disorders, and substance use disorders. If at any point you feel you are struggling and recognize that you deserve the help you need, then don’t hesitate to talk to your doctor about symptoms. The effects of bullying on your state of your physical and mental health can be serious. So, it’s imperative that you take steps to care for yourself and take back control of your happiness.

  • Be patient

Bullying can leave deep scars. This means that recovery won’t be necessarily straightforward, and especially if it has carried on for some months or even years.

Make sure that you celebrate progression, no matter how small this can be. This is a journey, and each step should be recognized. You’re working hard to heal from the damage caused by others, so take the time and space you need.

  • Help other people

If you know of others in a similar position to you, and feel that you could be of some assistance, then don’t shy away from holding out a helping hand. Sharing your traumatic experiences with others can be beneficial for all those involved and can be incredibly self-affirming.

  • Forgiveness

If you feel able to, try and forgive the person or persons who bullied you. Anger and resentment can hold you back, and ultimately you don’t want to have to continue having to think about those who subjected you to the unacceptable behavior you’re trying to move on from.

Forgiveness is a way to regain control, and to let go of the past and focus on the present and the future. It’s also very important to remember that this is not your fault, that someone chose to bully you for the sake of being a bully.

Now is the time to take back control of your life and to enjoy it, too.

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