Cyberbullying Worsens Mental Health Problems
New research confirms earlier studies showing that cyberbullying—harassment on social media, for example—is harmful in young people with existing mental health issues. It also determined a link between victims of cyberbullying and a history of emotional abuse. The recent study involved 50 adolescents between the ages of 13 and 16 who were being treated in psychiatric facilities. Those who were victims of cyberbullying scored significantly higher on tests designed to measure depression, anger, and dissociative symptoms like memory loss, detachment, loss of identity, etc.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, up to 46 percent of victims of cyberbullying do not know their perpetrator and around 22 percent of perpetrators do not know their victim's identity. Of cyberbully victims in the study who were bullied at least once daily, 80 percent reported using instant messenger, 78 percent used text messaging, 60 percent were on Facebook and/or Instagram, and 40 percent were on Twitter or used chat rooms.