Bullying Linked to Adult Psychiatric Disorders

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It has long been accepted that bullying in general can have long lasting, potentially devastating effects on a person’s mental health over time. A number of studies have been completed in the last several years that help to cast an important light on just how close the relationship between bullying and adult psychiatric disorders really is. These studies also help to paint an important picture about a very serious issue that is affecting millions of people all over the United States that needs to be addressed at all costs.

In 2013, a group of professors from Duke University released a study that was years in the making. Collectively, they followed a group of 1,000.  Individuals were interviewed annually, at which point several additional interviews were conducted as they aged. The study itself revealed a number of distressing facts. Among those facts were that those who endured bullying had a higher chance of developing psychiatric disorders like anxiety and agoraphobia later on in life.

Other key findings that came about as a result of the study included the revelation that individuals who were bullied consistently were at an increased risk of developing a personality disorder. Additionally, bullying victims were at a much higher risk of developing things like panic attacks and depression.

The study also revealed that gender also has interesting affects on the types of adult psychiatric disorders that bullying victims are more likely to develop. The females in the group were much more likely to develop agoraphobia, for example, while the males were much more likely to develop suicidal thoughts and tendencies

What is perhaps most interesting, has to do with the different types of factors with no impact on conditions developed by bullying victims. Even the sample group from a dysfunctional home or from poverty-stricken situations, for example, were still at an increased risk of developing a psychiatric disorder.  The professors who conducted the study indicated that this revelation makes sense because, disorders themselves are so powerfully impacted by life’s experiences that they can carry it with them all the way through life. This all goes a long way towards showing just how serious bullying is and, how important it is to help those in these types of situations as soon as possible.

Luckily, the news from this (and other studies) isn’t necessarily completely grim. According to Dr. Victor Fornari, the North Shore-LIJ Health System director psychiatry, indicated that these types of studies serve to confirm that intervention in bullying situations can not only positively benefit the person in the short term, it can also help prevent these types of mental and emotional issues from developing in the future.

Pasadena Villa Psychiatric Residential Treatment Network of Services all have a zero tolerance policy in regards to bullying.  For example, the third resident responsibility clearly stated to all residents is, that no one can interfere with the care of others in treatment. This means that everyone must respect the rights of others, just as you want them to respect your individual rights in return. A prime example of behaviors considered to interfere with the treatment of others include, but are not limited to; harassing, bullying, or aggressive behaviors toward any staff or residents.  From the beginning, we strive to create a comforting and therapeutic environment for those suffering from mental illness. We wholeheartedly believe in treating all residents with compassion, and all of our programs are designed in ways that preserve and protect their dignity at all times.

Our mental health professionals work directly with residents. They observe them in actual social situations and incorporate these observations directly into the resident’s ongoing treatment plan.  We do common activities that many families do. Our staff and residents learn and model appropriate social and communication skills, from daily mealtimes, to many enjoyable social and recreational activities. This individual, real life personalized attention makes the Pasadena Villa treatment experience more appropriate and beneficial for each of our residents, especially when compared to any other available adult residential treatment mental health services.

The Villa Orlando and Pasadena Villa’s Smoky Mountain Lodge are adult intensive psychiatric residential treatment centers for clients with serious mental illnesses. Our outpatient center is located in Raleigh, North Carolina. We also provide other individualized therapy programs, step-down residential programs, and less intensive mental health services, such as Community Residential Homes, Supportive Housing, Day Treatment Programs and Life Skills training. If you or someone you know may need counseling on mental health services, please fill out our contact form or call us at 407-215-2519 for more information.





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