Bullied as a child? Or a bully? It can last forever

What seems to me an odd twist in the sad story of children bullying other children is that it lasts well into their lifetimes.  Bullies, too.

According to an article in The New York Times, those who are bullied, and the ones who do the bullying, have psychiatric problems in childhood, which has been known for some time. But chilling new research shows that they also have an "elevated risk of psychiatric trouble extends into adulthood, sometimes even a decade after the intimidation has ended."

Catherine Saint Louis writes that the new study is the most comprehensive ever done on this subject.  "“The experience of bullying in childhood can have profound effects on mental health in adulthood, particularly among youths involved in bullying as both a perpetuator and a victim," Catherine Bradshaw, an expert on bullying and a deputy director of the Center for the Prevention of Youth Violence at Johns Hopkins University, which was not involved in the study, told Saint Louis.

Of course, when you think bully -- or at least when I do -- Adam Lanza immediately comes to mind.  On the recent PBS special on rampage killers, another high school shooter was actually videotaped being knocked to the ground, kicked and punched, by his "friends." All while he was smiling and laughing.

I've been thinking a lot about kids like this, not forgiving or condoning -- certainly! -- their behavior, but just wondering why they didn't get help sooner, and feeling so sad they didn't, for the victims, us, and for them.



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