Once considered a childhood rite of passage, bullying lingers well into adulthood. Bullies and victims alike are at risk for psychiatric problems such as anxiety, depression, substance abuse, and suicide when they become adults, reported a study partially funded by the National Institute of Mental Health

(NIMH) that was published in the April issue of JAMA Psychiatry.


Bullying is a repetitive, aggressive act done to abuse or intimidate others. It can take on various forms—primarily verbal, emotional, and physical, although cyberbullying is also on the rise. Typically these scenes occur inside school or on the playground, but they can also happen at home or at work. A power imbalance usually is involved in which one child or a group of children torments another child who is considered “weaker.” Methods employed by bullies include threats, rumor-spreading, and exclusion.

Most of what experts know about the effects of bullying comes from short-term observational studies. These studies reflect general society’s view that most people overcome these events by the time they become adults.

“Initially I too was skeptical about these long-term effects,” says study author William Copeland, Ph.D., at Duke University, who as an epidemiologist knew of other traumatic events that do not linger psychologically, such as maltreatment and physical abuse. “Yet this is something that stays with people. A large number of people express lasting effects decades after their childhood experiences.”

Copeland and his colleagues tapped into a local population sample of 1,420 children from 11 Western North Carolina counties. Starting at the ages of 9, 11, and 13, the kids, along with their parents, were interviewed annually until the age of 16, fielding questions about peer relations and home and community settings. The participating children were again interviewed at 19, 21, and 24 to 26 years of age. Four groups emerged from this longitudinal study: people who were never involved in bullying, people who were victims, people who were bullies, and people who were both.

Results of the Study

More than half of the study’s youth reported being neither a bully nor a victim. Around a quarter of the study group claimed that they were victimized. About 7 percent confessed to being a bully. A similar percentage said that they were both, a group the researchers labeled as “bully-victims.”

Compared to those who went through childhood unscathed, victims had four times the prevalence of agoraphobia, generalized anxiety, and panic disorder when they became adults. Overall, bullies had four times the risk of developing antisocial personality disorder. These disorders still stood even after other factors were taken into account, such as preexisting psychiatric problems or family hardships.

Bully-victims fared the worst. Also known as “loners,” these individuals start out with less developed social skills and are seen as more impulsive and aggressive. When picked on, they respond by picking on others. Their numbers, compared to those never involved in bullying, tell the story: 14 times the risk of panic disorder, 5 times the risk of depressive disorders, and 10 times the risk of suicidal thoughts and behavior.

“Victims report the greatest anxiety problems. They might become successful people later on, but they still think about the event and hold onto it. Bullies are socially adept and may find ways in adulthood to use these skills in a pro-social manner. Folks really underestimate who are the bully-victims. These are the ones who end up having the most significant emotional problems including suicidality,” explained Copeland, who is also a father of two.


All these disorders impart a great emotional and financial cost to society. Lowering and/or preventing bullying could possibly reduce human suffering and long-term health costs—not to mention creating a safer environment for children to grow up in.

Research into resilience or why some are able to bounce back in adulthood is ongoing. Some key molecules and brain circuit pathways have been identified in animals. Other research areas under exploration include physiology, genetics, epigenetics, and cognitive therapies.

What’s Next

Studies looking into which interventions work best for bullying are underway. Once these interventions are identified, research is needed to see at what stages in life they should they be administered. Lastly, other factors that play a role in bullying and victimization, such as sexual orientation, need exploration.

“This study suggests that we should pay attention to what’s going on between peers,” said Copeland, adding that kids spend more time each day with their peers, including school and online, than with their parents. “What happens to kids when they’re with their peers is as important, or may be more important, than what happens at home,” said Copeland.


Copeland WE, Wolke D, Angold A, Costello EJ. Adult Psychiatric Outcomes of Bullying and Being Bullied by Peers in Childhood and Adolescence. JAMA Psychiatry , published April 2013.

Grant number: K23 MH080230 

“Glass People,” a new short film, focuses on a college student who becomes overwhelmed by finals, his relationship, graduation, the prospect of looking for a job, and other real-world pressures. When he sees a counselor for help, his life begins to turn around.

“The film’s message is that reaching out and seeking help from a professional can make a difference,” said Mark Pollack, MD, ADAA president-elect and chair of psychiatry at Rush University Medical Center.

The onset of many anxiety and depressive disorders commonly begins during the late teen years. More than 62 percent of students who withdrew from college with mental health problems did so for that reason, according to a 2011 national survey.

The Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA) premiered “Glass People” in April at its annual conference with help from David Hoberman, film and television producer, president and founder of Mandeville Films and ADAA honorary board member, who provided a generous gift to produce the film for ADAA.

“When I was in college,” Hoberman told the audience at the premiere, “I was afraid to ask for help. I thought I was the only with these feelings. Educating people about how to find help is our goal.” Many young people begin experiencing symptoms associated with anxiety disorders or depression in college, and they commonly feel isolated, frightened and embarrassed. Some begin to withdraw as a sense of helplessness overwhelms them.

One-third of college students reported having felt depressed at some point in the past three months, according to a 2008 Associated Press and mtvU survey. Additional findings are also telling:

  • 80 percent said they frequently or sometimes experience daily stress.
  • 13 percent had been diagnosed with a mental health condition such as an anxiety disorder or depression.
  • 9 percent had seriously considered suicide in the past year.

Anxiety disorders are one of the most common mental health problems on college campuses. Suffered by 40 million U.S. adults, 75 percent of them first experienced anxiety by age 22. Research indicates that the co-occurrence of anxiety and depression increases the risk of suicide. Having a preexisting anxiety disorder is a risk factor for the onset of suicidal ideation and attempts. “This new film helps us educate college students, their friends, family and professors about the importance of seeking treatment,” said Pollack.

Since 2006 ADAA has distributed materials about the importance of seeking treatment for anxiety disorders to college campuses across the country. ADAA co-sponsors National Stress Øut Day with Active Minds, Inc., and Beyond OCD every spring to provide pre-finals stress relief to college students, while educating them about anxiety, depression and other disorders.

“Glass People” was written by John Berardo and Brian Frager; Magee Clegg and Jack Heston also served as producers. Berardo, who also directed the film, and Frager are MFA students at the USC School of Cinematic Arts. Watch “Glass People” on the ADAA website.    

I don’t think these two emotions are bound together, but they do impact us in ways that make us think they are two sides of a continuum. Low anxiety must mean high confidence, but that is probably not really true.

There is some relationship to our family behaviors when we were being reared that impacts us as to confidence and anxiety. If our parents demonstrated high anxiety, we will be more prone to exhibiting that same behavior. If our parents demonstrated high confidence, we will tend to be more confident.

If you have problems performing due to feelings of anxiety when you try to stand and speak, or find yourself struggling to do your job as you feel a lack of confidence in your ability, then you may need to spend some time with a counselor (maybe your pastor, or a licensed therapist depending on which you would trust more), and try to get to the root cause of the behavior. Do not blame yourself, or anyone else as this is something that can be overcome with help and assistance of a good counselor.

Another really super thing you could do, if you can get past the fear of letting go, is NLP (that is neuro-linguistic programming). NLP is akin to hypnotizing, but more clinically controlled and has a record of really getting results in changing behaviors.

Yes, but if you have Valium why would you take Benadryl? Valium has a shorter half life so you wont be as groggy.

Until you hit that 12 week mark you are going to be anxious, try maybe taking a warm bath with some lavender scented bath gel before you go to bed to relax your body and maybe it will help you sleep better. When you wake up from one of those dreams, just take a few deep breaths.

Don’t look at anyone, and imagine you’re in your own little world, even thought that sounds crazy. Just ignore it and count to ten every time you panic.

Valium is a benzo, and they can stay in your system for 40 days..but it depends on how much you took.

Homeopathic remedies basically don’t have any interactions with drugs, so as long as your doctor prescribed the Valium to you and you’ve used it before (just to make sure you know how your body responds), you should have no problem at all.

Ambien will make you go to sleep, a lot of times Xanax is perscribed for flights only because with Valium the residual drowsiness is extreme, the best for a short flight would probably be Ativan, as you will be alert easier but still will have the same effect (BTW all the drugs described besides Ambien, belong the the Benzodiazapine family of drugs)

I would think the medical examiner would have the answers to these questions. They run all types of toxicology test which tell them how much of a substance was in the deceased’ blood.They also know the amounts of a substance it would take to stop a heart.