Tuesday, July 10, 2012

P. PTSD - Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

This post is for the letter P in my series on workplace bullying for the 2011 A-Z Blogging Challenge. This is a repost of the original.

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.
Here's some information about stress and Recovery from Bullying - learning new patterns of behaviour after having been bullied and Another Step in recovery from bullying, The Making of Happiness (more tips to assist recovery from bullying).

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.


The Writing Goddess said...

Good post - and thanks for mentioning C-PTSD. While PTSD is often (if not always) linked to a specific traumatic event, such as being the victim of an attack, C-PTSD can occur by living in a home where one parent continually verbally abuses another, or in a workplace with an abusive boss or co-worker, or, as mentioned here, by serial bullying.

sue said...

Thanks Writing Goddess. The effects can be on the abused parent AND children who witness the abuse as well. I was horrified (though not entirely surprised) to read some research that shows that babies in utero suffer from sustained verbal abuse of their mothers.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Sue .. any form of abuse affects so many - and also the abuser affects their whole family up the generations and future generations ..

I'm just glad people are addressing the issues - society needs to help itself .. if people can get round to doing that - life would be easier ..

Thanks - Hilary

sue said...

That's so true Hilary and the effect on future generations is so often overlooked, hushed up or ignored. I've noticed the people who say it doesn't happen have no direct personal experience and do more damage than good.

thanks for visiting.