Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Bullied Into Psychosis

According to a new study published in the Archives of General Psychiatry (this month’s centerfold: your naked neurons), children who are bullied are twice as likely to demonstrate psychotic behavior later in life than those who are left the hell alone. Scientists at the University of Warwick (no, it’s not a school named after Willow) looked at survey data from 6,437 twelve-year-olds who had been filling out regular surveys since age seven. Of those, nearly half reported being bullied between the ages of eight and ten, and that half were twice as likely as the other half to have hallucinations, delusions, or thought disorders. The researchers aren’t sure whether these children were already predisposed to psychological problems that were triggered by bullying or whether bullying disrupts a child’s ability to handle stress. Or whether there’s another explanation entirely. Personally, I don’t think there’s much cause for concern. I bullied young children throughout most of my formative years, and I never noticed any negative effects. In fact, I used to repeatedly toss a kid named Jason Wilkington into the urinal at our school and subject him to what I liked to call a “pee pee bath”. Jason just phoned me up a few days ago, and he seemed totally fine. In fact, he’s here to pick me up for a game of ultimate Frisbee. I wonder why he’s wearing lipstick and deer antlers. And what’s with that rusty shotgun? More details here.

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