Cyberbullying, Mental Health and Prevention

2650 Words11 Pages
Cyberbullying is a widespread occurrence and can have incredibly serious consequences. According to Goebert and colleagues (2010), “Recent studies have shown that cyberbullying can result in emotional distress, depression, anxiety, and suicidality” (p. 1282). These adolescents do not have the necessary skills to cope with the abuse on their own, potentially causing them to turn to other activities for escape, such as self-injurious behaviors or drug use. Although these young victims feel as though they have no way out of their situation, only one in three victims told their parents about the attacks (Goebert et al, 2010, p. 1285). During a cyberbullying attack, victims may exhibit distinctive psychological symptoms. These symptoms can include, but are not limited to, distancing oneself from electronic devices, difficulty sleeping, irritability or extreme moodiness, or appearing anxious when using personal communication devices. Some victims and aggressors may express desire to harm others or themselves. In order to prevent potential mental health issues, parents and educators must work to identify the symptoms of cyberbullying abuse (Goebert et al, 2010, p. 1285). Suicide “Cyberbullying when directly or indirectly related to suicide is called cyberbullicide” (Luxton et al, 2012, p. 195). A recent study conducted by Goebert and colleagues (2010) determined that adolescents who are victimized by cyberbullying attacks are 3.2 times more likely to attempt suicide (p. 1283). Victims of cyberbullying often feel that they are unable to control the situation at hand. However, they become embarrassed of the bullying and fail to notify an official. Adolescents who are cyberbullied feel that they have no escape from technology in the w... ... middle of paper ... ... substance abuse. Although many states have enacted laws that cover cyberbullying, the wording used is incredibly vague and many argue that these statutes disregard a person’s constitutional right to free speech. The policies within schools are not much better, and many school workers have admitted that they are not equipped to handle cyberbullying cases. Although cyberbullying can have very severe consequences when not handled correctly, there are prevention and intervention strategies that can be utilized by schools, parents, and even bystanders. Cyberbullying can lead to traumatic losses through suicide, and it is vital that students, parents, and school officials understand the severity of this problem. Cyberbullying is a mounting problem within the United States, and requires the attention of school officials, lawmakers, and psychologists immediately.
Open Document