Workplace Bullying: Damages Your Health!

Sick LadyYou are on the floor of the hospital giving one of your patients their medication when the administrator calls your name over the intercom, sternly ordering you to her office for the third time this week. Working here may not have been a good choice, after all. Since you started two months ago, you’ve been experiencing stomach problems and headaches. Embarrassed, fearful and anxious, you head to her office dreading what will happen next. You’ll probably be berated for something that you didn’t do with no opportunity to defend yourself again. Maybe this time she’ll write you up like she promised the last time, despite your protestations that you had been at lunch when the last incident had occurred. It couldn’t have been your fault, but she hadn’t cared.

What you are experiencing is workplace bullying and you are not alone. According to WBI 2010 Research,” 35% of the U.S. workforce (an est. 53.5 million Americans) report being bullied at work; an additional 15% witness it.”

What is workplace bullying?

Workplace bullying is a persistent, aggressive mode of communication and behavior that is hostile and can make the target feel humiliated, intimidated, stressed and threatened.

How does workplace bullying affect your health?

Workplace bullying takes a toll on the mental and physical well-being of the victims, by creating undue stress. Prolonged stress is very harmful to the body. Mentally, it can lead to depression, lowered self esteem, paranoia, difficulty concentrating, forgetfulness and anxiety. Physically, it can lead to a host of unhealthy symptoms and health problems, such as, headaches, lack of energy, trouble sleeping, stomach issues, muscle aches and pains, high blood pressure, heart disease and obesity.

What can you do about workplace bullying?

If you are having problems with workplace bullying and it is effecting your health, consider speaking to the appropriate person at work. If you feel you have no recourse at work or don’t know who to speak to, consider consulting with a legal professional that is an expert in employment law. If all else fails, consider looking for another job where you can have a more positive work environment. The main thing is to eliminate or minimize the effects of workplace bullying, so it doesn’t negatively impact your health.

The bottom line:

Your health is too important to ignore, so don’t let the bully ruin your overall well being. You need to either improve your work situation or find a better one. Remember, you only live once, and if you don’t take care of your health, no one else will. 

Comments (4)

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  1. Isabel van Sunder says:

    Bullying is everywhere! I liked the solutions that you gave. Sometimes you don’t know what to do when you can’t afford to leave that job. I always found that it is wonderful when you can find a friend or family member who can listen, give you suggestions and/or support you when you are being bullied.

  2. Maxine Darke says:

    Such an important article, and really appreciate you writing this. I have been bullied in the past, reported in and told to ‘have thicker skin’. I think people need educating on the impact bullying can have.

  3. […] environment. Just remember that trying to tough it out isn’t necessarily the best thing for your health. It also probably isn’t going to solve your […]

  4. Women are more frequently bullied than men. In fact, a survey by the Workplace Bullying Institute found that 62 percent of bullies were men and 58 percent of targets were women. The survey also revealed that the majority (68 percent) of bullying is same-gender harassment and that women bullies target women 80 percent of the time.

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