Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Health Care and Bullying

Have you ever been bullied by someone? If so, you likely have never forgotten the experience. Dealing with bullies is something that almost everyone goes through at some point or another during their lifetime—school, playground, job. Sometimes, it seems like it never ends for certain individuals. Most of the time, the situation is uncomfortable or irritating to you, but over time the bully goes away or finds another person to bother. Occasionally, however, the results can be catastrophic for the victim.

According to Dr. Cindy Haines with HealthDay TV, being bullied in elementary school and high school can have a long-term negative impact on health. New research in support of this published in the journal Pediatrics is based on an analysis involving nearly 4,300 children. Starting in 2004, 5th graders were asked to describe any bullying they had experienced at the hands of their classmates. The same kids were surveyed again in both the 7th and 10th grades.
More than 30% reported having been frequently bullied during at least one survey. And investigators found that, regardless of age, being bullied was associated with having a worse quality of life, both physically and psychologically. Children who experienced repeated bullying both in the past and the present were the most vulnerable. They fared the worst in terms of overall health, and carried the highest risk for having feelings of low self-worth and depression.

Children whose bullying was exclusively in the past seemed to be healthier than those whose bullying was a current event, the study team noted. Perhaps unsurprisingly, those who had no history of bullying whatsoever were found to be the healthiest of the bunch supporting early intervention to prevent bullying altogether. Related info can be found at this site: http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/videos/news/Childhood_Bullying_021714-1.html.
There are three types of bullying, according www.StopBullying.gov .

Verbal bullying is saying or writing mean things. Verbal bullying includes:

Teasing
Name-calling
Inappropriate sexual comments
Taunting
Threatening to cause harm

Social bullying, sometimes referred to as relational bullying, involves hurting someone’s reputation or relationships. Social bullying includes:

Leaving someone out on purpose
Telling other children not to be friends with someone
Spreading rumors about someone
Embarrassing someone in public

Physical bullying involves hurting a person’s body or possessions. Physical bullying includes:

Hitting/kicking/pinching
Spitting
Tripping/pushing
Taking or breaking someone’s things
Making mean or rude hand gestures

Bullying is unwanted, aggressive behavior that involves a real or perceived power imbalance. The behavior is repeated, or has the potential to be repeated, over time. There are two sources of federally collected data on youth bullying:

The 2011 Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) indicates that, nationwide, 20% of students in grades 9–12 experienced bullying.

The 2008–2009 School Crime Supplement (National Center for Education Statistics and Bureau of Justice Statistics) indicates that, nationwide, 28% of students in grades 6–12 experienced bullying.

Much more info on bullying can be found at this site: http://www.stopbullying.gov/what-is-bullying/definition/index.html .

Having to deal with a bully is hard for kids — especially at school, according to www.KidsHealth.org. Listen to your child's worries and convey that they're perfectly understandable and that it's OK for him or her to feel that way. Offer assurance without making him feel like you're trying to talk him out of feeling that way or dismissing his feelings.

As your kid tells you how he feels, be sure to repeat back his thoughts and feelings using phrases like, "I know you're feeling worried." When he feels understood by you, he'll be more receptive to your help and any advice on coping that you offer.

Let him know that everyone worries, even adults, at one time or another. But also make sure he knows that there are ways he can feel better and less fearful. Go over some strategies that he can use if someone teases him. Ignoring the bully and simply walking away or using humor to combat aggressiveness might get the bully to stop. Bullies often give up when they don't get a response from their target.

Try to get your child to talk about what has been going on at school — just listening can be helpful. Although kids can resolve many incidents of bullying on their own, do keep an eye on the situation. If it persists, get involved by talking to your child's teacher or school counselor. Much more info on bullying can be found at this website: http://kidshealth.org/parent/emotions/behavior/bullies.html .

Bullying also takes place at worksite locations, according to http://www.workplacebullying.org/faq/. It is mistreatment severe enough to compromise a targeted worker's health, jeopardize her or his job and career, and strain relationships with friends and family. It is a laser-focused, systematic campaign of interpersonal destruction. It has nothing to do with work itself. It is driven by the bully's personal agenda and actually prevents work from getting done. It begins with one person singling out the target. Before long, the bully easily and swiftly recruits others to gang up on the target, which increases the sense of isolation.

You are miserable. You are harassed. Your work is sabotaged, blocked, or stolen. Perhaps, you didn't think of calling it bullying because that's what happens to kids in school, not to adults. Wrong! Workplace Bullying is experienced by more than one third of the U.S. workforce. Much more detail can be found at the website.

A workplace bully may be your boss or your co-worker. No one should ever make you feel uncomfortable at work. If you are a victim of bullying in your workplace consider speaking to someone in the human resources department for help in dealing with it, according to About.com Career Planning.

If you would like to try to deal with this situation before you report it, here are some tips. If you are being physically threatened don't waste a minute before you report it to both your employer and the police. If you are dealing with a workplace bully:
  • Seek the advice of a trusted mentor who may have dealt with this situation before.
  • If you can, confront the bully in a professional manner, but only if your physical safety isn't threatened. Don't sink to his or her level. Stay as calm as possible. Don't yell or threaten. Often bullies are looking for this type of confrontation and it will encourage them to come back for more. Don't cry or show weakness either. That's usually what the bully is after in the first place.
  • Don't try to win over other people to your side. The way in which you handle the situation will allow them to make their own judgments.
  • Don't allow the bully to intimidate you or make you feel bad about yourself. You know your true worth. Don't forget what that is.
  • Do your job and do it well. The workplace bully wants you to fail and when you don't he or she will be defeated.
  • Make sure your superiors are aware of your work. Workplace bullies often try to spread the word that you are not doing your job well and will even go as far as to report the smallest infractions to your boss. Your actions will carry more weight than his or her words.
  • Don't allow the bully to isolate you from your colleagues. Keep up your workplace friendships.
Bullying is wrong, and the behavior of bullies should not be tolerated. If you or a loved one or friend is a victim of a bully, report it to an authority who is empowered to take action to stop the offenses. If you feel that you have little to no recourse, then seek professional help. Remember, a bully is someone who feels they can beat you up, in more ways than one. If you take that power away, then you have an opportunity to seek renewal and relief in your daily life.

Until next time.

No comments: