Mental Health Issues and Bullying

mental illness bullyingA person’s mental health issues can be the source of a great deal of bullying through out their life. Starting in adolescence, harsh opinions of mental problems begin to emerge in the form of bullying and avoidance. Children bully one another for a number of reasons, many of which are not mental health related. And even though mental health issues are just beginning to form in childhood, they can still be present and other children can sense them.

As children, people bully others blatantly for being different, and this phase of life can prove to be very difficult for those who struggle with mental problems. Children are only beginning to develop the mental problems that they will likely struggle with their entire lives, but this is enough to get them ostracized by other children. This is hurtful, scarring and sometimes even traumatic for young children. The ramifications of this can often be seen through out a person’s entire life, well into their adulthood.

In adulthood, bullying is called “stigmatizing,” which is the process of judging people and holding them responsible for their mental health problems. Children bully without inhibition where as adults bully in a more underhanded way, but it all stems from the same immature intolerance. People are inherently more comfortable around others like them. Those who mature properly come to realize that diversity is reality, and mental disorders are part of diversity. They learn to accept and work with those who have a mental illness at whatever level they can. Unfortunately, many people choose to continue limiting themselves to people like them so that they do not have to grow outside their comfort zone. This means they continue to ostracize people with mental disorders and prohibit them from being part of their group. The stigmatizing of mental disorders is ugly, but there is a great deal of awareness being called to them because they are so present in our culture.

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