Saturday, December 28, 2013

Complex PTSD: Devastating Health Effects From Workplace Bullying | Workplace Bullying Institute

Complex PTSD: Devastating Health Effects From Workplace Bullying

September 30th, 2011


By Andrew Mitchell
Suite 101
August 18th 2010

The harming effects of workplace bullying can go further than mere embarrassment. A target may become psychologically injured after long-term abuse.

According to the Workplace Bullying Institute, "workplace bullying is repeated, health-harming mistreatment that takes one or more of the following forms: verbal abuse; offensive conduct/behaviors (including nonverbal) which are threatening, humiliating, or intimidating; and work interference (sabotage) which prevents work from getting done."

Workplace bullying has devastating effects on the targeted individual. Not only does one feel that their job is in jeopardy, they may also start to feel physically ill and emotionally harmed.

Workplace Bullying Liabilities

Bullying poses great liabilities to employers, including:

  • Occupational health and safety violations;
  • Actions for negligence or intentional infliction of mental suffering; or
  • Defamatory actions.

Another concern that arises from workplace bullying is stress-related illness. These illnesses can range over many categories. It is not uncommon for people under extreme stress to develop symptoms of heart disease (i.e. high blood pressure), gastrointestinal disorders (i.e. irritable bowel syndrome, ulcers) and many other ailments. The stress that results from bullying can lead to long-term illnesses; some ailments by affect an individual for life.

Bullying and Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

As a result of the negative feelings associated with workplace bullying, targets are at a very high risk of developing mental illnesses such as depression and anxiety disorder. Their way of living is attacked for no apparent reason and often, the attacker is intent on harming the target for no apparent reason. Targets may endure abuse day in and day out for months or even years. This abuse harms their overall health. While depression and anxiety can be debilitating, targets may experience symptoms that are different. Yet finding a fitting diagnosis causes a bit of a controversy among some professionals.

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) describes symptoms that result when a person is involved in a short-term or single traumatic event. Examples include accidents, natural disasters, assault, attempted murder and rape because these are considered to be of short duration. However, the trauma related to workplace bullying is not an isolated, short-term event.

Long term or chronic events that span a period of months or years tend to develop symptoms that vary from PTSD. There is usually more intense psychological harm when one experiences repeated trauma. There may be complete changes to one's concept of who they are and in their ability to cope with stressful situations.

During long-term traumas, people are held in physical and/or emotional captivity. They are under the influence of their abuser and unable to get out of the situation they are in. Examples include:

  • Prisoner of War camps
  • Long-term domestic violence
  • Repeated, severe physical abuse
  • Childhood sexual abuse

Some psychologists believe that a different term, Complex PTSD (C-PTSD), should be used to identify trauma that is repeated or long-term. Bullying targets may show symptoms that are similar to PTSD and/or C-PTSD. For this reason, researchers of workplace bullying believe that bullying should be considered an example of captivity.

C-PTSD is not a recognized diagnosis in the current Diagnostic and Statistical Manual. It should be noted, however, that the main difference between the two types of PTSD is the cause of the disorder in the patient. Symptoms of the two types are much the same. For this reason, therapists may diagnose bullying targets with PTSD, allowing patients receive treatment.

The Symptoms of Complex PTSD

Above all, to be considered for a diagnosis of C-PTSD, the target must experience an extended period under the control of another person. After this has been established, other symptoms must be taken into account.

According to Julia M. Whealin, Ph.D. and Laurie Slone, Ph.D., in the May 22, 2007 version of the US Department of Veterans Affairs site, Complex PTSD, there are symptoms that would occur if someone has been chronically victimized, including:

  • Persistent sadness, explosive anger; inhibited anger; suicidal thoughts;
  • Forgetting traumatic events or reliving them. Feeling detached from one's mind or body;
  • Feelings of helplessness, shame, guilt and stigma. One may feel that they are different than other people;
  • Attributing total power to the abuser. Preoccupation with the perpetrator, possibly becoming obsessed with revenge;
  • Social isolation, distrust in others or repeatedly searching for a rescuer; and
  • A loss of faith or a sense of hopelessness and despair.

Other difficulties that may be experienced by people with C-PTSD include:

  • Avoiding topics related to the trauma due to feelings that are too overwhelming;
  • Abusing alcohol/other substances to avoid and/or numb feelings/thoughts associated with trauma;
  • Self-mutilating and/or other types of self-injurious behaviors.

Workplace bullying is a serious issue due to the harmful health issues it causes. People have committed suicide and/or harmed others while in the throes of PTSD episodes. One should consult their doctor and/or a mental health professional if experiencing symptoms, especially feelings that cause one to be a danger to self or others.

Originally posted at Suite101

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Bullying Can Lead to PTSD Symptoms | Psych Central News

Bullying Can Lead to PTSD Symptoms



By Associate News Editor
Reviewed by John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on November 28, 2012

Bullying Can Lead to PTSD SymptomsA new study has found a high incidence of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms among teenagers who have been bullied.

The study of 963 teens aged 14 and 15 in Norwegian schools found symptoms of the disorder in about 33 percent of the students who said they were victims of bullying — though it did not determine that these students were diagnosed with full-blown PTSD.

"This is noteworthy, but nevertheless unsurprising," said psychologist Dr. Thormod Idsøe from the University of Stavanger (UiS) and Bergen's Center for Crisis Psychology.

"Bullying is defined as long-term physical or mental violence by an individual or group. It's directed at a person who's not able to defend themselves at the relevant time. We know that such experiences can leave a mark on the victim."

The study measured the extent of intrusive memories and avoidance behavior, two of three defined PTSD symptoms. The third, physiological stress activation, was not covered.

"Traumatic experiences or strains imposed on us by others can often hurt more than accidents," said Idsøe. "That could be why so many pupils report such symptoms."

The PTSD symptoms can make it difficult to concentrate and have a disruptive effect on daily life, preventing those who are bullied from functioning normally, according to the researcher.

"Pupils who're constantly plagued by thoughts about or images of painful experiences, and who use much energy to suppress them, will clearly have less capacity to concentrate on schoolwork," he said. "Nor is this usually easy to observe — they often suffer in silence."

According to the new study, girls are more likely to display PTSD symptoms than boys.

"We also found that those with the worst symptoms were a small group of pupils who, in addition to being victims of bullying, frequently bullied fellow pupils themselves," he said.

The researcher noted it is to difficult to provide a definite explanation of why some groups are more likely to develop PTSD symptoms. "One explanation, for example, could be that difficult earlier experiences make the sufferers more vulnerable, and they thereby develop symptoms and mental health problems more easily," he said.

He added that he hopes the study's findings can help to boost awareness that a number of bullied schoolchildren may need support even after the mistreatment has ended. "In such circumstances, adult responsibility isn't confined to stopping the bullying," he said. "It also extends to following up the victims."

The study was published in the Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology.

Source: University of Stavanger

Girl being bullied photo by shutterstock.

 

 

APA Reference
Wood, J. (2012). Bullying Can Lead to PTSD Symptoms. Psych Central. Retrieved on December 28, 2013, from http://psychcentral.com/news/2012/11/28/bullying-can-lead-to-ptsd-symptoms/48213.html

 



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Mobbing-U.S.A. - Emotional Abuse in the American Workplace

MOBBING IS...

  • EMOTIONAL ABUSE in the workplace.
  • "Ganging up" by co-workers, subordinates or superiors, to force someone out of the workplace through rumor, innuendo, intimidation, humiliation, discrediting, and isolation.
  • Malicious, nonsexual, nonracial, general harassment.

Other expressions for MOBBING are:

  • Bullying
  • Psychological terror or aggression
  • Hostile behaviors at work
  • Workplace trauma
  • Incivility
  • Emotional violence
We consider MOBBING an emotional injury that impacts a target's mental and physical health. MOBBING is a workplace safety and health issue.

This site informs about the MOBBING phenomenon. You find information about the book "MOBBING: Emotional Abuse in the American Workplace" and information about services and resources that help targets of mobbing or organizations deal with the phenomenon in a constructive fashion.

Dr. Heinz Leymann (www.leymann.se), an industrial psychologist and medical scientist with an M.D. in psychiatry, has pioneered the research on MOBBING in Sweden in the early eighties. MOBBING has since become a household word in several European countries.

The book "MOBBING: Emotional Abuse in the American Workplace" by Noa Zanolli Davenport Ph.D., Ruth Distler Schwartz, and Gail Pursell Elliott is partially based on Dr. Leymann's work. The book and this site are primarily intended as a self-help tool and a resource for targets of workplace mobbing. We also address responsible management and human resources personnel, unions, health care providers, insurance agencies, and lawyers as well as families and friends of targets of mobbing. Above all, we encourage preventive, timely and appropriate action.

Since the publication of MOBBING in 1999, we have received only positive feedback.We acknowledge the hundreds of persons who gratefully wrote to us. They confirmed that our initial intent to offer a self-help book was met.

Awareness is slowly growing in the U.S. and in Canada about the darker side of work and the devastating effects that mobbing and bullying can have on the self, health, organizations and society. Our colleagues in North America, though still rather few, do their part to contribute to the growing interest. For example: Three conferences on the topic have been organized in the U.S. since 2000, in California, Massachusetts and Iowa; the Department of Environmental Quality for the State of Oregon has established the first anti-mobbing policy in the U.S.; efforts to add new anti-mobbing legislation are under way in California, other states and in Canada; and several new Internet self-help and advice groups and websites address specific professional groups or aspects of incivility at work. In the aftermath of the Columbine and other school shooting tragedies, the media has increasingly discussed bullying in the schools, thus also raising awareness of adult bullying/mobbing in the workplace.

The authors continue to present about workplace mobbing to the media, corporations, and professional organizations; and Noa Zanolli Davenport has also been retained as expert witness in legal cases. And, last but not least, our book has been used as required reading in several college courses.

Parallel to these developments in the U.S., pro-action keeps growing around the world. For example, a major international conference was held in early 2002 in Australia. In January 2002, France enacted an anti-mobbing law. In, Canada, the province of Quebec, has adopted anti-harassment/mobbing legislation. In Columbia, anti-harassment legislation has been enacted in February 2006. We are proud to say that our book and website were quoted by the congressmen who sponsored the bill before the Columbian Congress. Most importantly, in Germany, workplace mobbing has been acknowledged in the medical establishment as an ill-making condition and is recognized in the European Union as an occupational safety and health risk. Our book has raised interest in Japan and Turkey and translated editions are now also available. Read the Preface for the 3rd printing (August 2005).



Elyssa D. Durant © DailyDDoSe™ © 2013

Mapping the Effects g PTSD

Complex post traumatic stress disorder (complex ptsd, pdsd, shell shock, nervous shock, combat fatigue), symptoms and the difference between mental illness and psychiatric injury explained

In the previous version of DSM (DSM-III) a criterion of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder was for the sufferer to have faced a single major life-threatening event; this criterion was present because a) it was thought that PTSD could not be a result of "normal" events such as bereavement, business failure, interpersonal conflict, bullying, harassment, stalking, marital disharmony, working for the emergency services, etc, and b) most of the research on PTSD had been undertaken with people who had suffered a threat to life (eg combat veterans, especially from Vietnam, victims of accident, disaster, and acts of violence).

A. The person experiences a traumatic event in which both of the following were present:

1. the person experienced or witnessed or was confronted with an event or events that involved actual or threatened death or serious injury, or a threat to the physical integrity of self or others;
2. the person's response involved intense fear, helplessness, or horror.

B. The traumatic event is persistently re-experienced in any of the following ways:

1. recurrent and intrusive distressing recollections of the event, including images, thoughts or perceptions;
2. recurrent distressing dreams of the event;
3. acting or feeling as if the traumatic event were recurring (eg reliving the experience, illusions, hallucinations, and dissociative flashback episodes, including those on wakening or when intoxicated);
4. intense psychological distress at exposure to internal or external cues that symbolise or resemble an aspect of the traumatic event;
5. physiological reactivity on exposure to internal or external cues that symbolise or resemble an aspect of the traumatic event.

C. Persistent avoidance of stimuli associated with the trauma and numbing of general responsiveness (not present before the trauma) as indicated by at least three of:

1. efforts to avoid thoughts, feelings or conversations associated with the trauma;
2. efforts to avoid activities, places or people that arouse recollections of this trauma;
3. inability to recall an important aspect of the trauma;
4. markedly diminished interest or participation in significant activities;
5. feeling of detachment or estrangement from others;
6. restricted range of affect (eg unable to have loving feelings);
7. sense of a foreshortened future (eg does not expect to have a career, marriage, children or a normal life span).

D. Persistent symptoms of increased arousal (not present before the trauma) as indicated by at least two of the following:

1. difficulty falling or staying asleep;
2. irritability or outbursts of anger;
3. difficulty concentrating;
4. hypervigilance;
5. exaggerated startle response.

E. The symptoms on Criteria B, C and D last for more than one month.

F. The disturbance causes clinically significant distress or impairment in social, occupational or other important areas of functioning.



Elyssa D. Durant © DailyDDoSe™ © 2013

Bullying and Complex PTSD

Complex post traumatic stress disorder (complex ptsd, pdsd, shell shock, nervous shock, combat fatigue), symptoms and the difference between mental illness and psychiatric injury explained

In the previous version of DSM (DSM-III) a criterion of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder was for the sufferer to have faced a single major life-threatening event; this criterion was present because a) it was thought that PTSD could not be a result of "normal" events such as bereavement, business failure, interpersonal conflict, bullying, harassment, stalking, marital disharmony, working for the emergency services, etc, and b) most of the research on PTSD had been undertaken with people who had suffered a threat to life (eg combat veterans, especially from Vietnam, victims of accident, disaster, and acts of violence)

A. The person experiences a traumatic event in which both of the following were present:

1. the person experienced or witnessed or was confronted with an event or events that involved actual or threatened death or serious injury, or a threat to the physical integrity of self or others;
2. the person's response involved intense fear, helplessness, or horror.

B. The traumatic event is persistently re-experienced in any of the following ways:

1. recurrent and intrusive distressing recollections of the event, including images, thoughts or perceptions;
2. recurrent distressing dreams of the event;
3. acting or feeling as if the traumatic event were recurring (eg reliving the experience, illusions, hallucinations, and dissociative flashback episodes, including those on wakening or when intoxicated);
4. intense psychological distress at exposure to internal or external cues that symbolise or resemble an aspect of the traumatic event;
5. physiological reactivity on exposure to internal or external cues that symbolise or resemble an aspect of the traumatic event.

C. Persistent avoidance of stimuli associated with the trauma and numbing of general responsiveness (not present before the trauma) as indicated by at least three of:

1. efforts to avoid thoughts, feelings or conversations associated with the trauma;
2. efforts to avoid activities, places or people that arouse recollections of this trauma;
3. inability to recall an important aspect of the trauma;
4. markedly diminished interest or participation in significant activities;
5. feeling of detachment or estrangement from others;
6. restricted range of affect (eg unable to have loving feelings);
7. sense of a foreshortened future (eg does not expect to have a career, marriage, children or a normal life span).

D. Persistent symptoms of increased arousal (not present before the trauma) as indicated by at least two of the following:

1. difficulty falling or staying asleep;
2. irritability or outbursts of anger;
3. difficulty concentrating;
4. hypervigilance;
5. exaggerated startle response.

E. The symptoms on Criteria B, C and D last for more than one month.

F. The disturbance causes clinically significant distress or impairment in social, occupational or other important areas of functioning.



Elyssa D. Durant © DailyDDoSe™ 2007-2008