Recognising bullying as a cause of mood disorder (Part 1 of 4 on bullying)

I was thinking about how bullying has been identified as a factor in the onset of psychosis and bipolar disorder. Then I remembered two articles I wrote about bullying in 2006 and thought these were worth republishing. These are about bullying sometimes being subtle and unseen and where the line might be between… well see what you think to this first one of the two…

Cruel to be Kind – Roger Smith 2006

“Singing involves giving pleasure: you can’t.” – Simon Cowell

“You dress better than you sing and you got dressed in the dark.” – Simon Cowell

This morning an email arrived from a friend that included a question about a straight talking judge on TV talent shows.

“So what do you think of Simon Cowell?”

During the day I found myself coming back to this question about Simon Cowell. I am aware that most TV audiences either love him or hate him because of his brutally honest comments. Fortunately, Simon has years of experience, is respected around the world and is mega-rich, so he can easily afford to speak his mind. But it leaves me wondering if maybe the world would be a better place if more of us dared to be more honest.

Then these words from the 1979 song by Nick Lowe came into my head:

“Cruel to be kind in the right measure
Cruel to be kind it’s a very good sign
Cruel to be kind means that I love you”

I just do not see Simon as, Mr Nasty. There are times when people need to be told the truth about themselves and sometimes such a message only seems to get through when delivered in a brutally honest way. I see Simon as cruel to be kind. Like in the song this must be a good thing providing it is, “in the right measure”.

In the work place, school or even at home this cruel-to-be-kind behaviour can be mistaken for bullying. There is a massive difference though as the bullies are either not seeing, or not caring about the hurt they are causing. Bullies also tend to be unaware of that their cruelty leads to stress that in turn can lead to poor work performance, absenteeism, depression and even suicide. There is a very serious side to the divide between not-bullying and bullying. It is this that will be discussed in the next issue.

Next time: Invisible bulliesDo you see bullying at work?

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