Friday, May 24, 2024

How To Deal With Ptsd At Work

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Common External Ptsd Triggers

PTSD in the Workplace
  • Sights, sounds, or smells associated with the trauma.
  • People, locations, or things that recall the trauma.
  • Significant dates or times, such as anniversaries or a specific time of day.
  • Nature .
  • Conversations or media coverage about trauma or negative news events.
  • Situations that feel confining .
  • Relationship, family, school, work, or money pressures or arguments.
  • Funerals, hospitals, or medical treatment.

How To Manage Work While Coping With Ptsd

  • 5 minute read

When I got to work that morning, I had to stand to keep myself calm. I couldnt sit down. I couldnt concentrate. My vision was blurred. A coworker peeked her head into my cubicle to say good morning and I almost jumped out of my skin. I texted my husband to tell him what was going on. He texted back to say that hed made an appointment with my primary care doctor and he was leaving work to take me there.

In the doctors office, I started off calmly describing these symptoms, but when she had me describe the car crash Id been in a few weeks before, I unexpectedly burst into tears. I hadnt been sleeping and when I did, Id dream about my teeth flying out of my mouth from the force of the crash. I took crazy routes to avoid the exit where crash had happened, but Id downplay the crash to anyone whod asked. Everyone told me theyd been in worse accidents. What was wrong with me?

When my doctor diagnosed me with post-traumatic stress disorder , she suggested that I go home for the day and to go on leave, using Family Medical Leave Act . Id gone to the appointment from work and thought Id be able to go back to the office. But she compared my condition to a stroke or a heart attack: you wouldnt go back to the office after one of those, would you?

Tip : Deal With Volatility And Anger

PTSD can lead to difficulties managing emotions and impulses. In your loved one, this may manifest as extreme irritability, moodiness, or explosions of rage.

People suffering from PTSD live in a constant state of physical and emotional stress. Since they usually have trouble sleeping, it means theyre constantly exhausted, on edge, and physically strung outincreasing the likelihood that theyll overreact to day-to-day stressors.

For many people with PTSD, anger can also be a cover for other feelings such as grief, helplessness, or guilt. Anger makes them feel powerful, instead of weak and vulnerable. Others try to suppress their anger until it erupts when you least expect it.

Watch for signs that your loved one is angry, such as clenching jaw or fists, talking louder, or getting agitated. Take steps to defuse the situation as soon as you see the initial warning signs.

Try to remain calm. During an emotional outburst, try your best to stay calm. This will communicate to your loved one that you are safe, and prevent the situation from escalating.

Give the person space. Avoid crowding or grabbing the person. This can make a traumatized person feel threatened.

Ask how you can help. For example: What can I do to help you right now? You can also suggest a time out or change of scenery.

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Ptsd And The Americans With Disabilities Act

While FMLA and the rights offered under the ADA are not accessible to all American workers, they are are important resources. Youre entitled not to be harassed or discriminated against for having PTSD. According to the Equal Opportunity Employment Office, your employer may not:

Discriminate against you based on myths about mental health

Fire you for having a disability

Require you to tell them what your disability is

Harass you based on your disability

They must, however, make reasonable accommodations for your disability.

PTSD can affect anyone whos experienced a traumatic event. Its easy to downplay or diminish your symptoms, especially at work. If you do experience symptoms, make an appointment with your primary care doctor. They can help you apply for FMLA, and they can put you in touch with a therapist that specializes in treating PTSD.

Talkspace articles are written by experienced mental health-wellness contributors they are grounded in scientific research and evidence-based practices. Articles are extensively reviewed by our team of clinical experts to ensure content is accurate and on par with current industry standards.

Our goal at Talkspace is to provide the most up-to-date, valuable, and objective information on mental health-related topics in order to help readers make informed decisions.

Articles contain trusted third-party sources that are either directly linked to in the text or listed at the bottom to take readers directly to the source.

  • 5 minute read

Effects Of Brief Eclectic Psychotherapy On Police Officers


One article examined the effects of brief eclectic psychotherapy — a combination of psychodynamic and cognitive-behavioural approaches — on a group of police officers with PTSD. This was a randomized control trial. Clients in the treatment group received weekly 60-minute individual psychotherapy sessions for 16 weeks. At baseline before treatment, 18% of clients in the treatment group had returned to work, while 59% had returned after 4 treatment sessions. At the end of treatment, 77% of experimental participants had returned to work, and 3-month follow-up measures indicated a return to work figure of 86%. The difference between return to work outcomes in experimental and control participants was only significant at 3-month follow-up.

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Frequently Asked Questions About Ptsd

Even if this article summarises the essential facts to assist your colleagues suffering from PTSD, you may still have some doubts. But dont you worry, this segment will answer the top 5 questions you might have regarding PTSD. They will not only help you understand what PTSD is but will also help you in managing PTSD at work.

Can You Work With Ptsd

Its clear that the symptoms of PTSD can lead to a number of very serious complications that impact how a person functions on a daily basis. Its hard to go through the chores and responsibilities of a job when there are scary memories butting into your thoughts or if you feel like you need to watch out for danger around every corner.

Things like depression and low mood, difficulty interacting with others, substance use, and avoiding triggers that remind you of trauma can all impact your ability to do a job well, if at all. For too many people living with PTSD, it is not possible to work while struggling with its symptoms and complications.

Some people do continue to work and are able to function for a period of time. They may have milder symptoms or be more able to hide their negative emotions and thoughts from others. They may also have more difficulties alone or when at home at night. But, eventually, without treatment the symptoms will only get worse, function will deteriorate, and even these high-functioning individuals will no longer be able to hold down a job.

There is hope, though, because the symptoms of PTSD dont have to last forever. If you engage in dedicated treatment, you can process trauma in a healthy, productive way. Treatment can restore function and allow you to work and support yourself again.

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Prevalence And Presentation Of Ptsd

In the United States, it is estimated that 8 percent of the population struggles with Posttraumatic-Stress Disordee . Trauma is defined as a disturbing or terrifying event that is experienced firsthand or witnessed.

PTSD is a serious mental condition that should be treated with self-administered coping skills and working with a licensed therapist.

When someone struggles with PTSD it can affect every part of their lives. It can make doing everyday activities extremely challenging or impossible.

Its also common for people who struggle with PTSD will turn to unhealthy ways of coping such as excessive alcohol or drug use. This can lead to developing addictions towards these substances, which will only make PTSD symptoms worse.

Unfortunately, due to stigmas and other shame-based issues, people with PTSD will try to ignore their symptoms of anxiety. This can be a debilitating way to live life because you are constantly haunted by the event that triggered the PTSD, to begin with.

Its important to remember that working through your PTSD or managing it in a better way is possible.

With that said, here are 11 ways to manage your PTSD at home. These are simple interventions that anyone can do, but they are powerful and effective.

Its important to be patient with yourself while you try each one to see which ones work best for you and your symptoms of PTSD.

Ptsd And The Workplace

How to Deal With Trauma and PTSD

Although their injuries may not be visible, people with PTSD may face difficulties with employment. As mentioned earlier, these individuals may experience sleep disturbances, anxiety, and poor concentration among other symptoms. All of these have the potential to interfere with everyday activities in and out of the workplace. However, keep in mind that not all cases of PTSD are the same, nor are all severe. Again, be mindful that most people who experience a traumatic event, will not develop PTSD. Plus, man of the people who do develop PTSD will not experience any noticeable problems at work.

Employment can play a very positive role in the recovery of a person with PTSD or any behavioral health condition. After all, employment enables many people with physical and emotional disabilities to fully participate in society. For example, employment provides income that is key to the individual and familys fundamental economic well-being and independence. Employment also builds skills for future wellbeing. It provides greater social interaction and connections that can reduce feelings of isolation. Finally, employment provides a valued social role in our society and helps to improve self-esteem that further contributes to life satisfaction.

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Identify And Manage Potential Triggers:

Although you cannot possibly be aware of all the triggers, you can definitely observe and identify them. It can be as small as a particular song and as big as a person or a place.

The attacks caused by specific triggers will be obvious, and all you have to do henceforth is prevent those triggers. Also, it will be great if you discuss and come up with a plan to manage the attacks. And ultimately, try calming them down.

Do you know, PTSD symptoms vary between men and women?

What You Will Learn

Its my hope that by the end of this post, youll have a good understanding of what PTSD is, how to manage it, and what you should do with all this new information. Here are the points Ill be making:

  • Combat
  • Domestic Violence

This is not an all-inclusive list. With children, neglectful parenting, divorce, and parental drug use all qualify as traumatic events.

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How Do I Discuss Workplace Accommodations With My Employer

After I had worked for several months as a supervisor in a mental health setting, I realized I needed to request workplace accommodations to continue my job effectively while maintaining my mental health.

It was not an easy decision for me to come forward to my employer with my mental health concerns . Despite the protections in place with the ADA and my employer’s dedication to a positive work environment, I still feared being labeled and treated differently by my supervisor and human resources representative. However, the reality was that I was spending a great deal of physical and mental effort to either hide or compensate for symptoms that could lessen with some basic changes.

You may make a request for accommodations at any time. Your employer may have a specific protocol in place for requesting accommodations and you may need to ask your supervisor or human resources contact person how to submit a request. In any case, you will be required to provide documentation of your disability. This documentation does not need to contain details. Your diagnosis and a statement from your practitioner that you have a substantial limitation to one or more major life activities should be adequate. In my case, my employer only requested proof of my diagnosis.

Dealing With The Onset Of Flashbacks

NEW PTSD Treatment/Stress Treatment/Trauma Treatment ...

Flashbacks are major PTSD intrusive thoughts and a common PTSD symptom. They’re considered one of the re-experiencing symptoms of PTSD.

If you’ve ever had a flashback, you know it can feel as though your traumatic event is happening all over again. Thinking that you were facing the original threat, you may have reacted suddenly and aggressively, trying to escape or protect yourself. You may even have injured yourself or others before the flashback ended. Like others with PTSD, you may be looking for ways to reduce your risk of flashbacks. Learning more about your flashback triggers may help you prevent some of them.

If you or a loved one are struggling with PTSD, contact the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration National Helpline at 1-800-662-4357 for information on support and treatment facilities in your area.

For more mental health resources, see our National Helpline Database.

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Some Dos And Donts For Managers

Espyr also provides other services that assist people who have experienced traumatic events. Annually, Espyr provides over 500 critical incident responses. Some may be as brief as an hour or two debriefing bank employees after a robbery some may be a weeklong deployment as in responses after a hurricane. These psycho-educational services help to normalize reactions and provide tips about coping with personal responses to traumatic events. They also inform people about when and how to seek further assistance. Espyrs mental health consultants also help guide, support, and provide resources to managers whose team has experienced a traumatic incident.

Espyr provides both Employee and Student Assistance Programs that serve as a barrier-free means to get no cost professional assessments for PTSD. Espyr also provides screening and wellbeing assessments for law enforcement, first responders and healthcare professionals who are frequently exposed to traumatic events in their daily work. Another Espyr service related to PTSD is TalkNow, a 24/7 problem-solving and emotional support line staffed by mental health professionals that can also connect people with PTSD symptoms with resources, referrals, and assistance.

If you know someone who has experienced a traumatic event and might be experiencing PTSD symptoms, reach out. Just ask if they would like to talk. Help them start down a path to assessment and treatment that can improve their quality of life.

Ptsd Symptoms: Difficult But Totally Normal

Maybe you experience nightmares or flashbacks. The anxiety they bring can show up without warning, like the worst kind of surprise houseguest. And you might find yourself sucked into quicksand-like swamps of anger or guilt.

The good news: All of those symptoms are normal. You might be thinking, Thats supposed to be good news? But understanding where your symptoms are coming from is the first step toward healing. And you can heal and recover from PTSD it will just take some time, says psychiatrist Molly Wimbiscus, MD.

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Well After Leaving A Job People Shared That Anything From Retracing Their Old Commute To Otherwise

Those who have experienced trauma in the past whether linked to gender, racism or other bigotry can particularly struggle in toxic work environments. If you have a hostile workplace, or a supervisor who’s aggressive or some dynamics with colleagues that feel intimidating or toxic, that can trigger prior memories for people who have had trauma, says Dr Shaili Jain, a physician and trauma researcher at Stanford University. Real symptoms can start manifesting in reaction to the current-day situation.

No matter the type of issue a worker experiences, the most damaging environments are also generally the hardest places to report problems. One major factor is power imbalances between managers and lower-level workers in hierarchy-driven workplaces, workers may find it especially challenging to complain to supervisors.

A lack of communication can become even more of a problem when gender, race or age dynamics are in play. Emily, for example, says she constantly felt discomfort trying to create boundaries at her toxic job because her superiors largely white men dismissed her attempts to detach from their drinking culture, and suggested she couldnt fit in with the company culture without participating.

These dynamics can combine to make trauma more acute and longer lasting a major problem for workers of all stripes, no matter how the severity of their individual experiences.

Hope for reprieve?

Tip : Take Care Of Yourself

How to Deal with Triggers from Trauma (How to Unlock and Heal Trauma, Shadow Work, Asmr)

Letting your family members PTSD dominate your life while ignoring your own needs is a surefire recipe for burnout and may even lead to secondary traumatization. You can develop your own trauma symptoms from listening to trauma stories or being exposed to disturbing symptoms like flashbacks. The more depleted and overwhelmed you feel, the greater the risk is that youll become traumatized.

In order to have the strength to be there for your loved one over the long haul and lower your risk for secondary traumatization, you have to nurture and care for yourself.

Take care of your physical needs: get enough sleep, exercise regularly, eat properly, and look after any medical issues.

Cultivate your own support system. Lean on other family members, trusted friends, your own therapist or support group, or your faith community. Talking about your feelings and what youre going through can be very cathartic.

Make time for your own life. Dont give up friends, hobbies, or activities that make you happy. Its important to have things in your life that you look forward to.

Spread the responsibility. Ask other family members and friends for assistance so you can take a break. You may also want to seek out respite services in your community.

Set boundaries. Be realistic about what youre capable of giving. Know your limits, communicate them to your family member and others involved, and stick to them.

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