Skip Navigation

Main sections

Skip section navigation (navigation may have changed)

Due to the lapse in government funding, only websites supporting excepted functions will be updated unless otherwise funded. As a result, the information on this website may not be up to date and the agency will not be able to respond to inquiries until appropriations are enacted.

Updates regarding government operating status and resumption of normal operations can be found at

Section navigation logo

How does bullying hurt?

A girl looking sad.

Bullying is very serious. It is not a normal part of growing up. It can cause physical and emotional pain. Bullying can play a role in problems such as

  • Feeling sad and lonely
  • Mental health issues, like anxiety and depression
  • Skipping school or even dropping out
  • Getting lower grades
  • Physical problems, like stomachaches and headaches
  • Changes in sleeping and eating
  • Thoughts and acts of suicide

Get help

Being bullied can feel awful. If you need to talk, reach out to an adult you trust. You also can contact a national helpline for kids and teens. If bullying is making you very upset or you’re thinking about suicide, please don’t give up! Contact Lifeline by chat or by phone at 800-273-TALK (8255). Call 911 if you need immediate help.

If you are having any of the problems listed above, talk to an adult you trust, such as a parent or guardian, teacher, guidance counselor, doctor, or nurse. You also can read about ways to cope if you are bullied. And if being bullied is making you feel bad about yourself, remember that the person who bullies is wrong, not you! Check out our ideas for boosting your self-esteem.

People who bully also can have serious problems. If you have been bullying others and can’t seem to stop, talk to an adult you trust. Some people are bullied and bully others. They have an even bigger risk of problems like depression.

People who see bullying can be very upset by it. Learn more about the effects of seeing bullying and steps to take if you see bullying.

If you are being bullied, you may feel like things will never get better. But they will. Just ask Cassy and Alyssa Gaddis, who were bullied for years and in many ways. They reached out for support and figured out how to cope. As Alyssa says, “I learned that I have to be strong in difficult times. When I’m at school, walking in the hallways, I have to just put my head up and say, ‘Everything is gonna be alright.’”


Content last reviewed April 15,2014
Page last updated September 30, 2014