We know workplace bullying causes health issues. In a 2012 Workplace Bullying Institute (WBI) poll, more than half of respondents were treated by a physician (71 percent) and/or mental health professional (63 percent). Not surprisingly, respondents reported their top five workplace bullying-related health problems (in order of frequency):
- Anxiety (76%)
- Loss of concentration (71%)
- Disrupted sleep (71%)
- Hypervigilance symptoms (60%)
- Stress headaches (55%)
Putting it all together
Symptoms translate to serious health issues — all due to the hurt, pain, and often shock of the workplace abuse from toxic bosses’ and coworkers’ insecurity and entitlement.
- PTSD. More than 30 percent of respondents had symptoms Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) when we consider that PTSD includes intrusive thoughts, hypervigilance, and avoidance-disassociation.
- Clinical depression and anxiety. Nearly 50 percent reported symptoms of clinical depression, including sleep disruption, loss of concentration or memory, uncontrollable mood swings, and emotion-regulating medications. Nearly 80 percent reported overwhelming anxiety. More than 50 percent reported panic attacks.
- Suicidal and violent thoughts. Nearly 30 percent reported suicidal thoughts, and 40 percent understood how a person could be driven to hurting or killing those who bullied them.
- Heart problems. More than 60 percent reported heart palpitations, and nearly 60 percent reported high blood pressure.
- Mistrust and grief. More than 74 percent reported sense of betrayal by peers, more than 62 percent reported distrust of institutions, and nearly 47 percent reported grief over losses.