A recent study suggests that bullying may have caused roughly a third of the adult population battling depression to develop the condition in the first place.
Researchers at the University of Oxford and three (3) other English universities tracked more than 2.600 subjects (2.668 to be exact) from early childhood all through their adulthood.
They found that the subjects who were frequently bullied at age 13, had more than double the risk of falling into depression at age 18, when compared to the subjects who were never victims of bullying.
Even when researchers took into account factors such as behavioral problems, social class, domestic abuse or family history of depression, subjects who faced a bully at least once a week during childhood or early teen years still had more than twice the chance of developing depression after becoming full grown adults.
In their study, the team of researchers wrote that “Depression is a major public health problem worldwide, with high social and economic costs. Interventions during adolescence could help to reduce the burden or depression later in life”.
The research, published earlier this week, on Tuesday (June 2, 2015), in the journal BMJ, doesn’t prove with a hundred percent (100%) certainty that bullying is the root cause of depression, however Lucy Bowes, study researcher and psychologist at the University of Oxford, said that there is an undeniable relationship between them as emotional problems and baseline depression caused by bullying can easily lead to clinical depression later in life. In fact, the team found that the more bullying a child endures the more their chances of developing depression down the line increase.
Even more proof can be found by looking at the statements of adults with depression. Many of them recall being bullied when they were young. On top of this, some previous studies have connected bullying to fleeting moments of depression, and other previous studies have shown that people are victims of bullying during childhood are very likely to suffer from long-term mental health problems.
To reach their findings, the researchers examined data from Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children. Some the subjects “joined” the study before they were ever born, others became a part of it when they were as young as seven (7).
The experts tracks the subjects when they were between the ages of eight (8) and thirteen (13), frequently chatting with them and asking them questions about bullying, especially focusing on incidents that happened at age thirteen (13).
The subjects were asked which of the nine (9) types of bullying they experienced, and how often – frequently (at least once a week), repeatedly (at least four times in their life), sometimes (less than four times in their life).
The most popular form of bullying proved to be name-calling, with 36 percent (36%) of young teens being victims of it. “Bullies taking your stuff” affected 22 percent (22%) of young teens, “bullies spreading lies about you” affected 16 percent (16%) of young teens, physical beating affected 11 percent (11%) of young teens, isolation from peers affected 10 percent (10%) of young teens, blackmail affected 9 percent (9%) of young teens, bullies trying to make them do something they didn’t want to do affected 8 percent (8%) of young teens, being tricked by bullies affected 8 percent (8%) of young teens, “bullies spoiling a game in order to upset you” affected 5 percent (5%) of young teens.
The researchers found that 15 percent (15%) of the subjects who had endured bullying developed depression later in life, while only 5 percent (5%) of the subjects who hadn’t endured bullying developed depression later in life.
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