Sunday 23 October 2016

One in 10 children medicated to help cope with bullies

Children were bullied online
Children were bullied online

Almost one in 10 children have been prescribed medication to cope with the stress of being bullied, a new survey reveals.

A quarter of adults have also been prescribed medication due to cyber bullying, according to the research.

The survey of 186 children aged from eight to 17 and 1,000 adults, revealed that one in five children and one in 10 adults have experienced cyberbullying.

A shocking 9pc of children have required anti-anxiety/depression and other medication to cope with bullying, both online and off.

The survey also found 25pc of adult women reported being insulted online over their bodies.

The findings of the online survey, conducted between May and June for digital media agency Zenith Optimedia, even shocked the company's deputy MD Declan Kelly.

"When you see the effects, it really hits home, the gravity of it," he told the Herald.

More than half (51pc) of adults who were bullied online experienced dark or suicidal thoughts, while 80pc cited feelings of low self-esteem, change in mood or behaviour (83pc), anxiety (75pc) and changes in sleep or eating patterns (63pc). Overwhelmingly 92pc of victims of online trolls reported feeling sad.

Some adults reported bed-wetting, suicide attempts, eating disorders, depression and being forced to take time off work due to stress.

"I felt angry and ashamed," one person reported.


For kids, the results were similar. More than a third (36pc) of children who were bullied cited feelings of depression, with 18pc admitting to having dark or suicidal thoughts.

Bed-wetting, suicidal ideation, crying and developing a stress-related rash were among common issues for bullied children. Sadness, change in mood or behaviour, anxiety and low self-esteem were also common issues cited.

Overwhelmingly, Facebook was the main place where online abuse took place, (54pc) followed by Snapchat (7pc).

Just over a third of the abuse was in the form of malicious emails or texts, followed by lies and rumours spread online (33pc) and posting embarrassing photos of someone (18pc).

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