Bullying is a word used to describe deliberate behaviour that causes upset and hurt to another person.
Bullying is intended to, and can cause emotional, psychological or physical pain, harm and distress (worry and upset) to another person. Common emotions of someone who is being bullied include, but are not limited to; worry and fear, low mood, embarrassment and humiliation, feeling worthless, helpless and hopeless.
This may impact a person’s mood, health and ability to live their everyday life.
There are many forms of bullying which can include ‘teasing’, ‘banter’ as well as online bullying. Online bullying includes being bullied via mobile phone, email, messaging services, and social media.
Bullying can happen to anyone of any age, gender, ethnicity or background. Although bullying can be common in schools, colleges and online, this does not mean that it is ok.
What it might look like, or feel like, if someone is being bullied:
- Having low self-esteem and lacking in confidence; feeling not good enough, or not as good as anyone else
- Believing what bullies tell them
- Feeling worried and panicking
- Having physical (body) feelings such as a racing heart rate, quicker breathing, upset tummy, feeling sick, feeling dizzy or faint, sweaty hands
- Having lots of “what if” thoughts (such as, “what if something bad happens?” which can result in them feeling too overwhelmed to go into school
- Feeling angry towards bullies and other people (this might mean they might behave in an angry way; being irritable, shouting or being physically aggressive)
- Difficulties concentrating and struggling with motivation; you may notice, or they may report they are not doing as well in their work at school
- They may not feel like hanging out with their friends or doing sociable things
- They might not enjoy their hobbies and interests as much as they once did
- Problems with sleep (difficulties getting to, or staying asleep, nightmares)
- For some young people they may wet the bed at night (this is often a sign of unhappiness and stress)
- They may have thoughts about harming themselves, or ending their life.
Things that might help someone being bullied:
- Many young people worry about telling an adult as they don’t want the bullying to get worse, and also worry about being believed. Although these worries are understandable, it’s important that young people feel able to tell a trusted adult so that they can have the help and support they need. Being aware and acknowledging that young people have these worries is important.
- Some forms of bullying are illegal (violence, theft, harassment or intimidation, threats and abusive phone calls, emails or text messages) and should be reported to the Police.
- Remind young people: If they are being bullied, it is not their fault and they do not deserve to be abused or made to feel any less of a person.
- Encourage young people to practice ‘safe social media use’- block, unfriend, mute and delete anyone or any group that is unhelpful. If social media is a problem; delete the apps on their account. Encourage the young person to turn their phone off at night.
- Find hobbies and activities that will boost their self-esteem and confidence. Joining new groups or clubs will give them the opportunity to meet new people and make new friends
- There is more information on the Hampshire CAMHS website
- If a young person is in crisis they can call 116123 or text YM to 85258 (free to call or text 24hrs a day 7 days a week)
- Use coping techniques and strategies (see videos below)
- Share concerns with your child’s school/college and identify whether additional pastoral support is available
- Help and support may be available from your child’s school nursing team.
- Seek advice, guidance and support from Young Minds Parent Helpline: 08088025544