In July 2023, News 18 reported on Aydin Pedone, a 15-year-old teenager from Hudson Falls, who fell prey to bullying. An online video clip of the teen in a Spiderman costume showed that he was subjected to severe bullying, leading to a broken nose.
According to the New York Post, Aydin was coerced into coming to a local park where the incident occurred. He found himself cornered and approached by a girl who attempted to strike him in the face. Aydin managed to evade the first attack, but as he tried to defend himself, the girl successfully landed a blow on his nose. Afterward, she laughed and walked away while other bullies filmed the incident and hurled insults at him.
The New York Post also reported that Aydin required a medical procedure to heal his nose. Initially, this incident went unnoticed by online communities. However, a GoFundMe page was created for Aydin to seek justice and compensation, and $10,000 was raised to support his martial arts training.
Additionally, a superhero-themed cookout was held at the same park where the incident occurred. Cosplayers across the United States recorded videos and shared them on social media with the hashtag #AydinsHeroes.
Meanwhile, Aydin’s mother, Shellie Pedone, expressed her thoughts on Facebook. She claimed that her son was bullied because some teens find it an entertaining way to end their boredom. Shellie lamented that this is an unfortunate reality faced by many teens.
Aydin is not the only teenager who has experienced such bullying attacks. Many adolescents around the world are subjected to similar mistreatment, which negatively impacts their mental health. In this blog post, we will discuss the effects of bullying on teen mental health and explore the steps parents can take to identify and address this issue.
Data from the United States indicates that a significant percentage of adolescents between the ages of 12 and 18 have experienced bullying. This distressing phenomenon can have detrimental effects on their overall well-being. Teens subjected to bullying may develop various mental health issues, such as depression and anxiety, which can impact their academic performance.
According to the CDC’s 2011 to 2021 Youth Risk Behavior Survey, students’ mental health has worsened significantly in recent years. More than 40% of high school students experience feelings of hopelessness and sadness, affecting their daily activities. Given the increasing mental health crisis among youth, it is crucial to recognize factors such as bullying, which can contribute to distress in teens.
In February 2023, a study published in the PLOS ONE journal shed light on specific types of bullying that can be particularly harmful. Researchers analyzed data from a cross-sectional survey comprising 70,541 responses from students in grades 6 to 11, leading to some interesting conclusions.
The study revealed that religion-based bullying and physical bullying had less severe effects on teen mental health. However, bullying related to sexual orientation and gender identity was strongly associated with suicide attempts and profound sadness among teenagers. Additionally, racial, cyber, and social bullying were found to contribute to increased suicide attempts and emotional distress in teens.
In July 2022, Verywell Family reported that many teenagers struggle to verbalize their experiences of bullying, often remaining silent or displaying other behavioral changes.
Ciandra St. Kitts, LCSW, a certified clinical social worker, emphasizes the importance of parents observing and assessing non-verbal reactions to determine if their children have been bullied. Parents need to keep their eyes open and ask questions to assess the emotional condition of their teens.
One noticeable indication of bullying is the disappearance of their usual friends. This could be due to social isolation stemming from the trauma, or the bullies may belong to the same social circle as their friends.
Another sign is a sudden change in mood. Some teens might react negatively to jokes or comments that previously elicited laughter or a humorous response. Alterations in sleeping patterns can also be a sign of bullying, as unresolved emotional issues can keep them awake at night, leading to daytime sleepiness.
Bullied teens who get bullied often complain of stomachaches, headaches, and other ailments to get themselves excused from school and other activities. Some physical signs to watch out for include scratches, bruises, and unexplained cuts.
In July 2023, Euronews reported on the tragic case of Lindsay Gervois, a 13-year-old teenager who died by suicide after enduring eight months of bullying in secondary school. This heartbreaking incident has reignited the discussion on teen bullying and the need for practical solutions to protect our kids.
Teens who have experienced bullying and are struggling to cope can find support through therapy. Parents have an essential role to play by educating their teenage children about the benefits of therapy and how it can help them develop the mental strength to live their desired lives. This information should be presented in a simple fashion rather than overwhelming them with an excess of ideas.
According to Positive Psychology, cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is recommended for teens who have faced bullying. Additionally, therapists and nursing professionals specializing in psychiatric mental health and holding a nurse practitioner degree can provide additional support.
These professionals have the expertise to identify the underlying causes of suicidal thoughts resulting from the trauma inflicted by bullying. They utilize comprehensive healing approaches to address individuals’ overall well-being.
Marymount University highlights that most mental health nurse practitioners have the skills to deliver evidence-based behavioral and mental health care to patients of all ages. These practitioners demonstrate compassion and can assess diverse mental health needs, prescribe necessary medications, advocate for their patients, and provide therapy sessions.
In November 2022, the Boys and Girls Clubs of America published a detailed piece on teen bullying, stating that bullying is intentional, repeated, and creates a power imbalance in relationships. It is carried out by teens who seek to feel superior by inflicting harm on others and often stems from feelings of jealousy, insecurity, or a lack of moral judgment.
While parents and schools can take the necessary actions to stop bullying, there may still be sudden attacks on teens like Aydin and Lindsay. In such cases, it is crucial for parents to closely monitor their child’s behavior, mood, and mental health. Once they realize their teen has experienced bullying, they should select the most appropriate therapy to help them cope.
The aim is to encourage teens to face the challenge rather than give up, resort to suicide, or become entangled in harmful activities or substances.
About the Author: Susan Trager is a seasoned mental health nurse dedicated to promoting mental wellness and providing compassionate care through PMHNP programs online at various reputed universities. With a deep understanding of the complexities of mental health, she offers valuable insights and practical advice to empower individuals on their healing journeys. Known for her empathetic approach, Trager strives to destigmatize mental health issues and create a safe space for those in need.
Photo by RDNE Stock project: https://www.pexels.com/photo/girl-sitting-on-her-desk-while-using-her-smartphone-6936070/
The opinions and views expressed in any guest blog post do not necessarily reflect those of www.rtor.org or its sponsor, Laurel House, Inc. The author and www.rtor.org have no affiliations with any products or services mentioned in the article or linked to therein. Guest Authors may have affiliations to products mentioned or linked to in their author bios.
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