When Your Workplace Gives You PTSD

When Your Workplace Gives You PTSD | by The Establishment | The Establishment | Medium


  • Too anxious to type, I placed my hands on my keyboard and stared stiffly at my screen, willing myself to work but not capable of thinking beyond the inevitable fury that was about to be unleashed.
  • While I hated for anyon e on my team to experience my director’s doomsday, I couldn’t help but hope that I wasn’t the one in her crosshairs.
  • on countless occasions also included stops along the way to allow for dry heaving out the door of my car.
  • my drives home were often soundtracked with loud, angry “grrl” metal music and lots of screaming.
  • I would finally fall asleep with the aid of a few alcoholic beverages.
  • It was a dark time in my life. I was sad, frazzled, worried, and had very little self-worth.
  • This is no huge surprise, really, as any closed-door session with my director was laden with intense shaming, blaming, and questions like, “So, when do you think you’re going to get better at your job?” To this day, a sense of dread precedes any interaction with an authority figure.
  • I began to see a therapist
  • “If you think about trauma as a physical image, it’s a wound — a threat to the well-being of the organism,” says Dr. Paul White, a licensed psychologist who consults on workplace relationships and co-authored Rising Above a Toxic Workplace. “It’s significant. And it can happen over time, with multiple events that add up, or from a singular event.”
  • “It can be classified as emotional abuse,” adds Dr. L. Michael Tompkins, a clinical psychologist with expertise in PTSD and founder of Straight Ahead Management. “Bad bosses can be guilty of months or years of berating, overworking, withholding information, threatening, and not appreciating one’s work, which can definitely cause PTSD-like symptoms, if not an actual diagnosis.”
  • PTSD symptoms include (but aren’t limited to) depression, anxiety, social isolation, guilt, lack of pleasure, hyper-vigilance, hyper-arousal, sleep interruption, flashbacks, and nightmares. All of which I could relate to, despite the absence of a clinical diagnosis and despite having a job writing and editing words rather than saving lives or protecting our country.
  • Bottom line, trauma is trauma, no matter how big or small or where it occurs.
  • a bully is ex actly what my director was. “Bullying is psychological violence,” says Dr. Lynne Curry, author of Beating the Workplace Bully, president of the management consulting firm, The Growth Company, Inc., and founder of the Workplace Coach and Bully Whisperer blogs. “Although some individuals occasionally bully, a bully intentionally and repeatedly humiliates and intimidates.”
  • No matter what tactic the bully employs, the end result is likely a toxic workplace, which White explains is the result of one or more of three major components: a sick system, wherein the structure of the workplace organization isn’t healthy, due to little to no communication, a lack of good decisio n making, and accountability; a toxic leader, who is generally not just incompetent at leading employees, but someone who is narcissistic, manipulative, condescending, and inauthentic, and steals the credit of others;
  • Repeated exposure to a workplace bully or toxic job environment is stressful, and should be addressed quickly, when possible. “A target experiencing bullying is initially highly motivated to figure out what’s happening,” says Curry. “Long-term, high-intensity bullying gives the target an overwhelming feeling of danger, leading to the chronic state of anxiety and cognitive confusion, a characteristic of PTSD.”
  • To avoid becoming the victim, Curry says to beware of the classic of traps of living in denial, isolating yourself, getting angry and losing your temper, and stooping to the level of others.
  • preventing yourself from the slow or fast decline into feeling completely powerless starts with you,” she says. “Be willing to exit your comfort zone and deal directly with the bully. Learn to turn the tables on the bully by direct statements of ‘that’s not going to work on me’ and with questions, thus taking control of the confrontation by forcing the bully to answer your question, rather than your responding to his or her volley.”
  • I admit to feeling outmatched by my director. Not only did she outrank me, but she also had decades of experience in the working world that left me feeling like a newb. Still, I made a concerted effort of documenting the troublesome events as best possible, finding strength in numbers by banding together with other coworkers, and talking to my HR group and a higher executive when matters got of hand. I’d like t o say my “squeaky-wheel” activities made a significant change, but in the end, leaving my job was the only real solution.

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Many Faces of Trauma

Can the work place do this to you too?

The Many Faces Of Trauma. PTSD is a natural response to trauma… | by Kelley Calkins | The Establishment | Medium


  • PTSD can certainly be caused by combat, but also by, among other triggers: sexual violence, emotional abuse, natural disasters, harassment, car accidents, chronic illness, experiencing a robbery, being stalked, shootings, neglect, the sudden death of a loved one, discrimination, kidnapping, a family member with addiction or mental health issues — even witnessing another’s trauma or spending prolonged time with someone who has PTSD.
  • But then I thought about the difficulty of conceiving of myself as someone with PTSD, how this had interfered with my ability to feel like I’d even deserved treatment — I’m not a soldier, I’d thought, I haven’t been shot, watched a friend be killed. I thought about all the red-eyed research I’d done on trauma — seeking to understand just how and why it was intent on keeping me from sleep, from feeling anything but high-grade terror, keeping me even, at times, dissociated and separate from my own body. I thought about how many others I’d discovered who shared this sort of diagnostic imposter syndrome, a hesitance to claim a label that felt unearned.
  • I thought about how absurd it would be to feel like one hadn’t earned the discomfort of, say, heartburn — and then to feel crushing shame and guilt for even thinking that the pain they felt in their stomachs and throats was something worth being treated with any kind of seriousness. I thought about all the veterans who are so often unfairly and harmfully painted as violent, out-of-control abusers who could explode at any moment.

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When Do We Say Someone Crossed the Line?

It’s a complete take over. And from Mayberry of all places!

When you fact check everyone of these you will get the picture.

Every single aspect of the covid agenda is from Mayberry R.F.D.:
CDC Director – Rochelle Walensky – from Mayberry R.F.D.
CDC Deputy Director – Anne Schuchat – from Mayberry R.F.D.
CDC Chief of Staff – Sherri Berger – from Mayberry R.F.D.
CDC Chief Medical Officer – Mitchell Wolfe – from Mayberry R.F.D.
CDC Director, Washington Office – Jeff Reczek – from Mayberry R.F.D.
Covid Czar – Jeff Zients – from Mayberry R.F.D.
Covid Senior Adviser – Andy Slavitt – from Mayberry R.F.D.
HHS Secretary – Xavier Becerra – from Mayberry R.F.D.
HHS Assistant Health Secretary – Rachel Levine (a transgender) – from Mayberry R.F.D.
Head of Pfizer – Albert Bourla – from Mayberry R.F.D.
Pfizer Chief Scientist – Mikael Dolsten – from Mayberry R.F.D.
Mondern Chief Scientist – Tal Zaks – from Mayberry R.F.D.
BlackRock CEO – Larry Fink – from Mayberry R.F.D.
BlackRock President – Rob Kapito – from Mayberry R.F.D.
Vanguard CEO – Mortimer J. Buckley – from Mayberry R.F.D.
BlackRock and Vanguard are the two largest shareholders of both Pfizer and GlaxoSmithKline, as well as practically all of the MSM.

Summary of State Laws Protecting Political Dissidents against Discrimination

As seen on the web…

If you are a political dissident and have experienced employment-based adverse treatment (including threats) because of your beliefs, the Free Expression Foundation may be able to provide you with important legal information to help you fight back.

One source of your legal rights may be your employment contract, if you have one. This includes collective bargaining employment contracts such as those negotiated by unions. Because union members frequently engage in political activity, union contracts commonly contain express prohibitions against political discrimination.

If you do not have an employment contract, you are almost certainly an “at-will” employee. The general legal rule is that an employer may fire an at-will employee for any reason or no reason at all, unless the employee falls into a protected class such as those based on race or gender, and persons holding dissident political views are not a protected class.

There are, however, 18 state or local laws (according to FEF’s latest research) that, to a greater or lesser extent, provide potential redress for an employer’s adverse action against an at-will employee based on the employee’s political beliefs or activities. It bears emphasis that these laws differ greatly from each other. Some have been around for many years; some are quite new. Some are broad in scope and expressly protect the employee’s First Amendment rights; others are drawn narrowly, and arguably apply only to specific contexts relating to specific events, such as elections. Some provide only for criminal penalties; some also provide a civil cause of action for damages. Some have been interpreted by their state courts many times; some have never been interpreted.

California [CAL. LAB. CODE §§ 1101 and 1102]

Colorado [COLO. REV. STAT. ANN. § 24-34-402.5]

Connecticut [CONN. GEN. STAT. § 31-51q]

District of Columbia [D.C. CODE § 2-1402.01] and [DC Guide}

Louisiana [LA. REV. STAT. ANN. §§ 23:961 and 23:962]

Minnesota [MINN. STAT. ANN. § 10A.36]

Missouri [MO. ANN. STAT. § 115.637(6) and § 130.028]

Montana [MONT. CODE ANN. § 39-2-904 and MONT. CONST. art. 2, § 4]

Nebraska [NEB. REV. STAT. ANN. § 32-1537]

Nevada [NEV. REV. STAT. ANN. § 613.040]

North Dakota [N.D. CENT. CODE ANN. § 14-02.4-03]

New Mexico [N.M. STAT. ANN. § 1-20-13 and § 3-8-78(A)]

New York [N.Y. LAB. LAW § 201-d]

South Carolina [S.C. CODE ANN. § 16-17-560]

Utah [UTAH CODE ANN. § 34A-5-112]

Washington [Seattle only; SEATTLE, WASH. MUN. CODE. § 14.04.040]

West Virginia [W. VA. CODE ANN. § 3-8-11(b) and § 3-9-15]

Wisconsin [Madison only; MADISON, WIS. MUN. CODE § 39.03]

If you have been the victim of adverse treatment by your employer based on your political beliefs or activities, FEF will try to help to the degree it is able. The help FEF can offer will depend on the particular facts of your case, the jurisdiction whose laws apply, and the resources FEF has available. At a minimum, however, FEF will consult with you for free, a consultation that may include speaking with an attorney acting on FEF’s behalf.

If you found this information useful, please consider making a small tax-deductible donation to the FEF by clicking here. Every dollar counts in our fight to keep Free Expression free.


Information herein and throughout this website is for educational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice directed towards individuals, groups, or organizations.

FEF does maintain relationships with lawyers, law firms, and other experts throughout the United States and can help direct people towards such resources and, to an extent, serve in an advisory capacity. But the FEF is not, in any way, a law firm or legal partnership.

The FEF recommends that legal advice should always be obtained by a qualified attorney licensed to practice law in the relevant jurisdiction.