When most people hear about post-traumatic stress syndrome (PTSD), the last thing they consider is the workplace. However, mental health professionals are sounding a very different alarm – your job might be more harmful to your health than you think. What if where you work isn’t just making you sad or upset? You could actually be one of the thousands of people who are dealing with trauma from your job.
What’s Workplace PTSD?
According to Joyce Marter, a licensed psychotherapist, workplace PTSD is best defined as “different emotional, cognitive, and physical challenges people experience when they have difficulty coping with negative, abusive, or traumatic aspects of their jobs.”
It’s a pretty broad definition but can include events such as constant lay-offs, getting yelled at by your boss in front of your coworkers, being bullied, racist or other discriminatory behaviors, as well as different forms of harassment.
While it can affect people in the healthcare industry and first responders, that doesn’t mean others can’t develop workplace PTSD. In fact, a recent study showed that it’s impossible to predict who can have the disorder.
It also isn’t limited to those who are working from the office. Even when working remotely, people can develop PTSD when the toxic behaviors of those in charge are extended to the online experience.
Instead of focusing on where you work, though, it helps to know what the symptoms look like.
People with workplace PTSD can experience chronic anxiety, depression, trouble sleeping, feeling numb, trouble concentrating, digestive issues, and feeling as if they need to avoid work.
In prolonged cases, people have symptoms that last after they’ve left the workplace. That can entail having chest pains, headaches, and panic attacks if they come in contact with a former coworker or end up on the route they used to take to work.
How To Manage Your PTSD
Proactive self-care is an important part of managing the disorder. Experts recommend ensuring that you take