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.