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Being the "Easiest Target" - And Getting Over It

Share Your Story: Bipolar Disorder and Bullying - Were You a Victim?

By fionmacool

Updated April 06, 2010

Talk about yourself

Thanks, Marcia, for sharing that article. I am a 38 year old architect, having been treated successfully these past five years for lifelong bipolar Earlier I had on and off success. I suffered extreme lows as early as seven years old. This was before the bullying started. I was bullied in school and in other social groups from about 10 years old. I was sensitive to things that didn't bother other kids. That's like a target on your head. Nobody was capable of dealing with the situation - my parents (who are great parents by the way), teachers and other authorities were not trained to spot the danger of potential suicide.

How Did Other Children Mistreat You?

Not really any physical abuse but mostly antagonism and creating a hostile atmosphere around me where the other kids (as well as I) would be afraid to challenge the bullies. They insulted me in public, laughed at me and made me into a kind of social "leper." I was ashamed of being bullied. It's very hard to cope with being a man and being so emasculated. My only recourse was to violence (because I wasn't able to express myself verbally) but I didn't want to go that route. I may have had to use extreme measures to get my point across, which could have been serious.

So I kept my mouth shut and tried to find a way out of my predicament by working at being courageous, try to stop feeling so down and being my own man. But things never got any easier and I felt trapped. This allowed the bullying to intensify. I never knew that what I had is considered a medical condition.

This situation unfortunately extended to college and the workplace. Eventually even when I was free from bullying, the depression itself was the problem. I didn't need any bullies because I was bullying myself.

Having somehow survived childhood, school and college, it was time to face up to the problem, as now I had nowhere to hide from it. Somehow, despite hating being in school and college, it gave me a structure that kept me going. As an adult I had to make my own decisions. I found that I couldn't keep a job, and that was the last straw. Life hadn't been worth living for so long that I decided to take my life. Suicide was difficult (I really wasn't sure if I wanted to do it and I couldn't concentrate) and ironically I was unsuccessful in this too - thankfully now!

Lessons Learned

  • Get professional help.
  • Make sure your (doctor) explains fully to your parents/loved ones what the problem is and how serious it is. Sometimes it just doesn't hit home when you explain it to them.
  • Learn how to be devious - pretend to be one of them for periods of time - learn to blend. This doesn't mean being a bad person. It's a game that takes a long time to learn. You can only stab an enemy in the back from behind (figuratively speaking!)
  • Forgive yourself, every day.
  • Get to know how you tick - what makes you feel good/bad. Become an expert on this topic. It takes a long time, but can have early results.

Do you think bipolar disorder helped make you a victim?

Bipolar or depression was the basis of the problem. Not that bullies were not to blame, but it allowed them to pick on me, because the pain of responding was so intense.

Bullies will always find the weakest or easiest target to use as a method of control of a group. That's how it works.

Did being bullied damage your self-esteem?

Obviously. It worked like a vicious circle - The more I got bullied the easier it was to bully me.

Do you still have "victim" characteristics as an adult?

I'd say so - I have tried to learn to tone down feelings of self-pity and I have found a way of channeling my anger outward in a calm manner. I now really enjoy getting my own back on bullies. When you get older it's easy to outsmart them because most of them have never learned life's later lessons

Anything more you want to say?

Bullying is an extremely important topic and needs to be discussed openly.

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