Being bullied by peers and siblings could make you have more suicidal thoughts, according to a new study. Even though depression could cause people to harm themselves and have dark thoughts, researchers say being bullied by friends and family could do just as much damage to the psyche.
Previous research has indicated that sibling bullying has a huge impact on mental health in adolescence. The new study reveals being bullied by siblings and friends can also cause one to harm themselves. These findings were published in the journal Frontiers in Psychiatry.
Sibling and peer bullying have a strong association with self-harm, suicide attempts, and depression in people around 24-years-old, according to researchers. "As sibling bullying often starts when children are young it will be important to educate and help parents to deal and reduce bullying between siblings in early childhood. This is an area which has been completely overlooked in mental health provision and parent support,"Dieter Wolke, a professor at the Department of Psychology at the University of Warwick, told a news portal.
For the study, participants were asked about their experience with bullying when they were 12-years-old. The team also made note of participants' state of depression, anxiety, suicidal ideation, and self-harm. Out of the 3,881 youths that were part of the study, 31.2 per cent reported they were bullied by a sibling. 15.1 per cent were diagnosed with clinical depression and 35.7 per cent experienced suicidal thoughts. The team also found 16.1 per cent harmed themselves and 4.9 contemplated suicide.
"This is the first study to show that being bullied by siblings has adverse effects on mental health into adulthood when the siblings are not living together anymore. Those bullied at home are also more likely to be bullied by peers and have no safe space at school or at home," Dr Slava Dantchev of the University of Warwick and the University of Vienna, told a news portal.
Another study, published in the American Journal of Psychiatry, claims treating insomnia could reduce the suicidal thoughts. "If your patient says their sleep problem is really bad and they have had thoughts of killing themselves, maybe they should have a targeted treatment for their insomnia," corresponding author, Dr Vaughn McCall, chair of the Department of Psychiatry and Health Behavior at the Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University.
McCall hopes the REST-IT (Reducing Suicidal Ideation Through Insomnia Treatment) study can help reduce the risk of suicide. "While the results do not argue for the routine prescription of hypnotics for mitigating suicidal ideation in all depressed outpatients with insomnia, they suggest that co-prescription of a hypnotic during initiation of an antidepressant may be beneficial in suicidal outpatients, especially in patients with severe insomnia," authors of the study stated.
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