I found a new article on bullying and PTSD written by Jaime Castillo, a counselor from New York. Mr. Castillo had just read the book 19 Minutes by Jodi Picoult and the book also looks at the concept of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder as a long-term effect of bullying and abuse.
Mr. Castillo gives an overview of how battered person syndrome leads to PTSD, which has a lot of parallels to how bullying can lead to PTSD as well. He says that when battered person syndrome leads to PTSD, it consists of the following symptoms:
- A Re-experiencing the battering as if it were recurring even when it is not
- Attempts to avoid the psychological impact of battering by avoiding activities, people, and emotions
- Hyperarousal or hypervigilance
- Disrupted interpersonal relationships
- Body image distortion or other somatic concerns
- Sexuality and intimacy issues
Because of this, the victim may develop an irrational belief system to justify their situation. They may adopt feelings that the violence is their fault, always fear for their life, and that the abuser is omnipresent, aka…everywhere always.
I think that you can easily substitute the work bullying for battering above. Mr. Castillo then asks if, like in the book, a bullying victim could then be acquitted of charges pressed against them if they retaliate/beat up/hurt their bully/aggressor on the grounds of PTSD or battered person syndrome. I’m not sure if the case has happened yet, but I have discussed this several times on this website. I think a person can have a mental break due to the effects of bullying abuse. I do believe that the PTSD can cause these people to react to their bully aggressively. What do you think?