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Good strategies for coping with bullying

If you were watching the news recently you might've seen ReachOut's amazing CEO talking about how young people are coping with bullying. If you missed him you can see him talk about it on SBS here and Channel 10 here.

New studies (that ReachOut has done) are showing that teens as young as 14 are turning to drugs and alcohol to cope with bullying. This isn't a good thing and ReachOut is calling for more to be done to prevent bullying, which is easier said than done. Especially when studies are showing 1 in 4 young people get bullied each year. 

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To help those who are currently experiencing bullying we are asking the following questions:

What could you do if you are getting bullied?

If you have been bullied in the past, what helped you get through it? 

Do you have any positive strategies to cope with bullying instead of turning to drugs and alcohol to? 

ReachOut also has some great resources on bullying here including a bullying action plan which are worth checking out. 

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Whatever it takes I know I can make it through!

Re: Good strategies for coping with bullying

My experience in bullying and what has helped me the most:

I was bullied quite some time ago when I was younger, about 9 years old and 13 years old. The best decision I made in terms of dealing with bullying is telling somebody. I told somebody straight away in my first instance and it help. I had supportive people like my parents and teachers looking out for me and it actually made the severity of the bullying decrease. In my second instance, I didn't tell anyone and I still regret it to this day.

 

I have and still use some coping strategies I used back then when I was bullied. This includes:

 

-writing down dated events that happen and resulting feelings in a journal

-watching mesmerising David Attenborough 'Planet Earth' documentaries (would recommend if you just need to take your mind off of it)

-drawing, painting on myself

-self care eg. showering, painting your nails, washing your bedsheets, anything you do for yourself (cannot stress this enough! so important to when you are feeling unloved and forget to look after yourself)

 

Having two experiences with bullying, I can confirm that telling someone is far better than keeping it secret. It allows you to have additional support, someone to talk to, people to fight with you and most importantly in my opinion, to feel loved when you feel unloved.

Re: Good strategies for coping with bullying

@IsabellasRecovery  Thank you for sharing your experience - it sucks that you were bullied - and so young too. Smiley Sad But its awesome to hear that when you reached out for support, and got help from parents and teachers. 

The strategies you used to cope are also so great - journaling is such a good one and one of my personal go-to's as well.

The practical self-care ideas you suggested are great too - as is the David Attenborough quotes! 

 

Thank you for sharing Heart

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I'm leaving ReachOut on the 5th of June Smiley Sad Say goodbye here

Re: Good strategies for coping with bullying

If you have been bullied in the past, what helped you get through it? 

I was bullied a lot during high school, and unfortunately, I was never really able to identify that that is what was occurring because it was quite passive-aggressive and there was a bit of gas-lighting involved so I thought it was all in my head. A lot of the bullying revolved around the fact that I was gay, because I lived in a small country town and this was very uncommon and not widely accepted. One girl I went to school with worked it out, and used this secret to make my life a living hell for years. 

 

Because I was not ready to discuss my sexuality with my parents at this time, I didn't tell anyone, and that did a lot of damage. I am still dealing with the consequences of this severe bullying 3 years on, and it has had a huge effect on my mental health. I like to think that if I might have told my Mum, the situation might not have been as bad as it got.

 

With that being said, there are plenty of positive strategies that I did use to survive this difficult time in my life:

  • I threw myself into studying 
  • I got a gym membership and exercised every day
  • I made a lot of time for my family, because they were the only people I felt safe and comfortable around
  • I made plans for the future (e.g. vision board, planned trips to visit my sister) to remind myself that my situation was only temporary
  • I talked to my parents in as much detail as I felt comfortable at that time

In the aftermath of bullying, I am currently seeing a psychologist and a psychiatrist in order to address the residual damage that this situation has caused. Seeking professional help is a very productive strategy. While difficult, it is really important for me to address and find closure around the challenges I have faced, and I'm feeling hopeful that I will be able to find a way to move on. I understand the temptation to use alcohol and drugs as a coping mechanism, but for me, those outlets only ever present a temporary solution. I know that, while it may be difficult, making the harder choices and looking after my mental and physical health is imperative for the sake of my wellbeing in the long-term. 

Re: Good strategies for coping with bullying

Thanks for sharing your experience @queenP. I can really hear the impact that bullying has had in all areas of your life. I am sorry that it has continued to effect you for so long, although this is not uncommon given the harm that bullying can cause Smiley Sad It sounds like your family have really been supportive in all of this and helped get you through. I really love the positive strategies you included and also the challenges around healthy coping strategies Heart It sounds like you have put a lot of effort into overcoming this and I am sure it will all pay off. You should be so proud of yourself for taking all of these steps and looking after yourself.