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Friday, May 8, 2009

Another reason why bullies must be stopped in their tracks

A new study has been published in Britain which indicates that that children who are bullied, face the risk of developing schizophrenia due to the bullying *sigh*.

According to a news article published at the Globe and Mail on May 8,2009 by Paul Taylor states:

"Children who face relentless bullying from their peers are at elevated risk of developing psychotic symptoms by the time they reach early adolescence, a British study has revealed.
Previous research has shown that bullying can lead to anxiety, depression and even suicide. But the new study, by researchers at the University of Warwick, is the first to link bullying with psychotic symptoms, which include hallucinations, delusions, and bizarre and paranoid thoughts.
Dieter Wolke, one of the authors of the study, said these early psychotic episodes may act as a trigger for schizophrenia in those who are genetically predisposed to developing the mental disorder.
Essentially, the stress caused by severe and chronic victimization may be enough to push a vulnerable person over the edge, leading to full-blown schizophrenia, Dr. Wolke speculated.
He noted that stress spurs the release of cortisol, a hormone that might alter the developing brain. What's more, being treated badly can have long-lasting effects on the thought processes of an impressionable child.
Further research would be needed to confirm that bullying can be the spark for schizophrenia.
The latest findings, published in Archives of General Psychiatry, are based on an assessment of 6,437 young individuals.
At the ages of 8 and 10, the children were asked if they had been bullied in the past six months. Bullying included threats or acts of physical violence as well as emotional victimization such as being ostracized by a group of other children. Parents and teachers were also quizzed about the extent of bullying. Then, at the age of 13, the children were assessed for signs of psychotic symptoms. About 46 per cent of the kids had been victims of bullying to some degree. The children who experienced a great deal of bullying tended to be the ones who were most likely to suffer from psychotic symptoms.
But Dr. Wolke emphasized that the odds of developing such symptoms must be kept in perspective.
"You have an increased risk, but it doesn't mean that most of the children who were bullied developed psychotic symptoms," he said in an interview.
The study showed that up to 18 per cent of those who were severely bullied had some symptoms, he said. By contrast, 4 per cent of those who were not bullied displayed some psychotic-like behaviour, he said.
Nonetheless, bullying is a serious matter with potentially life-altering consequences, he said, adding that schools and parents should adopt strategies to prevent this form of cruel victimization. (source:

Bullies have to be stopped!!

According to Batsche, George M.; Knoff, Howard M. in their Analysis of research on bullying, (source:

"bullying affects 15-20% of all students in schools today". That is far too many innocent victims!
And other research affirms that this level of the school population is affected by bullying According to an article entitled "School bullies, victims, and aggressive victims: Factors relating to group affiliation and victimization in early adolescence", written by Pellegrini, Anthony D.; Bartini, Maria; Brooks, Fred in the Journal of Educational Psychology. Vol 91(2), Jun 1999,

"The occurrence of bullying, victimization, and aggressive victimization was documented in a sample of 5th graders. Bullies comprised about 14% of the sample, whereas aggressive victims and victims comprised, respectively, 5% and 18% (source:"

That is far too many children having to deal with the effects of being bullied!!!

What have school systems done to deal with bullying?

Some school systems have created bullying prevention programs, school staff members are now required to take immediate action when bullying is observed,referrals to counseling or mental health staff, when appropriate, for further work with students who are bullied and with students
who bully are now occurring, (source:,

School bullying has been identified as a risk factor associated with antisocial and criminal behaviour. Bullies are more likely to drop out of school and to engage in delinquent and criminal
behaviour. The victims are more likely to have higher levels of stress, anxiety,
depression and illness, and an increased tendency to suicide (source: Brenda Morrison, Bullying and Victimisation in Schools: A Restorative Justice Approach, Australian Institute of Criminology). According to recent research "in the last decade or so there has been increasing awareness that bullying is a serious, and insidious, form of violence that plagues
the school system (Rigby 1996). Those who bully are more likely to drop out of school, use drugs and alcohol, as well as engage in subsequent delinquent and criminal behaviour (Farrington 1993). Children who are bullied have higher levels of stress, anxiety, depression, illness and suicidal ideation (Rigby 1998). For both, this cycle becomes an obstacle to learning, self-
development and effective citizenship. The consequences affect not only the individuals themselves, and their families, but also society at large, for it is society that supports those in the justice and health care systems. (sources:Rigby, K. 1996, Bullying in Schools: What
To Do About It, Australian Council for Education Research Limited,Melbourne and
Farrington, D.P. 1993, “Understanding and preventing bullying”, in M. Tonry & N. Morris (eds.),
Crime and Justice: A Review of Research, vol. 17, University of Chicago Press, Chicago, pp. 381–

Parents in this world must make communication with their children a main priority in their lives. Children must be made to feel that they can come to a parent, teacher,guidance counselor or other adult freely and report that they are being bullied, before the bullying takes a terrible toll on the bullied child! If bullying can actually cause the bullied child to develop psychotic symptoms which may trigger schizophrenia in the bullied child, isn't this enough of a reason for school systems of this world to implement anti-bullying programs which require extreme diligence on the part of staff members, and children so that instances of bullying are dealt with immediately??? Our children are our future, too many children are apparently being severely affected by bullying in our school systems, and having their futures jeopardized with the possibility of the development of severe psychiatric conditions due to bullies!!!

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Thoughts worth thinking about

"Our subconscious minds have no sense of humor, play no jokes and cannot tell the difference between reality and an imagined thought or image. What we continually think about eventually will manifest in our lives."-Sidney Madwed

Laws alone can not secure freedom of expression; in order that every woman and man present their views without penalty, there must be spirit of tolerance in the entire population.- Albert Einstein Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. - Leo Buscaglia

A person's true wealth is the good he or she does in the world. - Mohammed

Our task must be to free ourselves... by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature and its beauty. -Albert Einstein

The best way to find yourself, is to lose yourself in the service of others. - Ghandi

The unselfish effort to bring cheer to others will be the beginning of a happier life for ourselves. - Helen Keller

Aim for success, not perfection. Never give up your right to be wrong, because then you will lose the ability to learn new things and move forward with your life. Remember that fear always lurks behind perfectionism. Confronting your fears and allowing yourself the right to be human can, paradoxically, make yourself a happier and more productive person. - Dr. David M. Burns

Life is as dear to a mute creature as it is to man. Just as one wants happiness and fears pain, just as one wants to live and not die, so do other creatures. -His Holiness The Dalai Lama

Mankind's true moral test, its fundamental test (which lies deeply buried from view), consists of its attitude towards those who are at its mercy: animals. And in this respect mankind has suffered a fundamental debacle, a debacle so fundamental that all others stem from it. -

Milan Kundera, The Unbearable Lightness of Being

The worst sin towards our fellow creatures is not to hate them, but to be indifferent to them. That's the essence of inhumanity. -George Bernard Shaw

Ego's trick is to make us lose sight of our interdependence. That kind of ego-thought gives us a perfect justification to look out only for ourselves. But that is far from the truth. In reality we all depend on each other and we have to help each other. The husband has to help his wife, the wife has to help the husband, the mother has to help her children, and the children are supposed to help the parents too, whether they want to or not.-Gehlek Rinpoche Source: "The Best Buddhist Writing 2005 pg. 165

The hostile attitude of conquering nature ignores the basic interdependence of all things and events---that the world beyond the skin is actually an extension of our own bodies---and will end in destroying the very environment from which we emerge and upon which our whole life depends.