How do I deal with bullying at school?

I've been bullied for years and the teachers have done nothing about it. I haven't been diagnosed with depression, but i have been extremely sad for years.

How can I deal with being bullied at school when the teachers won't help?

Kaileen McMickle, MS, LPC
Kaileen McMickle, MS, LPC
Licensed Professional Counselor

I used to do sessions in the middle school where I live and it's an epidemic.  Many schools struggle to address these problems and leave people like you feeling alone and lost.  I'm so sorry you have to go through that.

Do they physically hurt you?  Not that emotional pain isn't just as worse, but sometimes adults act quicker when someone is assaulting you.  You can also report them if you feel comfortable (enough) to.  Police involvement may be suitable if you fear for your physical safety.

No matter what you choose, there are some things you can do.  One is very hard but also really effective long-term---don't react to them at all.  I don't know if this is one person or a number of people, but they are getting a reward every time they bully you--your reaction.  That does not mean their actions are your fault or that you share any of the responsibility for how they treat you.  Their actions are their poor choice, never yours...that's why you are reaching out for help!  When you stop giving them a reaction, "comeback", etc., they may try to step it up in order to get a response from you.  If you continue to ignore them, after a time bullies tend to stop the behavior because they are no longer being rewarded for being mean.  If they start physically hurting you or hurt you worse than before, I would really challenge you to talk to someone so you are at least safe.

If you don't feel like that's possible or it turns out to be unhelpful, reaching out to people you trust or asking your parents for help with finding a counselor could be beneficial for you.  Being bullied can make you feel really alone, so it's very important to have someone to talk to that you trust.  Sounds like you have been needing this for a long time.

I'm not sure if you are in middle school or high school, but some schools offer activities or clubs that focus on building certain skills or interests.  Sometimes this can help you find your people when you feel like you don't belong anywhere.  It can also help to make you more confident in something you do, which can reflect as confidence to others.

It's also important to ask yourself when you have felt strong in the past or recently.  What gives you strength?  Is it a hobby, a friend, a pet?  Or is it what you know about yourself, like a value you have or your morals?  Even turning your awful experiences into something meaningful (e.g., creating an anti-bullying group, standing up for others, etc.) can contribute to the feeling of strength or resilience.  

You are already seeking help at a young age, which is amazing and also hard.  There's some part of you that is fighting for yourself, so whatever you do next know that that exists in you!

The information above is intended as general information...  (more)The information above is intended as general information based on minimal information, and does not constitute health care advice. This information does not constitute communication with a counselor/therapist nor does it create a therapist-client relationship nor any of the privileges that relationship may provide.   If you are currently feeling suicidal or are in crisis, call 911 or proceed to your local emergency room.

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