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Jan 15, 2013
Bullied children more likely to hallucinate or hear voices - Telegraph

Children who are bullied at school are more likely to have heard voices, have seen hallucinations or be paranoid than those who were not, a study by the Universities of Warwick and Bristol have found.

Bullied children are nearly five times more likely to suffer a psychotic episode by the time they are 18, researchers have warned as they call for abuse to be stamped out in primary school.

Pupils who were tormented during their schooldays were far more likely to experience hallucinations, paranoia or have heard voices which can lead to more serious mental health problems in later life, a study found.

Researchers at the Universities of Warwick and Bristol said teachers must stop bullying in primary school because it is already too late by secondary school.

“We want to eradicate the myth that bullying at a young age could be viewed as a harmless rite of passage that everyone goes through,” said Professor Dieter Wolke of the University of Warwick.

“It casts a long shadow over a person’s life and can have serious consequences for mental health.”

Researchers found that children who were bullied over a number of years were up to four and a half times more likely to have suffered from psychotic experiences by the age of 18.

Pupils who only experienced bullying for brief periods were also at increased risk for psychotic experiences.

The study is the first to report the long term impact of being involved in bullying during childhood on mental problems in late adolescence or adulthood.

“These numbers show exactly how much childhood bullying can impact on psychosis in adult life,” added Professor Dieter Wolke.

“Interventions against bullying should start early, in primary school, to prevent long term serious effects on children’s mental health.

“This clearly isn’t something that can wait until secondary school to be resolved; the damage may already have been done.”

The study was published in Psychological Medicine.


Well-known member
Mar 23, 2009
It's certainly true when it comes to my chronic paranoia and social anxiety . Never been able to get past those teenage peer interactions especially. Still wary I'll be mocked and hurt, and thinking I exude subtle but noticeable signs of my abnormality.


Well-known member
May 4, 2009
I know that the point of science is to double check what we think of as common sense...and I agree with that...but when I first saw this article heading I thought 'well, yeah, course...'

But maybe wider society doesn't see the longterm impact of social pressures/abuse clearly enough.


Well-known member
Aug 17, 2012
The West Country
Have personal experience of this.
Being bullied and having seemingly random abusive comments directed at me in school, I think was a huge factor in my getting so unwell at such a young age.
The paranoia that anybody could try to attack me eventually developed into more serious paranoia and delusions.