Tuesday, July 16, 2024

How To Talk To Your Employer About Ptsd

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Dont Disclose Too Late:

PTSD in the Workplace

Dont wait to disclose until after you begin to experience work performance problems. It is better to disclose your disability and request accommodations before job performance suffers or conduct problems occur. Employers do not have to rescind discipline that occurred before they knew about the disability nor do they have to lower performance standards as a reasonable accommodation. Remember, the purpose of an accommodation is to enable a qualified person with a disability to perform the essential functions of the job. So, disclose when you first realize you are having difficulties.

Identify People That You Trust And Who Can Provide Support

You do not need to tell everyone about your PTSD. Share the information with those people who are going to be understanding, trustworthy, nonjudgmental, and supportive. In other words, don’t share the news with the family gossip or the loved one likely to criticize you about the disorder. Anyone who has a history of such toxic behaviors should be eliminated from your list of confidants.

You may even wish to review some of the types of toxic friends and read some tips on how to avoid toxic people in your life. Toxic people not only do not pay proper respect for the honor of having you share your deep feelings but take time away from the good relationships that can help you heal.

How Is Ptsd Diagnosed

A psychiatrist will diagnose PTSD through a mental health assessment. Your GP should carry out an initial assessment to decide what care you need. Your assessment should include information about:

  • your physical needs,
  • your social needs, and
  • risk.

As part of the assessment they will decide if you need to be referred to the community mental health team . You should be referred to the CMHT if you have had symptoms for more than 4 weeks. Or your symptoms are very bad. A CMHT is part of the NHS. They are a team of mental health professionals.

Doctors use the following manuals to help to diagnose you:

  • International Classification of Diseases produced by the World Health Organisation , and
  • Diagnostic and Statistical Manual produced by the American Psychiatric Association.

The manuals are guides which explain different mental health conditions.

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What Risks Are Associated With Ptsd

Alcohol and drug use

You might use drugs or alcohol to help you to manage your symptoms.

Drugs or alcohol can make you more unwell and more likely to try and harm yourself or take your own life.

Mental health conditions

Symptoms of PTSD can be made worse by other disorders such as:

  • depression
  • substance abuse, and
  • memory problems

Most people with PTSD will have at least 1 other mental health condition. The most common disorders are:

  • depressive disorders,
  • substance use disorders, and
  • anxiety disorders.

Other mental health conditions have the some of the same symptoms as PTSD. This may be why PTSD is hard to diagnose.

Suicidal thoughts and behaviours

In severe cases PTSD can last long enough and have a large impact on day to day life. This can cause suicidal thoughts and behaviours.

Physical health issues

PTSD has been linked to physical symptoms such as dizziness, tinnitus and blurry vision.

It has also been linked to physical illnesses such as heart disease, high blood pressure and obesity.

You can find more information about:

Drugs, alcohol and mental health by clicking here.Depression by clicking here.Suicidal feelings How to cope by clicking here.

Part 2 Of 3: Getting Support

Yes, Your Boss Can Give You PTSD!
  • 1Suggest that your family research PTSD. When you first tell your family about your diagnosis, the news may come as a surprise to them. They may not know how to react. And, no matter how well you explain the condition to them, they may not understand or absorb everything you tell them right away. Help them find resources to learn about PTSD for themselves, and make sure they know how much it means to you that they are willing to try to understand your condition.XTrustworthy SourceHelpGuideNonprofit organization dedicated to providing free, evidence-based mental health and wellness resources.Go to source
  • Encourage them to learn more by saying “There are many websites that can help you all better understand PTSD and how it is affecting me. Please take the time to check some of them out. It would really mean a lot to me.”
  • Military.com and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs have information available online for the families of people with PTSD.
  • 2Offer specific recommendations about how they can help. If your family is supportive and understanding, they will want to help you through your PTSD to the best of their ability. However, if they have little or no prior knowledge of PTSD, they may not know the best way to support you. Give them specific examples of what you need or what is most helpful to you.
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    Ptsd In The Workplace

    People with PTSD might be concentrating so hard on trying to control their hypervigilance that they cant present work theyve prepared. Thinking, or tasks that came easily to them before the event, might be impossible now. They could be aware of the stigma of PTSD and deny, even to healthcare providers, that theyre experiencing symptoms until they impact work, like:

    • Emotional outbursts
    • Slow or disrupted information processing
    • Problems concentrating

    Or they might not understand whats causing these symptoms, and not knowing the cause can make the symptoms worse.

    Who To Talk To First: Your Boss Or Human Resources

    If you and your boss have a good rapport and a strong working relationship, then it makes sense to approach them first regarding your mental health. Having a discussion about what your needs are and how this can help improve your work in the long-term can give your boss a sense of how to structure your work in a way that will ultimately positively impact both your overall health and your productivity. Sitting down with your boss may also give you a sense of relief if youve been feeling like you have been hiding something.

    However, if you dont have a close working relationship with your boss, or you feel that the conversation could result in further stress or problems at work, another option is to discuss your issues with the human resources department. This team is familiar with the legal requirements of workplaces in respecting their employees health needs, and will know what accommodations your office should provide.

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    What Is Complex Post

    The main symptoms of PTSD and complex PTSD are the same. But if you have complex PTSD you will have extra symptoms such as:

    • constant issues with keeping a relationship,
    • finding it difficult to feel connected to other people,
    • constant belief that you are worthless with deep feelings of shame and guilt. This will be related to the trauma, and
    • constant and severe emotional dysregulation. This means it is difficult to control your emotions

    You are more likely to have complex PTSD if your trauma is linked to an event or series of events. The trauma will be very threatening or frightening. Most commonly from a trauma which you were not able to escape from such as:

    • torture
    • a long period of domestic abuse, or
    • a long period of sexual or physical abuse

    What is the treatment for complex PTSD?

    You may respond to trauma focussed therapies if you have complex PTSD. Please see the section below on therapies and additional needs for PTSD.

    There is some overlap of symptoms for complex PTSD and borderline personality disorder . If you have complex PTSD you may benefit from certain treatments that help people with BPD.

    You can find more information about ‘Borderline Personality Disorder’ by clicking here.

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    Meet the VA PTSD Guru (Facebook Livestream Interview)

    “For as long as I can remember, I’ve had anxiety and bouts of depression. Working in news is an interesting career for a variety of reasons, but it comes with its challenges. When news breaks, it’s like a firetruck is blaring through, in gridlock traffic, with no chill. There is an immense amount of pressure to be the first to post the exclusive story. For a number of years, I worked with an editor who would text and email me all the time, on weekends and days off. I never wanted to discuss my mental illness with my boss, as I felt she would take it as me complaining or nagging. Meanwhile, other editors and reporters were getting laid off, so I didn’t want to appear like a weak link or be out of a job! Instead of speaking out, I accepted this was par for the course but let it fester and affect my health. Eventually, I had to leave the publication and found another gig. I’ve since learned to push back and open up a bit more when things start to get uncomfortable.”

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    Do Your Research Including Talking To Others

    Tanisha Ranger, PsyD, is a psychologist who has helped many patients decide whether or not to bring up their mental health issues with their boss. She says, It is extremely important that you know who you work for, and what the laws are, concerning mental illness in the workplaceIn some instances, it may be in your best interest to just make sure to have the appropriate Family Medical Leave Act paperwork on file with the HR department so that you can be absent from work when you absolutely need to be. There may be ways to tailor your environment that do not require you to disclose your diagnoses.

    Wright also explains that for those of us who work for companies with 15 or more employees, the American Disabilities Act requires the company to provide reasonable accommodations if you ask for them and so, in that case, advocating for yourself and your needs is important.

    Make sure that youre well-informed about your rights when entering this conversation. It may be useful to first talk to a friend who has gone through a similar process, or a colleague who you trust, or an HR representative. Gather the information and support that you need to feel confident when approaching your boss.

    Workplace Ptsd And Corporate Bullying Can Manifest In Various Ways:

    • Placing unreasonable expectations on employees, where failure to meet those expectations means making life miserable for anyone who objects.
    • Dismissing employees suffering from anxiety and stress as weak while completely ignoring or denying work-related causes of stress and anxiety.
    • Discouraging employees from taking time off work to work over the stress.

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    Tip 4: Anticipate And Manage Triggers

    A trigger is anythinga person, place, thing, or situationthat reminds your loved one of the trauma and sets off a PTSD symptom, such as a flashback. Sometimes, triggers are obvious. For example, a military veteran might be triggered by seeing his combat buddies or by the loud noises that sound like gunfire. Others may take some time to identify and understand, such as hearing a song that was playing when the traumatic event happened, for example, so now that song or even others in the same musical genre are triggers. Similarly, triggers dont have to be external. Internal feelings and sensations can also trigger PTSD symptoms.

    What Can I Do If I Am Not Happy With My Treatment

    How To Talk To Employers About Your Mental Illness

    If you are not happy with your treatment you can:

    • talk to your doctor about your treatment options,
    • ask for a second opinion,
    • ask a relative, friend or advocate to help you speak your doctor,
    • contact Patient Advice and Liaison Service , or
    • make a complaint.

    There is more information about these options below.

    Treatment options

    You should first speak to your doctor about your treatment. Explain why you are not happy with it. You could ask what other treatments you could try.

    Tell your doctor if there is a type of treatment that you would like to try. Doctors should listen to your preference. If you are not given this treatment, ask your doctor to explain why it is not suitable for you.

    Second opinion

    A second opinion means that you would like a different doctor to give their opinion about what treatment you should have. You can also ask for a second opinion if you disagree with your diagnosis.

    You dont have a legal right to a second opinion. But your doctor should listen to your reason for wanting a second opinion.


    An advocate is independent from the mental health service. They are free to use. They can be useful if you find it difficult to get your views heard.

    There are different types of advocates available. Community advocates can support you to get a health professional to listen to your concerns. And help you to get the treatment that you would like.

    You can find out more about:

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    Tip 3: Reach Out To Others For Support

    PTSD can make you feel disconnected from others. You may be tempted to withdraw from social activities and your loved ones. But its important to stay connected to life and the people who care about you. You dont have to talk about the trauma if you dont want to, but the caring support and companionship of others is vital to your recovery. Reach out to someone you can connect with for an uninterrupted period of time, someone who will listen when you want to talk without judging, criticizing, or continually getting distracted. That person may be your significant other, a family member, a friend, or a professional therapist. Or you could try:

    Volunteering your time or reaching out to a friend in need. This is not only a great way to connect to others, but can also help you reclaim your sense of control.

    Joining a PTSD support group. This can help you feel less isolated and alone and also provide invaluable information on how to cope with symptoms and work towards recovery.

    How Does Ptsd Affect Your Life

    PTSD can lead to other issues with your health and life, such as:

    • Problems at work and in your personal relationships.

    Children with PTSD may:

    • Act out the traumatic event when playing.
    • Cling to a parent or other adult.
    • Forget how to talk, or at least seem to.
    • Wet the bed even if they know how to use the toilet.

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    How My Dream Job Gave Me Workplace Ptsd

    There is a good chance that at some point during your work life you will be in a toxic workplace. It could be a bullying boss, a bullying coworker, or even excessive workload that can bring debilitating symptoms of workplace PTSD. This is something nobody is going to tell you on your career day.

    ;Ive done this a thousand times before, watching Lyanna my director, uncork her wrath like a ferocious gray wolf on the weak, the slow and the meek. Only now, I am very much the reluctant prey. Even the junior copywriter can best me if things go downhill from here. My everyday goal is to make myself as invisible as possible so as not to garner her attention. On bad days, I feel anxiety and terror when I see that Lyanna is in a particularly bad mood. Past experience enabled me to decode her footstep pattern: when she stomps and sways her hips, it means she is on the warpath and you certainly dont want to be strangled under her barbed heels. She would crush her teeth and make a painful over-dramatic cringe if she didnt particularly approve of something youve said in a meeting. She would talk poorly behind your back, and disregard any good performance. This has actually made our teams work done, way harder.

    Two months ago, I began to see a therapist as a means of crisis intervention. In hindsight, I now question if it was post-traumatic stress disorder .

    Prepare What You Want To Say Ahead Of Time

    How does PTSD affect Survivors of Narcissist Abuse? – An Interview

    Its important to remember that you have a right to your privacy and only need to reveal as much information as you want to share. Mental Health Works shares suggestions for language you can use, as well as a script that you can use as a starting point for your own conversation:

    When deciding how to describe your mental health need or mental illness you can use:

    • General termsa disability, a medical condition, an illness
    • Vague but more specific termsa biochemical imbalance, a neurological;problem, a brain disorder
    • Specifically referring to mental illnessa mental illness, a mental health problem, a mental disorder, a psychiatric disorder, a psychiatric disability, an anxiety disorder
    • Your diagnosisschizophrenia, bipolar disorder, major depressive disorder, panic disorder

    I have that I am recovering from. I can still do the things that are required by my job . It helps if I have . I work best when .

    You could also add the following information: Sometimes you might see . When you see that, you can . If you are concerned about me, you can call .

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    Rape Or Sexual Trauma

    The trauma of being raped or sexually assaulted can be shattering, leaving you feeling scared, ashamed, and alone, or plagued by nightmares, flashbacks, and other unpleasant memories. But no matter how bad you feel right now, its important to remember that you werent to blame for what happened, and you can regain your sense of safety, trust, and self-worth.

    A Brief History Of Ptsd

    Lets briefly look at the history of what we now call PTSD. The term PTSD itself was unknown until only a few decades ago. But in fact, people have probably long experienced the condition since people have always been exposed to extraordinary and; traumatic events.

    Throughout history symptoms that are now classified as PTSD were called by various other names related to the events that caused the symptoms. The early history of trauma related stress is tied to combat in the military and dangerous working conditions associated with the industrial revolution. The significant emotional and behavioral symptoms that were experienced by some individuals after being involved in combat situations or traumatic incidents on the job, were given various names like shell shock, war neurosis, battle fatigue, and railway spine. The medical professionals of the time had little understanding of what caused these symptoms or how to treat them. In many cases they were dismissed as personal weakness, cowardice, or lack of discipline.

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