Trauma, in its most basic definition, is a “distressing or disturbing experience.” While this is partially true, there is another part to it. Trauma often disturbs a person’s sense of stability. If a person experiences trauma over and over again, after a period of time, they develop complex post-traumatic stress disorder, also known as CPTSD.
For students getting their first job, they may not be aware of the top signs of a hostile work environment. To help educate those unaware, or for those who feel like they’re a victim of this trauma, this article will review what you need to know about workplace trauma and its effects.
What Are Trauma, PTSD, and CPTSD?
Trauma, as mentioned previously, is an event or action that causes a victim’s sense of stability to come into question. PTSD occurs when a person struggles to mentally recover from trauma. Symptoms can include nightmares, unwanted memories, anxiety, depression, and much more. While the symptoms may seem similar in some areas, the main difference between PTSD and CPTSD is that PTSD usually occurs after one traumatic event, whereas CPTSD is repeated trauma over extended periods.
What Is Workplace Trauma and How Does It Happen?
Workplace trauma is any traumatic event that occurs to an employee at their place of work. This can be a single event like an accident, illness, death, injury, robbery, and so forth. However, if an employee is receiving repeated harassment, threats, is overworked, or is in danger, this also qualifies. Either of these issues and events can create long-lasting trauma.
However, it is extremely important to note that workplace trauma does not just happen to police officers or firefighters. It can happen to service workers, servers, and retail workers. It can happen anywhere, and where you experience workplace trauma does not devalue your trauma.
What Are the Effects of Workplace Trauma?
Returning to work after a traumatic event can exacerbate difficult effects of PTSD. If the trauma stems from a singular event, returning to the place where it occurred can reopen a wound before it’s had time to heal. It can trigger panic attacks and painful flashbacks.
Being educated about workplace trauma and its effects can give you the tools you need to recognize if you’re in a situation that threatens your mental health. Use this article as your guide to navigate your negative workplace experience and see if your job is doing more harm than good.