Trauma shrinks the part of the brain associated with memory and learning. This part of the brain is referred to as the hippocampus, and bullying is also a type of trauma that shrinks this part of the brain. Often, at times, an individual who feels loved will score higher on tests than an individual who is being bullied. When an individual experiences bullying, a large part of that individual’s focus is shifted and consumed with survival. Even if a straight-A student consciously attempts to keep their grades at the same level, this student could fail in doing so due to the ongoing bullying. When this person’s hippocampus shrinks, their memory is affected, which will result in the brain losing effectiveness as well as efficiency. In consequence, there is damage done to the brain that will take quite some time to heal even after such events are over. Thus, bullying changes a person forever.
High performers also claim this fact to be true. High performers claim that such events cause, to them, a dramatic change to their own lives, and many leaders, today, recommend others too would greatly benefit themselves by surrounding themselves amongst positive people. Gerard Adams, thought leader and a self-made millionaire at 24, wrote the following segment for Entrepreneur. “The people we choose to surround ourselves with impacts the way we think, act and feel on a day-to-day basis. In many ways, entrepreneurial success is determined much like success in any other aspect of life. A young football player is going to succeed if he surrounds himself with people who push him to become better, not people who distract him from his potential.” (Success) According to stopbullying.gov, kids who are bullied are more likely to have decreased academic performance; they are also more likely to avoid school participation, miss classes, or ultimately drop out of school. In conclusion, the bullied will be less likely to perform at their best. (Effects of Bullying)
I, myself, find this to be true in my own life. I have seen some of the best performances in environments that were completely loving and positive towards me, and at other times, I have performed absolutely horribly in toxic environments due to negative treatment. My first time living overseas I experienced bullying from the foreigners residing there. In one semester studying abroad, I went from being a straight-A student to failing with an average of 15 on tests, and this is a based score out of 100. Before this, I never scored so poorly on tests, so this experience was a shock. Though, despite my horrific experience, I decided to try again at another language school. My next environment was better suited for me, I experienced no form of bullying, and my grades once again picked up to be above average.
Bullying does in fact change a person forever, but there is hope and healing. For those who are currently struggling and cannot escape the situation, try this. Try having the belief of being able to change the situation. This belief will give the individual the courage to keep trying until they either do actually change the situation with their own efforts or the situation becomes no longer present. Also, remember. Never give up.
Adams, G. The 4 Types of People to Surround Yourself With for Success. Entrepreneur. [On-line magazine]
U.S Department of Health and Human Services. Effects of Bullying. https://www.stopbullying.gov/at-risk/effects/index.html
Rossouw, P. (2013, July 17). Defining Bullying: The Role of Neurobiological Markers. NPT. https://www.neuropsychotherapist.com/defining-bullying-the-role-of-neurobiological-markers/