A psychologist from Alicante talks about the warning signs against bullying: “They can go unnoticed”

A psychologist from Alicante talks about the warning signs against bullying: “They can go unnoticed”
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Mom, I don’t want to go to school‘, is one of the phrases that every mother or father has had to hear their children say at some point in their life. The causes can be diverse, from being sick to wanting to get out of an exam or an assignment. But be careful because if the situation is repeated frequently over time, it could be indicative that something else is happening.

This Thursday, May 2, the International Day against Bullying is celebrated, a problem that affects almost all of Spain. 220,000 students and more 74,000 stalkers, according to a study by the Complutense University of Madrid. In addition, there are 16.3% of students who identify themselves as witnesses, which is equivalent to 5 children per classroom.

Changes in mood, a drop in grades, general disinterest, insomnia problems, lack of appetite, urine leakage, a decrease in self-esteemnegative comments towards oneself, self-harming behavior or even talk of suicide, are some of the warning signs that could indicate that a boy or girl is being a victim of bullying.

[La pesadilla de Lucas, el niño autista con tendencias suicidas tras sufrir bullying en un instituto de Alicante]

The educational psychologist Sefa Muletfrom the Official College of Psychology of the Valencian Community, talks about changes in attitude: “They have the feeling that they are not useful to the society in which they are” and “they do not have enough resources to deal with their daily lives.”

Sefa Mulet explains that there is as many forms of bullying as consequences for the children who suffer it. From behaviors that promote the marginalization and isolation of the victim to the persecution, intimidation and ridicule of the person. It also talks about other types of attacks such as physical and verbal violence or cyberbullying, through social networks: “Sharing information about another person online or recording images or videos of it.”

“In some cases These behaviors can go unnoticed by the family. Therefore, we must be attentive, especially in the case of children and adolescents.”


This educational psychologist, who runs a center in Gata de Gorgos (Alicante), explains that the first step to helping a bullied child is to go to a mental professional, who can make the victim see that he is not guilty of the treatment he has suffered. it is receiving. “Learn more assertive communication that helps you empower yourself and defend yourself against these injustices,” is another key. “The dialogue will always be the first tool to change the situation,” insists Mulet.

“Intervention should occur as soon as possible.” The psychologist refers to the fact that both the family and educational environment must realize that there is a problem in order to change it by teaching, for example, social cohesion techniques. “So that the situation is not repeated again by both the victim and the aggressor.”

Regarding aggressors, he explains that they usually respond to profiles of children with low self-esteem or who are seduced by feeling of power in front of others. Therefore, it is also necessary to work on your self-concept, emotional management and empathy towards others.

The worst outcome

The report of the National Institute of Statistics (INE) on ‘Death statistics according to cause of death. Year 2021’ shows that Suicides in those under 15 years of age have increased by 57%with 22 deaths that same year, compared to 14 in 2020.

In recent years, the media has reported on the deaths of boys and girls who took their own lives after years of being victims of bullying. As in the case of Alejandro Castilla, the child with high abilities or the death of the 12-year-old twins from Oviedo.

It is clear that suicide is the worst outcome in this type of case. And although bullying is not usually the only cause, family members should be alert to warning signs, such as self-harm or comments about the death. “The lack of understanding on the part of the environment or the pressure that society exerts towards certain social groups” are usually related to the most harmful behaviors.

“We are noticing an increase in suicides, which is a very worrying issue for our society,” explains the psychologist. She emphasizes the importance of creating and belonging to support groups so that young people can share their experiences, as well as give visibility to the physical and emotional consequences of bullying. “They must be very attentive at home to not enhance these risk factors. in the behavior of adolescents”, concludes Sefa Mulet.



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