Saturday, May 9, 2009

No one is safe from a sterotype...

Dear Trusted Adults, Carers of Children, Mothers, Fathers, Sisters, Brothers, and Friends,

Some less than light reading excerpted from the Globe and Mail (Click on the title to view the entire article):

Bullying in Childhood May Help Trigger Schizophrenia
By Paul Taylor

"Children who face relentless bullying from their peers are at elevated risk of developing psychotic symptoms by the time they reach early adolescence, a British study has revealed.

Previous research has shown that bullying can lead to anxiety, depression and even suicide. But the new study, by researchers at the University of Warwick, is the first to link bullying with psychotic symptoms, which include hallucinations, delusions, and bizarre and paranoid thoughts.

Essentially, the stress caused by severe and chronic victimization may be enough to push a vulnerable person over the edge, leading to full-blown schizophrenia, Dr. Wolke speculated.

He noted that stress spurs the release of cortisol, a hormone that might alter the developing brain. What's more, being treated badly can have long-lasting effects on the thought processes of an impressionable child.

Further research would be needed to confirm that bullying can be the spark for schizophrenia.

The latest findings, published in Archives of General Psychiatry, are based on an assessment of 6,437 young individuals.

About 46 per cent of the kids had been victims of bullying to some degree. The children who experienced a great deal of bullying tended to be the ones who were most likely to suffer from psychotic symptoms.

But Dr. Wolke emphasized that the odds of developing such symptoms must be kept in perspective.

"You have an increased risk, but it doesn't mean that most of the children who were bullied developed psychotic symptoms," he said in an interview."


And now to highlight how attributions are assigned to those living with mental illness, and to behold the appearance and evolution of stereotypes, prejudice, and discrimination; from the comments section related to this article:

this is just my opinion from Toronto, Canada writes:
Could be a chicken vs egg issue. Maybe kids who are predisposed to mental illnesses tend to be picked on more because the other kids think they're 'weird'..?

Nature Lover from Canada writes: Not only that, but kids who have psycological disorders don't "get" the triggers that make them annoying, and they are poor judges of situations that could cause other kids to lash out at them. As much as we could "sanitize" schools with anti-bullying messages, the reality is that kids are just unformed adults who don't always behave in a civilized way. So if kid A is "bugging" kid B, be it verbally or physically, kid B may react chldishly to the situation, hitting back etc. I've seen this all before and the mother of kid A will jump in and accuse kid B of being a bully, when it was really kid A's behaviour that precipitated when went down.


And last but not least, a comment from sum crumb summarizing the reality/absurdity of what the hell is going on with these comments:

sum crumb, from Canada wrote: Interesting presumptions about children with potential predispositions to psychosis floating around... "weird"... "childish"... "annoying"... "poor judges"... will the value attributions associated with mental illness never end? And now we're laying these myths, labels, and stereotypes on children?

Speaking of bullies, remember how we call the adults with mental illnesses lazy, unmotivated, and social leeches? Isn't that bad enough? How about we just leave the kids alone (with the assigning of labels and misplaced value attributions), and rotate around this discussion of children and mental illness VERY carefully... preferably with a ten foot pole?

These are children afterall, and we do want them to have the rosiest, as unblemished as possible, future, no?

Labels are harmful, no?

Or have the bullies just not got around to understanding these basic facts of life yet?

(Thanks to the bullies who are flying their flags even here, on a topic like this. Do you people have ANY morals or sense of ethic?)


So I guess the final message is: Bullies never die, and ignorance lives on forever?

I hope we do leave the kids alone. Let's let kids just grow up and be kids? Let's not let little people (children) grow up and live forever under any of our misplaced and/or ignorant banners, huh?

Crossing my fingers that we cross the bridge to a brighter side, but not holding my breath,

PS. Why isn't anyone discussing parenting and intolerance to bullying? Are we really supposed to accept the "kids will be kids" mantra? Kids WILL be kids. Some kids will be nice kids. Some kids will be less nice. Other kids will be jerky kids. They will be the kids that their parents brought up... so this says something, I think. Something about parenting...

1 comment:

John Byrnes said...
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