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9 Questions to Ask Yourself if Your Job May Be Causing PTSD

  • Published: February 8, 2022

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is commonly defined as a psychiatric disorder that develops after experiencing or witnessing highly traumatic events. These events may involve accidents, natural disasters, or physical, mental, emotional, or sexual abuse. While most people don’t associate PTSD with work or their workplace, PTSD can and does develop in the workplace. Workplace PTSD is a different emotional, cognitive, and physical experience than a traditional catalyst for PTSD. Workers affected by workplace PTSD may have trouble coping with negative, abusive, or traumatic aspects of their job.

What Triggers Workplace PTSD?

There is not one set of triggers for PTSD. The catalyst may be a stressful event or catastrophic accident. A worker may realize or perceive their workplace as physically or emotionally unsafe due to treacherous working conditions, exposure to violence, or other emotionally demanding conditions. The workplace culture may also trigger PTSD. Ongoing exposure to emotional abuse, threatening behaviors, or sexual or racial harassment from coworkers or customers can result in PTSD. In some cases, chronic overwork culture may lead to PTSD. Chronic overwork culture includes:

  • Unrealistic performance expectations
  • Not receiving enough resources or support to succeed at the job
  • Undelivered promises
  • Boundary violations (expecting work done while on vacation, not allowing the use of benefits such as sick time, etc.)

Additionally, the work environment or coworkers may trigger an individual’s personal trauma. Sexual or racial harassment at work may trigger a worker’s past negative experiences exacerbating their PTSD symptoms. A coworker or supervisor ignoring the worker’s boundaries may trigger memories of their abusive parents or previous workplace abuse.

9 Questions to Ask If You Think Your Experiencing Workplace PTSD

Continuous exposure to triggering events, situations, or people may lead to workplace PTSD. Whether a person develops workplace PTSD depends on their unique interplay of genetic, environmental, personality, and historical factors. Symptoms of PTSD may manifest physically and mentally and often look different in each person. However, experts believe there are common symptoms workers can keep an eye on. If you think you are experiencing workplace PTSD, answers to the following questions may help you determine if you are indeed developing workplace PTSD.

  • Are you having trouble sleeping?
  • Are your loved ones concerned about your work or work environment?
  • Do you feel disconnected from your work, coworkers, and loved ones?
  • Are you having trouble separating your work from your personal life?
  • Is your performance at work affected by negative feelings and thoughts about your work or work culture?
  • Do you dread going to work?
  • Does your job sometimes feel like more than you can bear?
  • Are you experiencing flashbacks or panic attacks?
  • Do you experience anxiety when going to work?

If you answered yes to several of these questions, you might be experiencing some level of workplace PTSD. Employees suffering from workplace PTSD may be eligible for workers’ compensation. Under California law, employees are entitled to file for workers’ comp benefits if they develop a mental or physiological condition because of their work or work culture. An experienced California workers’ comp lawyer can help you recover fair compensation for your PTSD.

KCNS Law Group can Help you Recover Workers’ Comp for Your PTSD

People who work in California have the right to expect a safe work environment. However, safety and health cannot always be guaranteed, especially if a worker is exposed to triggering situations daily. If you are suffering from workplace PTSD, you may be eligible for workers’ comp benefits. At KCNS Law Group, our team of skilled California workers’ compensation lawyers has decades of experience helping our clients recover the compensation owed to them. We understand each situation and condition is unique, which is why we are proud of our client-based approach that allows us to meet our clients’ specific needs. You can call our office at (818) 937-9255 or fill out our contact form to schedule a consultation.

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