Bullying is an ongoing problem in many schools, sports teams and social circles. While there is now fortunately more awareness surrounding the negative psychological effects of bullying, research shows that there could also be underlying physical effects that can follow a child well into adulthood, including an increased risk for heart disease.
Chronic Stress and Heart Disease
Although many adults now understand the negative effects that chronic stress can have on their bodies and overall well-being, the connection between stress and bullying is often overlooked. The fact of the matter is that children who are bullied are in a constant state of stress, which can put them at risk for developing heart disease and diabetes later in life.
Signs of Bullying
If you suspect that your child is being bullied, it’s important to get help for him or her as soon as possible to resolve the situation before it escalates and becomes even more difficult to manage. Talk with a school counselor, coach or other trusted adult who may have more insight into what’s going on with your child at school.
As a parent, you can also help by familiarizing yourself with some of the most common signs of bullying so that you can recognize them in your child:
- Trouble sleeping
- Loss of appetite
- Disinterest in hobbies and other activities
- Lost or damaged items
- Faking sickness
- Frequent headaches
- Unexplainable injuries
Helping your child get bullying under control early on can have a huge impact on his or her emotional and physical health, both right now and down the road.