Childhood Bullying Linked to Psychosis


Research from the U.K. shows that involvement in bullying between the ages of 8 and 11, whether as victim or perpetrator, is linked to an increased risk of psychotic experiences at the age of 18.  This finding was based on a longitudinal, community-based study comprised of 4,270 subjects. Results appeared today in Psychological Medicine.

Article →

Wolke, D., Lereya, S., Fisher, H., Lewis, G., Zammit, S.; Bullying in elementary school and psychotic experiences at 18 years: a longitudinal, population-based cohort study. Psychological Medicine. Online December 17, 2013

Of further interest:
Childhood bullying shown to increase likelihood of psychotic experiences in later life (Medical Xpress)

Previous articlePower to Communities,
Healing Through Social Justice:
INTAR 2014 in Liverpool, England
Next articleADHD Drugs Linked to Prolonged, Painful Erections
Kermit Cole
Kermit Cole, MFT, founding editor of Mad in America, works in Santa Fe, New Mexico as a couples and family therapist. Inspired by Open Dialogue, he works as part of a team and consults with couples and families that have members identified as patients. His work in residential treatment — largely with severely traumatized and/or "psychotic" clients — led to an appreciation of the power and beauty of systemic philosophy and practice, as the alternative to the prevailing focus on individual pathology. A former film-maker, he has undergraduate and master's degrees in psychology from Harvard University, as well as an MFT degree from the Council for Relationships in Philadelphia. He is a doctoral candidate with the Taos Institute and the Free University of Brussels. You can reach him at [email protected].


  1. I am sure this must be due to an increased genetic vulnerability to becoming a bully if you’re genetically predisposed to being psychotic. Except that it extends to victims of bullying, too, so somehow the genetic vulnerability for psychosis must somehow make you more vulnerable to both becoming a bully and being bullied. I realize this may seem far-fetched to some, but since the brain is everything and everything is in the brain, we have to somehow make these results fit into our brain-chemistry dogma.

    I suppose there is an outside possibility that both being bullied and bullying are associated with trauma and high stress, but not EVERYONE who is bullied becomes psychotic, so it must somehow be the fault of the bully. Or the victim. Or both of their brains. Or something like that.

    —- Steve

    Report comment

  2. Ridiculous.


    Are you saying that being bullied can make a person crazy? And even the bully’s bullying can make the bully crazy?

    You cohorts got that all figured out now, do you?

    adjective: psychotic

    of, denoting, or suffering from a psychosis.
    “a psychotic disturbance”
    synonyms: insane, mad, deranged, demented, crazed, psychopathic;
    informal crazy;
    vulgar slang batshit
    “a special ward for psychotic patients”

    THIS is psychotic. Violence is so NORMALIZED. Look at how NOT deranged this violence is. The violence is crafted and perfected (but it is STILL VIOLENCE).


    Psychosis is a loss of contact with reality that usually includes: False beliefs about what is taking place or who one is (delusions) ; Seeing or hearing things that aren’t there (hallucinations).

    The GRANDEUR, INTENSITY and SENSATIONALISM in that movie, WOW. I have said it many times, and I’m going to say it again:

    psychotic, psychosis = TELEVISION (and movies)

    TV and movies are a form of ESCAPE (break from reality, loss of contact with reality)

    There’s something about LIFE that is actually TRANSFORMED by TV and movies. People are literally LIVING IN FRONT OF CAMERAS!

    I’ll say it a million times if I have to, over time, but for now, just the once will do:

    PSYCHE is NOT a disease
    TV (and movies) is a VERY serious MENTAL problem (going SO arrogantly ignored and denied that it isn’t even being refuted or debunked!)

    What is it, again, when schizophrenics have issues with TV and radio (broadcast systems, communication)? Problem inside of their brains? REALLY? What’s causing that problem, Comcast?

    Data transmissions are atmospheric. Want to know what else is atmospheric?


    Report comment