According to new research, teenagers who have been the victims of bullying throughout their adolescence are more likely to suffer from depression later in adulthood.
The new study found that almost a third of the young individuals who have been bullied showed symptoms of depressions as adults.
The researchers who conducted the study said that people who were frequently bullied when they were 13 were two times more likely to develop clinical depression by the time they reached 18, as compared to those who were never bullied.
Lucy Bowes, one of the psychologists who conducted the study, said that no one can really say if bullying is the sole cause of depression in these people, but the research strongly suggests there is a casual association.
According to Bowes, previous studies have showed a relationship between bullying in the formative years and symptoms of depression over a short term.
There are other studies that suggest victims of bullying may develop mental problems on the long term.
For example, as study conducted in 2013 and published in the journal JAMA Psychiatry showed that bullied people had an increased risk of anxiety disorders and depression in adulthood. This study showed that both the bullied and the bullies had an increased risk of depression later in their lives.
For this new study, the scientists used data collected from UK’s Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children.
This study involved surveying kids aged 13 about bullying. The kids were asked if they had ever been physically abused, threaten, lied to, rumored and excluded from a group.
Bowes said that we live in an age when the influence of our peers is extremely important.
When they reached the end of their teenage years, the scientists questioned them if they experience any symptoms of clinical depression.
The study showed that approximately 15% of the kids who have been bullied were depressed by the time they were 18, compared to those who had not been bullied.
The researchers wrote that the kids who said they had been bullied frequently when they were 13, were two times more likely to be depressed at 18.
The study also found that between 41 and 74% of the participants said they didn’t tell their teachers about them being bullied, while 24 to 51% said they didn’t tell anything to their parents.
The findings of the new study were published in the British Medical Journal.
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