It is possible to recover from low self-esteem caused by school bullying.
I was distressed twice this week by reading in the national press how two beautiful girls had been driven to take their own lives because of being bullied at school. Why is it that even young people have to get the better of others? Jealousy of another who is more attractive may well initiate their own feelings of inadequacy and lead to this behaviour. Let us hope the guilty parties show some remorse for being responsible for causing such crippling self-despair in another person that the person can no longer cope with life. A while back now I was taking a course for Headteachers on emotional problems encountered by even primary school children. The subject of bullying came up. I used the word 'traumatic' to describe its effect and, although the teachers were strongly against such behaviour in school, there was still a feeling that bullying was a part of school life and it just had to be coped with. Part of the process growing up. My word 'traumatic' was considered to be rather over the top! My experience shows otherwise. The consequences of being bullied at school can have a life-long and devasting effect on an indiviuals self-esteem and how they value themselves.There are programmes using CBT which can help overturn these negative and destructive thoughts and feelings, but they must be used in time and this requires the bullied person to admit they need help and are being bullied. This is sometimes hard to do. It appears one of the coroners involved blamed todays culture of 'image' as being partly to blame. This is another aspect counsellors see regularly. Celebrity programmes on TV, aspiring to the image of the thin fashion model and keeping up with the latest fashions in music and clothing, all contribute to varying degrees of dissatisfaction felt by our young people.
Students and parents must continue to view the control of bullying as a priority for our schools.