The effects of harassment can often drive the victim to feel thoughts of depression, low self-confidence, and little self-esteem. Apart from being physically hurt, they have to deal with the persistent dread of the next attack, which is almost certain to come unless intervention is sought. The victim’s life can turn into a misery, and school becomes a place to be avoided. The unprovoked attacks can lead to feelings of demoralisation and humiliation, causing loss of self confidence and self-esteem. Victims may experience symptoms such as headaches, stomach aches, nightmares and anxiety attacks.
Over the longer term the victim’s education may suffer through lack of attendance at school, inability to concentrate and from choosing subjects in order to avoid a bully, rather than to develop personal interests and talents. The damage to self-confidence may have long lasting career consequences. Children who are persistently harassed tend to suffer more depression in adulthood.
Not only can bullying hurt the victim, but it is extremely unhealthy for the bully also. Bullies have a higher incidence of suicidal thoughts, and a feeling of having lower self-worth than other children. They also suffer increased rates of depression as adults.
The bully’s aggressive behaviour, if it is not modified or challenged, may be strengthened each time it achieves a quick and easy response. In the longer term, the bully’s aggression may become accepted as his/her normal way