How can bullying affect me?

Bullying can make you ill, cause you to lose sleep, and make you dread going to work.

People who are bullied often lose self-confidence, perhaps for a long time, and suffer from work-related stress. And stress, in turn, causes ill-health, both physical and mental.

Ill-health symptoms of bullying include:

Your body:

  • headaches/migraine;
  • sweating/shaking;
  • feeling or being sick;
  • irritable bowels;
  • inability to sleep; and
  • loss of appetite.

Your state of mind:

  • anxiety;
  • panic attacks;
  • depression; and
  • tearfulness.

Your behaviour:

  • becoming irritable;
  • becoming withdrawn;
  • increased consumption of tobacco, alcohol, etc.;
  • obsessive dwelling on the bully; and
  • seeking justice or revenge.

In the worst-case scenario, bullying can lead to suicide.

Note: This content is provided as general background information and should not be taken as legal advice or financial advice for your particular situation. Make sure to get individual advice on your case from your union, a source on our free help page or an independent financial advisor before taking any action.

What is WorkSmart?

A career coach that works for everyone.


Enjoy bite-sized activities delivered to you every week.

Lightbulb brain

Equip yourself with essential skills to be the best you yet.


Get the guidance you need to stay focused and reach your goals.

Worksmart circle