bullying, depression, trauma, support

This article is about hazards of bullying that we know well is connected to mood disorders such as depression, anxiety disorders and posttraumatic stress disorder and suicide. My in-depth knowledge about this topic comes from my continued clinical as well previous academic experience described on this website’s ‘about’ page stating that I had written a doctorate thesis on bullying.

Let’s begin with what is bullying. Bullying is essentially a high aggression directed at a target, it involves a power imbalance where the target cannot defend himself. The defencelessness emerges because the target does not know how to or because there could be organisational repercussions that are often exploited rather than not by the guilty responsible parties in authority who do not wish to be liable.

The bullying or high aggression has been detected to be directed at the victim or target through a number of different channels. Field, the anti-bullying campaigner in the UK brought the phenomenon into the public domain via his books and via Bullying Online and the UK National Workplace Bullying Advice Line that he established in 1996 (Field, 1996). Field (1996) described over 75 different types of bullying that varied from psychological to physical and murder. Einarsen (1999) researched bullying types and narrowed them down to five categories: work-related, social isolation, personal attacks, verbal assaults including public criticism and physical assaults.

In terms of who can get bullied and where, the answer is anyone and anywhere. The perpetrators or bullies will most likely target victims that will not be able to defend themselves and the bullying will be carried out in any context let it be family, school, work, public or university context. As I explained earlier, the perpetrators will target people who are in some way powerless and they know too well not to target another highly aggressive person because this would not work for them to channel successfully their aggression and which would backfire on them. In terms of the bullying dynamics, we know that throughout the start of the research on bullying, which goes as far as 1976 (Brodsky, 1976), the dynamics of the bullying have been always the same, please see the picture above that I created. There will be a tyrant or the perpetrator that is highly aggressive. The majority and if not all people in that group will be afraid of the tyrant and they will protect themselves from possible attacks by showing sympathy to the perpetrator or the aggressor. These dynamics will leave the target feeling isolated and powerless naturally because it is logically impossible to defend oneself against majority. The most disabling fact is that the target has to deal alone with the bullying which will be impossible to resolve and also without a lack of support in his environment. In this sense, the target will have a difficult time to recover from feelings of powerlessness and hopelessness and this onsets depression, posttraumatic stress disorder, self-harming or suicide, which has been repeatedly evidenced sadly in the media. In rare cases, a hero will stand out from the herd and will provide a support to the victim.

It is understandable that, when we see that organisations and authorities such as employers, schools, universities or even families fail to provide adequate solution and support to victims, often because they are ignorant or to cover up their liability to prevent legal actions and financial compensations against them, the victim experiences a profound sense of hopelessness and helplessness and begins to feel suicidal. The lack of support from authorities is compounded by insufficient empathy from the family members, friends or colleagues, who naturally are not experts in psychological counselling or  have no conflict resolution skills and this leaves the target without any hope and this would explain why some of the targets end up feeling like or will commit a suicide (Sears, 2013).

It does not matter how ugly the bullying is, how incompetent most authorities will make you feel in relation to your bullying experience the help is here and you can end the ordeal. I will be pleased to provide you with a support and personalised treatment to your unique bullying situation including addressing probably your already existing depression or posttraumatic stress disorder and advise you on the best steps to take to restore your health and hope and support you from moving into a better place.


Brodsky, C.M (1976). The Harassed Worker. Massachusetts: Lexington Books.

Einarsen, S. (1999) The nature and causes of bullying at work. International Journal of Manpower, 20 (1 – 2), 16 – 28.

Field, T. (1996). Bully in Sight. How to Predict, Resist, Challenge and Combat Workplace Bullying – Overcoming the Silence and Denial by Which Abuse Thrives. Wantage, Oxfordshire: Wessex Press.

Sears, L. (2013). The phenomenological study of support experienced in relation to workplace bullying in London. Unpublished study.