Monday, May 19, 2014

The long-lasting, toxic stress of being bullied

Bullying doesn't end in childhood. For victims, the health consequences can last a lifetime.
Unfortunately, those negative experiences may affect him for years.  

Unfortunately, those negative experiences may affect him for years.
The Conversation
A new U.S. study has found that victims of bullying have high levels of a protein in their bloodstream that is associated with fighting off an infection — and that it lingers even into early adulthood. This finding may help us further understand the association between childhood bullying and poor health outcomes later in life.

Research has consistently shown that young victims of bullying show symptoms of anxiety, depression, as well as conduct problems and psychotic symptoms. These problems related to children's mental health can persist even after the bullying has stopped, sometimes up until mid-life.

There are some hypotheses that bullying victimization is a form of "toxic stress" that can have an impact on physiological responses to childhood adversity. In turn, these responses may help explain why some victims develop health problems.

Mental and physical health problems are often related and although young children are generally healthy, research has started to show that bullied children tend to become adults with health problems.

One such mechanism is the inflammatory response, measured by the release in the bloodstream of a protein called C-reactive protein (CRP). High levels of CRP is a generic response that indicates that the body is either fighting an infectious agent, reacting to an injury, or responding to a chronic condition such as arthritis.
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