What Does Bullying Do to Health?

Bullying at work is readily capable of causing high levels of stress and anxiety, which can in turn make people ill with a variety of symptoms. Initially this might be poor concentration, impaired memory and fatigue. As the stress increases, other problems like reactive depression, irritability and loss of self-confidence can occur. Chronic excessive stress can lead to physical ailments too, including back pain, headaches, migrain, skin problems, infections, IBS and more.

  • shattered self-confidence, low self-worth, low self-esteem, loss of self-love, etc
  • reactive depression, a feeling of woebegoneness, lethargy, hopelessness, anger, futility and more
  • hypersensitivity, fragility, isolation, withdrawal
  • obsession, not being able to stop thinking about the experience in all its detail
  • hypervigilance (feels like but is not paranoia), being constantly on edge
  • uncharacteristic irritability and angry outbursts
  • tearfulness, bursting into tears regularly and over trivial things
  • sweating, trembling, shaking, palpitations, panic attacks
  • bad or intermittently-functioning memory, forgetfulness, especially with trivial day-to-day things
  • poor concentration, can't concentrate on anything for long
  • skin problems such as eczema, psoriasis, athlete's foot, ulcers, shingles, urticaria
  • irritable bowel syndrome
  • flashbacks and replays, obsessiveness, can't get the bullying out of your mind
  • tiredness, exhaustion, constant fatigue sleeplessness, nightmares, waking early, waking up more tired than when you went to bed
  • headaches and migraines
  • aches and pains in the joints and muscles with no obvious cause; also
  • back pain with no obvious cause and which won't go away or respond to treatment
  • frequent illness such as viral infections especially flu and glandular fever, colds, coughs, chest, ear, nose and throat infections (stress plays havoc with the immune system.)

For the full set of symptoms of injury to health caused by prolonged negative stress (such as that caused by bullying, harassment, abuse etc) click here. For details of the trauma that can result, click here.

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