I was lucky enough to make it through my school years without getting bullied by peers and I had a fairly good time at school, that I didnt' care for school that much had other reasons...but bullying was definitely not one of them. My first real experience with bullying was a few years ago, when I watched a coworker being bullied beyond belief, mentally tortured, threatened and degraded on a daily basis. As an employee that had been there longer as the then supervisor, it became fast obvious that she wanted all new staff that she could mould to her liking, and so I became a smaller target of her bullying ways, mostly because of my association with that particular coworker. I eventually left that work place because the stress was just getting to much and all our attempts to get any help or even just raising awareness fell on deaf ears and was dismissed. That happened shortly before there was a law put in place against workplace bullying, so we didn't benefit from it. Now five years later, times have changed and I am pretty sure that fears of lawsuits have contributed to the dealing with the bully this time around. Also people saw how it affected the whole work place and every single staff. Being bullied can affect people in many different ways, some suffer from high stress, anxiety, reduced self esteem, sleep disturbance, phobias, increased depression, financial stress due to absence, etc.
Bullying is often directed at someone a bully feels threatened by. The target often doesn't even realize when they are being bullied, because the behaviour is covert, through trivial critisism and isolating actions that occur behind closed doors.There are some ways you can deal with a bully....first recognize that you are being bullied, realize that you are not the source of the problem and that bullying is about control and has nothing to do with your performance. Take actions by keeping a diary of all incidents, whenever possible have witnesses, because the bully is a master manipulator and can twist every story and incident to their advantage, usually they try to catch you alone. Make copies of all bullying paper trails, keep emails and notes that contradict the bully's statement etc.
Having known all this and doing it from the day it started has definitely helped in putting an end to it. Even though we had an open door policy with the manager, it was very uncomfortable to get to that point of telling, mostly too because of the threatening comments being made by the bully. But you have to tell somebody, anybody, until somebody believes you and starts investigating. Most likely you are not the only person being bullied, there might be some of your coworkers being bullied too, and complaints from a number of individuals speak volume. It did in our case.