Teen Bullying Treatment
Bullying is maliciously attacking another person, whether physically, mentally, or emotionally, to intentionally or unintentionally cause harm. It is characterized by repeated attacks. While some forms of bullying are obvious, others are covert and may be harder to initially identify.
Aggression and bullying are not the same thing. Some teens can be aggressive while trying to communicate, but they don’t wish anyone else harm. Aggressive people sometimes need to be taught to reign in their demanding ways. guiding them towards a more respectful lifestyle. On the other hand, bullies purposely use other people as human punching bags, venting their own frustrations on their victims.
It can be difficult to separate social behaviors that are considered healthy from true acts of bullying, which is why it’s always critical to examine the full context of any situation. Some acts that appear violent may be truly accidental, while bullies are always intentional.
Bullying is especially prevalent in middle schools and high schools, but it exists in the lower levels, too. Teens in middle school begin to develop social groups and tend to be choosier about including some people while excluding others. They’re learning to communicate and interact on new social levels.
What Does Bullying Look Like?
- Bullied teens show signs of low self-esteem. They mentally replay the negative comments they receive from people they come into contact with regularly.
- Kids and teens with eccentricities or any sort of abnormality are bullied far more than others. This is especially true among those with mental health disorders and other physically illnesses.
- Teens who are bullied may become antisocial and experience true emotional trauma that can even lead to PTSD. They may also become bullies in an effort to retaliate.
Examples of Teen Bullying
Threatening and intimidating actions
Verbal and written rumor spreading
Inappropriate teasing or name calling
Inappropriate comments or questions of a sexual nature
Embarrassing someone on purpose
Groups ganging up on one or multiple people
The Different Types of Bullying
Physical Bullying - can include hitting, kicking, shoving, slapping, hair-pulling, and even choking another person. Any form of violence or forcing one’s way into another person’s personal sphere is included. This type of bullying is very obvious and is common among boys.
Verbal Bullying - includes saying things that makes someone feel bad. The comments are usually mean-spirited and insulting and focus on physical attributes a person isn’t always necessarily able to change --- like weight, skin color, a physical abnormality, and others.
Social Bullying - is a form of verbal bullying that focuses on damaging a person’s reputation within the school atmosphere. Bullies spread rumors, exclude teens from previously acceptable activities, and are completely alienating.
Cyber Bullying - happens online via social media apps and email. Teens put up websites, share edited videos and photos, and send hateful messages to their targets. The anonymity makes some bullies bolder, leading them to become particularly aggressive. Some even include death threats.
of Americans struggle with Histrionic Personality Disorder.
of teens have bullied others at least once.
of LGBTQ students experience cyberbullying.
How Can I Help My Teen with Bullying?
Work on Confidence - teens who are bullied tend to feel like they aren’t doing anything right and lose faith in themselves. It is important to help your teen work on ways to block out some of the bullying so that it doesn’t take a significant mental toll. Help your teen find and build the skills necessary to cope with their bullies. Encourage them to consider conflict resolution strategies as well.
Be an Active Listener - pay attention to the things your teen is saying, as they will often be red flags that signal an oncoming depression or another mental health issue. It is not uncommon for teens who are bullied to feel incredibly depressed and isolated. Teens with a history of mental health issues in the family are at an even higher risk of developing anxiety, depression, or another mood disorder.
Talk to Your Teen - keep the lines of communication open so that your teen knows they can talk to you about their problems. Only 20 to 30 percent of teens who are bullied ever tell an adult about it. You can’t help your teen if you have no idea what they’re going through. Don’t be afraid to talk to a school guidance counselor or official to find out what is happening on campus, too.
What Types of Bullying Treatment Are Available?
While the concept of treating a bullied teen seems a bit foreign, especially since it isn’t a mental disorder, it is important to understand the impact being a targeting of bullying can have on a teen. Teens who have been bullied often develop unhealthy thought patterns. They have feelings of low self-esteem and self-worth and can, over time, become depressed or start acting hostile as they lash out. While awareness and prevention are key, we can’t eliminate all forms of bullying. We can help teens learn to better cope.
A counselor can usually step in where a parent is unable to get a teen to talk about their bullying experiences. It is important for a teen to feel like they can trust the person they are confiding in, as they are often worried about making the situation worse instead of better. Your teen will feel like they can talk about their experiences without worrying about what they perceive as negative consequences.
Your teen may need to see a professional if his personality and behavior have been impacted because of bullying. A professional will help your teen understand the source of their negative thought patterns and why they are causing harm. They will learn to build a stronger emotional resilience while working on techniques to help them better cope. Therapy will also help them develop new, healthier behavior patterns so that they think of themselves in a more positive light.
Social Skills Training
Social skills training helps teens learn how to better interact with peers, especially when they feel they are under a lot of pressure. Bullies tend to avoid stronger peers, especially in social scenarios. It’s important for teens to learn how to be polite and respectful towards others while at the same time not allowing others to abuse them. Conflict resolution skills teach teens to diffuse situations with words. It doesn’t always work, but having a strong social network will ensure your teen has people to support them.
Teen Bullying Treatment at Paradigm San Francisco
Treating a teen that has been bullied is a very subjective process. Each teen is impacted differently and many won’t even admit they want or need help. Teen bullying treatment can help your teen find ways to cope with with past incidents while teaching them to deal with the triggers that may bring up stressful memories.
Paradigm San Francisco offers a safe place for teens to get away from their stressful environments while they work on building new coping skills. Our trained professionals will ensure your teen remains social, but in a well-monitored environment. Your teen will have a chance to get away from both home and school while staying in a place where they don’t have to worry about bullying. They’ll have a chance to relax and move past their experiences.
We keep the programs at Paradigm San Francisco small so that all of our teens receive the individualized attention they deserve. We want each teen to learn to better cope and grow on a personal level. Our environment offers a safe place to try new hobbies, enjoy personal interests, and build better social skills.
“ I always had a lot of anxiety growing up. I can’t blame my parents or my home life because I pretty much always had everything I wanted. It was hard going from 8th grade into 9th grade and that year I ended up hanging out with people a few grades older than me because I wasn’t getting along with my other friends. I knew that I shouldn’t smoke weed but I liked it and I started smoking every day. When my parents found out I was “addicted” they sent me to Paradigm and I was pissed. I didn’t realize I had a problem until I stopped smoking. Everyone at Paradigm is understanding and it helped that I could still surf every day and eat good food. I am grateful that I had this happen to me because I could have ended up in a bad place. Paradigm helped me realize I needed help and how to accept it. “
– Joey M.
Frequently Asked Questions about Teen Bullying
Why does the victim need treatment and not the bully?
In a perfect world, both would receive teen bullying treatment, but that would depend on the underlying causes leading a teen to seek treatment. Some forms of conflict are normal, but taking it to an extreme level, alienating a person, or threatening them are extreme. A bully who has a past history that has led to the development of behavioral issues may ned treatment to get to the underlying cause. There’s no denying the long-lasting effects bullying can have on the victim, especially when it comes to anxiety and depression.
What happens if my teen refuses to admit they’re being bullied?
Unfortunately, that’s normal. Your teen very likely feels like there isn’t anything that can be done or, worse, fears retaliation and thinks talking about it will only make things worse. Some feel like they should just deal with it on their own or be perceived as weak. Don’t yell at your teen or try to force the issue. Make sure you’re leaving the lines of communication open so you can build up some trust. This means not jumping to school administrators or calling the bully’s parents right away. Allow your teen to divulge what they want when they are ready to do so.