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Drugs & Health Blog

Bullying Hurts the Bully, Too

This blog post is archived and is no longer being updated. For the latest content, please visit the main Drugs & Health Blog page.
Sara Bellum

During October’s National Bullying Prevention Month, SBB wonders: Do you have sympathy for kids who bully other kids?

People often talk about how much bullying affects kids and teens who are the victims of mean-spirited attacks. Adults who were bullied as kids can vividly remember names they were called and times they felt humiliated. Kids who are bullied can experience many problems like stomachaches or headaches, depression and anxiety, and sleeping troubles.

Problems for Bullies

But did you know that bullying also can hurt the person doing the bullying? Research shows that kids who bully are more likely to use drugs, smoke cigarettes, and drink alcohol; have mental health problems; and get into trouble with violence later in life.

What’s not known is which comes first. As one researcher puts it, “Youth who bully others might be more likely to also try substance use. The reverse could also be true in that youth who use substances might be more likely to bully others.”

Whatever way you look at it, kids who bully need help, too. And everyone can do their part to help end bullying.

Be More Than a Bystander examples of bullying text box

Even if you’re not the bully or the bullied, you can make a difference in your school and community by standing up and not letting bullying happen when you’re around.

Enter the “Be More Than a Bystander” Challenge [link removed] by submitting a video that explains what kids and teens can do to stop bullying. Entries are due on October 14, 2012, so don’t delay!

Learn More

If you or someone you know is being bullied, or if one of your friends bullies others, you can get help. Visit for tips.

Share your experiences with bullying by leaving a comment!

Comments posted to the Drugs & Health Blog are from the general public and may contain inaccurate information. They do not represent the views of NIDA or any other federal government entity.


i used to be a bully myself and it does hurt because you feel guilty after the incident. People say that she has no emotion but we do it's just hard and when we bully we do it to be cool. I am no longer a bully though :)

hey guys bully's do have feelings too. the reason why they bully might be because they have problems at home. I used to be a bully to younger children and boy do i regret it the reason i bulled was because i had issues with myself i was really self conscious and i took it out on others. I am no longer a bully though! ya :)

This is a great cause! You can be of help in any way. Bullying is really an epidemic that should be stopped because this really affect one person's behavior. If you could find ways to help the victims of bullying do it now. I just want to share this app that could help you if somebody wants to bully you. By just pressing the help button, you can get help from family and friends. This app also loaded with a lot of features especially the immediate routing to 911. [commercial link removed, per guidelines]

I hate seeing kids get bullyed i see it all the time. when I see bullying i get angry myself why should someone get picked on because their not as superior as another being. Bullys say it's because they had problems well they should've found out another way to settle them. Others shouldn't suffer because of ones problems. I am a Boxer in High school and I Bully Bullys.

Nailed it^

I am 8 and I am bullied. I am so glad you made this site. It is imspireing. Thanks I,ll say no

I know
is that it just i know
Back when I was like 9-14 years old, I used to be a bully. Taking people's money and belongings, beating them down for no apparent reason, verbally abusing them, all of it. Hell, at one point I had the entire faculty afraid of me. It didn't hurt me, it didn't really bother me at all. I came to terms with the fact that I'm a sadistic person that loves to strike fear into people. I only apologized to one person and that's about it.
bullying wrong
bullying is hurtful thing they need to stop and they need to stop bullying it's not cool bye god don't like bullying
when I was 11 I use to get bullied by lots of people.I was a punk.
Im 13 now and i get bullied alot still and some kids say just go in a hole and die
this is a cool website
when i was in the 8th grade I use to get bullied but now i understand people bully because of their guilt that they hve but im use to it now all i can do is smile at them nd say remember this in that what happened in this grade or that grade .i understand people goes through alot nd all but just dont take it out on the wrong person that never done anything to you... ...
Hey! I am a freshman in high school, and I have autism. That makes making friends a little of a struggle. I remember that I've been picked on at least once in every elementary, middle, or high school. But it didn't hurt me. Having autism I believe just made me stronger. In elementary school though, it was the worse. Kids are so cruel. I remember there was a time when I was on a rock climbing wall and I wanted to get down, but I didn't know how. My autism was bad back then and I couldn't do a lot of the stuff other kids could do. I remember all of the kids, like the entire grade, gathering around and laughing at me because I was afraid. Even the teacher that helped me get down was mad at me. It felt horrible. I remember no one wanted to play with me, and although they only called me names a couple times, they never let me play with them. In middle school (I switched to a different district btw), there were a couple instances where girls called me names. I found friends, and I hanged out with them. But I still felt lonely. I soon saw a girl in my science class. She was sitting in a corner by herself, and she looked lonely. Instead of going over to my friends, I moved over to the girl. I knew what that was like, and I wanted to help her. I became friends with her, and things were turning out okay. Then she started hurting me. Squeezing my wrists to the point where they bled, calling me a slave and a puppet. My best friend noticed the scratches and helped me go to the guidance office. The other girl had gotten suspended, and police actually came and took pictures of my arms. That was in 8th grade, and when she came back in high school, she was trying to spread rumors. But I just still feel bad for her. I know she doesn't have any friends, and she has a disorder as well. And I know no one wants her around and other people keep making fun of her. But I don't know what to do. She glares at me whenever I go near her.
I was a bully growing up Mother/Father (Drugs, Divorce and etc..), these were some key factors in influencing me in the choices I made. I tried to hide from the fact that I had done these things that I had hurt other human beings mentally assaulting them and some times physically. I do not know about others whom have bullied, but this bully grew up and made what felt terrible life choices. Drinking till borderline alcohol poisoning, trying many other drugs, reckless driving and other various risky forms of endangering my life secretly hoping to die getting off on the thrill. It took me roughly 15 years to notice how hurt I was and callous I was acting with myself. I can tell any bully out there that it is just like any other choice you have made, no matter what you made the choice to do it. That said if you legitimately feel awful for you what you did keep pushing, apologize, cry, talk or what ever it takes you must move on. The cycle that can consume you will do you no good and will only cause you to reflect poorly not only on yourself, but everything around you. Every day is a new day and that if you are being your genuine self being a better person for yourself and others around you with out compromising yourself you will get better. May you find solace in your lives other bullies who feel terrible for what you have done. I'm sorry, Mr. Mahungus, Ms. Trickett where ever life has stolen you away to peace be with you may you receive my message.