A South Australian study has linked bullying to mental and psychosomatic health problems including headaches, anxiety and abdominal pain.

The study of over 2,800 adults found that nearly 20% reported having experienced bullying at school, and those who reported being bullied reported poorer physical and mental health then those who had not been bullied.

The study reported, “The results from the present study indicate that reports of early exposure to bullying were associated with an increased risk of emotional and psychosomatic disorders.”

“They reported more anxiety and depressive symptoms such as feeling nervous, downhearted and depressed, together with low vitality and poorer functioning due to emotional problems.”

Bullying experts noted that the study supports past research. The paper concluded that bullying needs to be further investigated and prevented to reduce the health risks of those involved.

The study can be found at the Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry.

Writer Tristan Boyd, Editor Dr Ramesh Manocha.