Cyberbullying affects people from any age or walk of life, including children, teens and adults who all feel very distressed and alone when being bullied online. Cyberbullying can make you feel totally overwhelmed which can result in many feeling embarrassed that they are going through such a devastating time, and not knowing what support is available to them. Many children feel unable to confide in an adult because they feel ashamed and wonder whether they will be judged, told to ignore it or close their account which they might not want to do.
For many cyberbullying affects their everyday lives and is a constant source of distress and worry. With mobile technology being so freely available it is an ongoing issue and one that is relentless. Not only does it go on after school, college or work has finished, but it then carries through into the next day and the cycle continues. It has been well documented that cyberbullying has resulted in tragic events including suicide, and self-harm and clearly, more needs to be done in order to protect vulnerable children and adults from online bullying.
If you are worried that your child or a loved one might be the victim of cyberbullying here are some signs to look out for:
- Low self-esteem
- Withdrawal from family and spending a lot of time alone
- Reluctance to let parents or other family members anywhere near their mobiles, laptops, etc
- Finding excuses to stay away from school or work including school refusal
- Friends disappearing or being excluded from social events
- Losing weight or changing appearance to try and fit in
- Fresh marks on the skin that could indicate self-harm and dressing differently such as wearing long-sleeved clothes in the summer to hide any marks
- A change in personality i.e. anger, depression, crying, withdrawn