From Lorraine Segal’s Conflict Remedy Blog
According to a recent article in the Boston Globe, brain scans of teens who have been repeatedly bullied revealed the same changes as those who have been physically or sexually abused. In some individuals, the negative changes persisted years later.
The study offers concrete data from neuro-science research that bullying, whether on the playground or in the boardroom, has serious consequences and is not a minor issue or a simple interpersonal conflict.
Since I work with people who’ve been bullied, and I was myself bullied as both a child and an adult, I read about this study with mingled sadness and vindication.
It saddens me to think of all the brain “injuries” from the experiences many of us have had. At the same time it validates my own sense of the deep impact being bullied had on how I saw myself, how I navigated the world and how I interpreted later situations.
Obviously, more studies are needed to explore the effects of bullying on the brain. For example, no brain scan studies I’m aware of have been done yet on adults who were bullied. Nonetheless, many folks in education, healthcare, workplace wellness, and other areas have a lot of wisdom to offer about how we can promote healing for those who have been bullied and for our communities in general.
Here are some suggestions:
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