Tuesday, April 19, 2011

P. PTSD. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Workplace bullying.

This post is one in a series on workplace bullying for the 2012 A-Z Blogging challenge.

PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) can be described as:
an invisible injury occurring as a result of major traumatic experiences, including violence, harassment, assault, rape, accident, fire, explosion, disaster, or witnessing such events.
(from bullyonline) 
PTSD is a natural emotional reaction to a shocking and disturbing experience which has overwhelmed one's ability to cope. It causes significant impairment in social, occupational or other important areas of functioning.

There is growing awareness and acceptance that PTSD can also result from an accumulation of many small, individually non-life-threatening incidents such as being exposed to prolonged and relentlessly abusive bullying. To differentiate, the term "Complex PTSD" is generally used.

The feelings and emotions resulting from serial bullying which are similar to those of PTSD include:
  • Avoid discussing or thinking about the events
  • Avoid going places that remind the person of the trauma
  • Chronic gloominess
  • Concentration is shot, often confused
  • Catatonic. Some people experience an inability to get out of bed (this is very different to laziness)
  • Distress at being asked to recall the events or being around people discussing bullying
  • Detached, as if watching others from behind a screen
  • Exhaustion which is not relieved by sleep
  • Flashbacks may be common, with frequent distressing recollections of the events
  • Flight or fight response is on constant alert
  • General disinterest in life
  • Guilty for being weak
  • Hyper-vigilant
  • Irritable
  • Loss of libido
  • Nervy
  • Pacing the house at all hours of the night
  • Recurrent nightmares - adds to sleep deprivation 
  • Snappy
  • Startles easily and frequently
  • Sleep is disrupted constantly, may have trouble falling asleep and staying asleep
  • Unable to find meaning or fun in life
  • Vomiting or nausea at mention or discussion of the event
East side Gallery. Berlin. 2009.
Click here for information about stress.

Here tomorrow: Q. Qualities we instill in our children (which make it easier for them to be bullied)


There are many outstanding resources on line. A couple I find useful are Bullying. No way! an Australian resource for teachers and students, and a UK site Bully On Line

Minding the Workplace by David Yamada is regularly updated with interesting and useful articles and research, and eBossWatch on facebook links to articles about workplace bullying from around the world.

This is in no way an exhaustive list, and each country will no doubt have equally good or more relevant websites. If you're being bullied please seek advice from a professional health care practitioner experienced in this area. 

Over at jumpingaground I'm spending the month Drabbling using alliteration, often with an environmental theme.
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