Career Advice

How Bullying at Work Can Affect Mental Health

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Workplace bullying often leaves a detrimental effect on your mental health and confidence, but it’s not obvious where you can turn for help and a sympathetic ear. It’s normal that you don’t feel at ease confiding in someone at work, particularly if things are intense and complicated at work, and you have to deal with it daily.

What is the concept of workplace bullying?

Bullying in the workplace is disruptive, targeted behavior that occurs at work. It may be sarcastic, insulting, teasing, or intimidating. It forms a trend and is usually aimed at one person or a small group of people.

Here are a few examples of bullying:

  • practical jokes for a specific audience
  • being intentionally deceived about job responsibilities, such as false deadlines or contradictory instructions
  • threats, ridicule, as well as other verbal harassment, continued rejection of demands for time off without an acceptable or legitimate explanation
  • overly stern or disproportionate judgment excessive-performance management

Effect of Workplace Bullying On Mental Health

Anxiety and depression are two common things as a result of workplace bullying.  Whether you’ve been bullied or witnessed someone else being bullied, you’ve seen personally how much turmoil it can bring to other’s lives. 

Genuine fear sets in as the individual frets over what will happen tomorrow, and in certain situations, the victim is scared to go to work.

Workplace bullying often leaves a detrimental effect on your mental health and confidence, but it's not obvious where you can turn for help and a sympathetic ear. It's normal that you don't feel at ease confiding in someone at work.Click To Tweet

Poor attendance by certain victims may contribute to anxiety disorders, depression, and failure to fall asleep, all of which have psychiatric repercussions beyond the bullying’s effect.

A chronic ‘low mood’ may grow as a result of persistent abuse, leaving the survivor vulnerable to depression. This type of depression is defined as reactive depression,’ because it is brought about by activities that occur outside of the victim’s control.

Suicide is also becoming more common. Unfortunately, depression may cause patients to isolate and lose interest in the subject that they previously loved.  Some people are reluctant to go out at all because they are terrified of being in the same place where the abuse occurs.

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According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), more than two million workers in the United States alone are victims of workplace violence each year, leading to millions of dollars lost in employee productivity. 

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All of this will lead to a mindset that seeing the light at the end of the tunnel is impossible.

Bullying may also have the following psychological effects:

  • Thinking and dreaming about work all the time, even though you’re not at work regretting work and wishing you could sit at home needing more time off to heal from exhaustion 
  • lose interest in activities you used to enjoy 
  • Suicidal Thoughts
  • low self-esteem, self-doubt, or asking if the teasing was all in your head

How Employers Can Respond?

Since prevention is much more cost-effective to action or therapy, it is generally in benefit to address workplace discrimination and create a bullying-free environment. When you care for your colleagues, it’s just the best thing to do. Check out on how to Handle Harassment in your Workplace.

“We all want to do our best at work, and most employers genuinely want to see their employees succeed. However, employee misconduct does occur in every workplace to varying extents.” – Avoiding Misconduct in The Workplace

Since the bulk of workplace discrimination is perpetrated by bullying bosses, companies must provide educational resources for administrators, managers, and other superiors. Rather, aspire to build a workplace that fosters collaboration, engagement, and constructive contact.

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