Ant-Bullying Week – How being bullied affects you

As part of Anti-Bullying Week (13th-17th Nov) which is organised by the Anti-Bullying Alliance (ABA).  Our colleague Nicola Martin, is helping to Make A Noise About Bullying. In this article, she looks at how being bullied can affect you.

Bullying can affect you both mentally (psychologically) and physically, both are damaging and difficult to deal with. Here I have look at both of these in more detail:

Effects of Bullying


  • Low self-esteem.
  • Self-harming behaviours.
  • Alcohol and Drug use and dependence.
  • Involvement in violence.
  • Involvement in crime.
  • Bullying can lead to mental health problems.

Physical Effects

The Stress Response

Stress from bullying triggers a series of physical changes within the body known as the fight-flight response which is designed to protect you from danger.

When the brain recognises a stressful situation, it stimulates the release of a hormone that encourages your kidneys to release epinephrine. This in turn triggers the release of the stress hormone cortisol. This raises your blood pressure and pulse, increases your blood sugar levels, and prepares your muscles for action. While this is going on the body suppresses less essential processes such as immune and digestive function.

Although these changes are effective at protecting us from danger, when triggered daily due to bullying, it is not good for the body and explains the physical effects experienced by victims.

Other Physical Effects:

  • Tension headaches.
  • Muscle pain.
  • Digestive upset.
  • Weight changes.
  • Altered immune function.
  • Heart health.

If you are being bullied or think someone you care for might be, and are experiencing any of these effects of bullying, the ABA website has some useful advice and support, follow the link below.

Bullying Advice and Support

By Nicola Martin