Online bullying has become increasingly common with the growth of social media platforms. The term that refers to online bullying is best known as “cyberbullying”. Teen cyberbullying can quickly start to have a negative impact on ones life. In fact, there is a line between online bullying and depression in teens. A recent study shows that teens who experience cyberbullying are more likely to suffer from poor sleep, which in turn raises levels of depression. Nearly 15 percent of U.S. high school students report being bullied electronically. At severe levels, depression may lead to disrupted school performance, harmed relationships or suicide which is why we must intervene and work to eliminate these issues.
Signs of Cyberbullying
Sometimes your teen may not be open about cyberbullying experiences. Here are some possible indicators that your teen may be a victim of cyberbullying:
- becomes upset, sad or angry during or after being online or using their phone.
- withdraws from family or friends.
- expresses reluctance or refuses to participate in activities previously enjoyed.
- has an unexplained decline in grades.
- refuses to go to school or expresses anger or dissatisfaction with a specific class or school in general.
- increasingly reports symptoms of illness for which he or she wants to stay at home.
- shows signs of depression or sadness.
Sometimes, your teen may be on the other in. They may be the one cyberbullying others, if this is the case it is important to be just as aware of the issue. Some signs that your teen may be doing the cyberbullying includes the following:
- Quickly switches screens or hides their device when you are close by
- Uses their device(s) at all hours of the night
- Gets unusually upset if they can’t use their device(s)
- Laughs excessively while using their device(s) and won’t show you what is so funny
- Avoids discussions about what they are doing online
- Is increasingly withdrawn or isolated from family
- Seems to be using multiple online accounts or an account that is not their own
- Is dealing with increased behavioral issues or disciplinary actions at school (or elsewhere)
- Appears overly concerned with popularity or continued presence in a particular social circle or status
- Demonstrates increasing insensitivity or callousness toward other teens
The Next Steps
Whether your teen is being cyberbullied or doing the cyberbullying, it is critical that you have a talk with them about safe and smart use of social media. Keep lines of communication between you and your child open and help them to understand that when social media becomes an unhealthy place for them—setting boundaries is okay and may be the necessary steps. Often times too, one may simply not know the consequences of their actions or the actions of those around them. Talk with them about the effects of cyberbullying and how they are more than short-term word punches.
Solstice East can help
Solstice East is a residential treatment center for young women ages 14-18 struggling with behavior and emotional issues such as those that can stem from peer-relationship struggles. This program focuses on helping young women heal, recover, and integrate healthy habits into their lives. Students will learn to build healthy relationships, cope with emotions, and effectively communicate. Solstice East gives young women the skills and confidence they need to lead happy and healthy lives. We can help your family today!
Contact us at (855) 672-7058.