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Bullies strike all age groups

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Bullying not only impacts children, it affects adults every day, too.

A recent case of alleged bullying comes from the NFL.  Jonathan Martin of the Miami Dolphins quit the team less than a week ago, and his representatives claimed he was bullied by Richie Incognito.

ESPN reported that voice and text messages confirmed that Martin was being bullied by Incognito.  The messages included racist remarks to the bi-racial offensive lineman Jonathan Martin. Incognito also stated to Martin, "I will kill you."

Adult bullying also happens in the workplace here in the Quad Cities.

Some local adults who are victims of bullying find themselves at the SouthPark Psychology Center in Moline. Dr. Sharon Lash is a clinical psychologist at the facility and she says bullies target a specific group.

"People who have a history and are more vulnerable are going to be more at risk," said Lash.

Recent data shows that 53.5 million Americans reported bullying in the workplace. Many of those are bullied by their superiors.  Dr. Lash believes there is a sense of powerlessness when people are bullied by their superiors.

"People may feel like they are at the mercy of that supervisor because they are helping them to get a paycheck and they have to do what they say," Lash said.

According to Dr. Lash, many victims have pre-existing medical issues which may be exploited by a bully.

Adults who suffer from bullying may develop medical issues such as anxiety, sleep disruption and high blood pressure.

Dr. Lash says that people who have a strong support system at home are much more likely to overcome bullying if they simply ignore the bully.

But those who may not have the support of family and friends could face more challenges.

If you are being bullied, Lash recommends you seek support.

Get more information and resources for victims of bullying - click here.