How Teens Who Are Being Bullied Act Out


When a teenager is the victim of bullying, the abuse may lead to overwhelming feelings of helplessness and hopelessness, according to the website. As a parent on the outside of the situation, you may notice unusual behavior from your teenager if he is being bullied. Know common behaviors of bully victims – they may act out as a result of the abuse.

Common Victim Behaviors

  • If your adolescent is suffering bullying treatment, he may display common symptoms and behaviors that indicate a problem, according to the Boston Children’s Hospital website. You might notice bumps and bruises, missing possessions, fearfulness, a change in eating or sleeping patterns, drastic mood changes and a refusal to share information about his school day. In a cyberbullying situation, you may notice a change in your child's computer or social media use in an attempt to avoid a situation. It's also common for a child to deny a bullying situation out of fear of retribution from the bully.

School Refusal

  • If your ordinarily compliant teenager suddenly shows a marked reluctance or even a refusal to attend classes, this is a red flag that bullying may be happening to her, advises the Boston Children’s Hospital website. The school refusal generally stems from embarrassment, or just plain fear of bullying situations. Your child’s solution is to avoid the situations that could lead to uncomfortable and potentially unsafe scenarios. As your child becomes preoccupied with the bullying behavior, it’s also common that she'll have other school issues, including falling grades and a lack of participation.

Victim Turns Bully

  • When a child experiences bullying behavior as a victim, one possible response could be that he turns the tables and engages in bullying behavior upon a weaker victim, according to the Kansas Safe Schools Resource Center. The profile for this type of victim/bully interplay involves an unpopular child, showing signs of anxiety or depression, with the ability to select and choose vulnerable victims who are weaker.


  • When a bullying victim feels threatened and unsafe, she may decide to take a stand against the bully, according to the National Youth Violence Prevention Resource Center. She may begin carrying a concealed weapon with the plan to use it for self-defense. She may also be motivated to carry the weapon as part of a plan for violent revenge against the bully.


  • If a bullying victim does not feel able to reach out to adults for support and assistance in a bullying situation, he may plan a means of escape. This could take the form of running away, according to the Kansas Safe Schools Resource Center. Bullying can also lead to significant depression in your boy, to the point where he chooses the ultimate escape – suicide – according to a report issued by the Suicide Prevention Resource Center.


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