More and more research is coming to light that indicates the long term impact of bullying and the urgent need for intervention to stop bullying; not only to stop current suffering but also to prevent long term damage to individuals.
Being called names, being insulted, derided and hit in school can create permanent scars, since according to researchers, the abuse acts like “fingers jabbed in the still hardening clay of identity”. To be told that one is worthless at this formative age can form the basis of what one becomes. The lasting damage that bullying can have has been likened to sexual abuse and post traumatic stress.
Being bullied in grade school can have impacts such as making a person drop out of school, become reluctant to go to college and robbing them of a bright future. It can cause lifelong scars that make a person unable to hold down a job for long; minor workplace conflicts can trigger fears and the urge to flee.
Many victims of bullying find that even as older adults, they may be unable to handle criticism, may be afraid of being alone, may be terrified of being embarrassed when among a lot of people and so on. Making friends may also be difficult all through life.