An interesting new study reveals a link between kids that get bullied and an enhanced risk around getting fibromyalgia in adulthood. National numbers were reviewed from a Finnish social support and health study via a sample of close to 65,000 people.
A complex illness with signs that include fatigue and chronic pain, including psychological symptoms such as mood changes, depression, and memory issues, fibromyalgia is thought to be caused by a number of indicators such as emotional or physical trauma, hormone changes, and infectious illnesses.
According to Fibromyalgia News Today, hostile events experienced while growing up is also a risk factors when it comes to developing fibromyalgia and chronic pain as adults, and people that have genetic ties to the conditions tend to be more sensitive.
Bullying is very common for kids (in any generation), and the being bullied can have a long-term and negative impact on physical and mental health for children as they grow into adults. Having said that, this study marks the first time a link between fibromyalgia and bullying has been reviewed.
The researchers evaluated whether or not kiddos that were bullied increased their risk of getting fibromyalgia as they got older via this cross-sectional study. They reviewed close to 12,000 Finnish people who participated in a 1998 Health and Social Support survey, as well as two questionnaires (one in 2003 and 2012) that were follow ups. The outline of the survey asked whether these individuals had experienced childhood bullying and if they had been diagnosed with the condition.
The results offered some interesting insights. Of the 515 individuals who stated they had fibromyalgia, just over 50 percent reported some bullying, while just over 19 percent stated major bullying while children. The team found that the individuals who developed fibromyalgia as adults did report increased bullying as kids. Females stated severe bullying, while men mentioned minor bullying cases more often.
Researchers noted that there were tremendous links statistically between severe and minor bullying as kids, with fibromyalgia as adults. They went on to state that the links observed was more prevalent when it came to severe bullying cases; however, stats were also significant when it came to minor cases too.
Having said that, the link between fibromyalgia and bullying was not that tremendous if depression was placed in the equation. Researchers stated that it was unclear if this was due to bias recall or if the fibromyalgia was linked to peer bullying when depression was present.
Therefore, the results seemed to point an arrow (and association) that children bullied could have increased chances at developing fibromyalgia when they become adults, as well as the concept that bullying in childhood has long-term effect. Either way, additional research is needed for a greater understanding around the link between these.
The researchers also noted that the idea of resilience needs to be looked at; that is, why some childhood victims of bullying developed fibromyalgia, and others didn’t. The team also stated that this concept is beyond the scope of their current study and more research is needed.
Still, it’s hard not to ignore that the evidence found in this report continues to emphasize the need around prevention of childhood bullying in the future.