Depression is an illness that affects one in five people. Depression affects your entire body including your mind. Depression can affect your physical health including an increase in pain especially back pain, fatigue, loss of appetite or interest in sex, insomnia or oversleeping. Bullies and victims of bullying often suffer from depression.
Bullying affects all regardless of age, race, economic level or gender. All people are susceptible to suffering from depression. It has been found however, that women suffer from depression almost twice as much as men. Untreated depression is the number one cause of suicide (Gray, 1995). Also, those who are cyber-bullied are more likely to suffer from depression.
The most recent school shooting in Marysville, Washington by Jayson Freyberg resulted in the death of two students as well as himself and the wounding of at least two others. Freyberg’s tweets revealed that he may have revealed signs of depression in his statements, “It breaks me… It actually does… I know it seems like I’m sweating it off … But I’m not… And I never will be able to…” (Aljazeerah, 2014).
Females are more likely to report attempting suicide but males are more likely to die from suicide. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention of the reported suicides in the 10-to-24-year-age group, 81% of the deaths were males and 19% were females. A history of depression is a main risk factor for suicide.
Look for the following signs to help prevent depression and bullying:
- Outburst of crying
- Bursts of anger
- Feeling tired
- Wanting to be alone
- Giving away prized possessions
- Complaining of aches and pains
- Changes in sleep habits
- Change in appetite
- Being worried
If you notice these signs in your child, friend or yourself or if your child is bullying or a victim of bullying talk to your child or have them speak with the school counselor. If symptoms are persistent or increase make an appointment with a psychologist or psychiatrist. If you feel the person may endanger their life or the life of others call 911, go to the emergency room or call the National Suicide Prevention Lifelines or Hotlines, such as 1-800-273-8255.