Can Bullying Impact Your Teen's Physical Health?

Bullying does not only have an impact on your teen's emotional well-being. His or her physical health could also be at risk. If you suspect that your teen is being bullied, here is what you need to know.  

How Does Bullying Impact Physical Health?

If your teen is being physically bullied by someone, he or she could have injuries, such as bruises, lacerations, and sprains. However, the physical effects of bullying could extend beyond those injuries.  

Your teen could also experience headaches due to the stress and anxiety that is associated with being a victim of bullying. Your teen could also experience changes in his or her sleep patterns, which could lead to an increased risk of developing heart disease, diabetes, and high blood pressure.  

Some teens experience digestive problems, such as pain and bloating, that stem from the stress of being bullied. Muscle pain can also occur due to the anxiety. 

What Are the Signs of Being Bullied?

To help your teen overcome his or her bullying related health problems, you need to first determine whether or not he or she is being bullied. In some instances, teens are reluctant to share what is going on in their lives. If you suspect your teen is being bullied, there are some signs that you can look for.  

For instance, if you notice any unexplained injuries, increase in nightmares, and changes in his or her eating and sleep patterns, there is a possibility that he or she is being bullied. Your teen's grades could also point to bullying. If he or she has a sudden drop in grades or no longer wants to go to school, there could be a problem.  

What Can You Do?

Whether or not your teen is willing to admit that he or she is being bullied, you can take steps to protect his or her physical health. A thorough assessment at a health clinic can help to rule out any underlying conditions that could be causing the physical symptoms your teen is having. Your teen might also be more willing to disclose what is going on with him or her to a medical professional.  

If further medical treatment is recommended, the medical care provider will provide you with detailed instructions for caring for your teen's health.  

In addition to having your child's physical health assessed, you also need to take action to stop the bullying. For instance, you can meet with the principal if the bullying is occurring at school. If you are unable to get a reasonable response from the school, you can contact the police to file a formal complaint, especially if the bullying has been physical.