Harassment at Workplace: The Effects of Workplace Harassment

The effects of harassment at workplace have a high psychological cost. This phenomenon is one of the main problems in working life.

Effects of Workplace Harassment

The Effects of Harassment at Workplace have a high psychological cost. It is therefore not surprising that WHO and occupational health organizations consider mobbing to be one of the main problems in working life.

We are also faced with a growing phenomenon. There are more and more complaints, but the mechanisms for action and prevention remain insufficient.

The unions say, however, that many workers do not dare to take the plunge. The difficulty in demonstrating harassment, bureaucracy and judicial slowness make many people back down. And let’s not forget the consequences that flow from it.

Moreover, as certain associations point out, the situation is much more complex for civil servants (doctors, nurses, teachers, police officers, etc.).

Many men and women keep their daily lives silent for fear of losing their jobs. They thus give shape to a type of reality in which the wear and tear is constant and deep, reaching extremes as serious as suicide itself.

Experts in the field, like the psychologist Heinz Leymann who drew up the first inventory of harassment in 1980, point out that many suicides taking place every day around the world are precisely due to harassment at workplace.

The Effects of Harassment at Workplace

The Effects of Harassment at Workplace: The lasting Imprint of Post-Traumatic Stress

The effects of workplace harassment have been studied in some disciplines such as psychology, medicine or economics.

It is notable; however, that one of the people who has worked the most on this phenomenon is Konrad Lorenz, a prominent ethologist.

The latter himself defined mobbing as the same type of violent behavior that several species exercise in nature. These are the animals that band together to attack the weakest member of their species or the strongest to overthrow its dominant position in the group.

Heinz Leymand, for his part, defines this behavior as a form of psychic terror. This is something that happens when a member or a certain group exercises violent behavior on a victim.

This person then suffers from systematic stigmatization, different types of injustices and the constant invasion of his rights as a human being.

Leymand points out that this can also be associated with physical violence, assaults such as beatings and provoked accidents. For women, assaults can also be sexual.

The impact of these phenomena, as we can well imagine, is therefore immense. What’s more, the effects of harassment at workplace can last for years.

Harassment at Workplace promotes Cardiovascular Disease

Harassment at Workplace promotes Cardiovascular Disease

Sustained mobbing over time increases the risk of developing some type of cardiovascular disease by up to 60%, according to a study from the University of Copenhagen.

Unfortunately, heart attacks are frequent among many of these people who silence their suffering and do not dare to denounce their attacker.

Sleep Problems

Sleep Problems

Sleep disturbances are also among the effects of harassment at workplace. Insomnia, frequent awakenings or nightmares plunge the victim into a very marked state of exhaustion. This does not only have an impact on the productivity of workers.

The mood is also deeply disturbed. It may even increase the risk of having a traffic accident from driving in this state of fatigue.

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

The University of Florence did some interesting work on the subject in 2016. The trade magazine Frontiers in Psychology published the results.

This study analyzed the mental effects of harassment at workplace. Researchers have found that sustained mobbing exhibits the same symptoms as Post-traumatic Stress Disorder.

  • Even after leaving work, the victim of harassment at workplace sometimes reacts with anguish, fear, anger and sadness when observing stimuli that remind them of what happened at work.
  • Avoidance behaviors are also emerging. Victims of bullying avoid all scenarios, people or stimuli that may remind them of mobbing experiences and the work environment.
  • Flashbacks appear: the appearance of mental images that remind them of the experience is a recurring phenomenon among these victims.
  • Memory loss and trouble concentrating are other common problems. The victim of harassment at workplace often has difficulty remembering simple things. She also has difficulty concentrating and exhibits poorer cognitive performance.
  • All the characteristics directly and clearly associated with post-traumatic stress disorder are further felt: insomnia, anxiety, low self-esteem, poor control, distorted thoughts, etc.
Harassment at Workplace

These symptoms usually last for months or even years. It is therefore essential that anyone who goes through such circumstances comes forward. Support, legal and psychological assistance mechanisms must also be faster, closer and more effective.

Last but not least, there is another aspect that we need to highlight. Just because we quit this job or because our working conditions have improved with the cessation of mobbing doesn’t mean we should neglect our mental health.

Harassment at Workplace leaves a mark: it changes us and reduces our human potential. It is therefore necessary to seek the help of an expert to treat this wound. The latter will help us regain self-esteem and the desire to continue to grow personally and professionally.

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