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Psychiatry (Edgmont). 2008 Jun;5(6):62-4.

Bully victims: psychological and somatic aftermaths.

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Dr. R. Sansone is a professor in the Departments of Psychiatry and Internal Medicine at Wright State University School of Medicine in Dayton, Ohio, and Director of Psychiatry Education at Kettering Medical Center in Kettering, Ohio.


Bullying is a well-known adversity among school-age children. According to data, approximately 10 percent of US children and adolescents are the victims of frequent bullying by peers. In the aftermath of being bullied, victims may develop a variety of psychological as well as somatic symptoms, some of which may persist into adulthood. Psychological symptoms may include social difficulties, internalizing symptoms, anxiety, depression, suicidal ideation, and eating disorders (i.e., anorexia or bulimia nervosa). Somatic symptoms may include poor appetite, headaches, sleep disturbances, abdominal pain, and fatigue. In both mental health and primary care settings, being aware of these types of psychological and somatic symptoms in vulnerable children and adolescents may expedite the identification and eradication of these abusive experiences.This ongoing column is dedicated to the challenging clinical interface between psychiatry and primary care-two fields that are inexorably linked.


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