Bullying May Cause Long-term Social Anxiety, Study Finds

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We all know that bullying is unpleasant, but new findings suggest it could lead to long-term social anxiety for the person being bullied.

Recent experiments at Rockefeller University found that consistently bullied mice showed signs of exaggerated anxiety and nervousness around new mice.  They also experienced higher levels of sensitivity to the hormone vasopressin, which controls social behaviors.

“The identification of brain neuroendocrine systems that are affected by stress opens the door for possible pharmacological interventions,” Yoav Litvin, the study’s coauthor says. “Additionally, studies have shown that the formation and maintenance of positive social relationships may heal some of the damage of bullying.”

The vasopressin hormone is associated with aggression, stress and anxiety disorders in humans.  Earlier studies suggest that human brains can bounce back given time.

You can read the full study here.

3 thoughts on “Bullying May Cause Long-term Social Anxiety, Study Finds

  1. we need to stand up to all this bullies because if we do not the will not to until the hit rock bottom and parents of bullies do not be afraid to stand up to your children

  2. I’m not really surprised by the findings. I was an only child and therefore quiet by nature and it led to some people being bullying me throughout my youth. A combination of shyness and bullying precipitated social anxiety, of which I continue to struggle with today and take medication for.
    If you notice someone being bullied, teased or demeaned, please step up and do something! Don’t encourage the behavior or sit on the sideline quietly.

  3. I read with interest the article. As a parent of a 14 year old boy who was bullied in high school by 3 17 year olds, I found this article to be both informative as well as sad.