Listen, we all know bullying is no joke. It’s mean-spirited at best and downright tragic at its God-forbidden worst. But did you know that sibling bullying can actually contribute to psychotic disorders, too? Say whaaaat?
As the youngest of nine kids, I’m gonna be honest when I say I started to get a little concerned as I listed off the number of crazy things I was subjected to as a child by an older brother—not the least of which was being shoved in the dryer and threatened with being, well, dried.
A recent study at Warwick University revealed that “the more frequently children are involved in sibling bullying—either as a bully, victim, or both—the more likely they are to develop a psychotic disorder” like schizophrenia or bipolar disorder. So…we’re, like, all screwed, right? Who wasn’t bullied, or—let’s be honest—was a bully themselves at home?!
The good news is that it sounds like light-hearted teasing is fine as long as it doesn’t cross the line into aggression or exclusion. That’s where parents need to step in and make sure all members of the family have a haven at home where they know they’re safe and loved.
Thankfully, my own brother “bully” made up for his ridiculous escapades with lots of love in other ways so I always knew he was just teasing me and I wasn’t in any real danger.
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But the next time I start seeing people who aren’t really there, I guess I’ll know who to blame…
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