Protecting Yourself from Post-Traumatic Stress at Work

Work can be a Triggering environment for those with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. The good news is that there are things we can do to help ourselves feel safe and in control while we’re on the job. With some knowledge and preparation, we can lessen our symptoms and get the most out of our workday

Understand what post-traumatic stress is and how it can manifest in the workplace

PTSD is a severe mental health condition affecting daily life and functioning. PTSD occurs when someone is exposed to an event or experience that involves intense physical or psychological trauma. PTSD can manifest in the workplace through changes in the individual’s attitude and behavior, including difficulty concentrating, irritability, outbursts of anger or fear, excessive rumination, a tendency to withdraw from colleagues, and heightened anxiety or paranoia. Employers must understand PTSD symptoms and respond appropriately and sensitively if they suspect an employee may be displaying PTSD-related behaviors. With early detection and proper treatment, PTSD can be managed effectively, and people affected can continue their everyday working lives with appropriate support.

Identify your triggers and warning signs that you are experiencing post-traumatic stress.

PTSD can be a tricky thing to identify and even harder to manage. The most common post – traumatic stress triggers and warning signs often come in the form of intrusive flashbacks, PTSD-fueled nightmares, or significant shifts in my attitude toward situations that generally wouldn’t elicit such an extreme reaction. Additionally, suppose you are startled or overwhelmed by seemingly innocuous sounds or sights. In that case, this is usually an indication that PTSD is taking over. Recognizing these PTSD symptoms helps provide a way to assess better how much control PTSD has over your life

Create a support system at work, whether that means talking to a trusted colleague or joining an employee assistance program

A reliable support system at work is essential to well-being and performance. Establishing an environment that encourages open conversation is key to ensuring anyone with PTSD or any other mental health issue can feel comfortable speaking out without repercussions. Consider joining an Employee Assistance Program or talk to a trusted colleague if support is needed. These actions provide the necessary resources and guidance for individuals and liberate people from feelings of loneliness, create stronger relationships, prevent isolation and hopefully reduce overall stress levels. When everyone feels secure in their work environment, a true collaboration between colleagues can be achieved, leading to growth and tremendous success for all involved.

Seek professional help if you are struggling to cope with posttraumatic stress on your own

If you or a loved one is struggling to cope with the emotional and psychological effects of PTSD, know that resources are available to help. Seeking professional help can be critical for people living with PTSD, as experienced clinicians are trained to recognize PTSD and develop treatment plans tailored to individual needs. The goal of PTSD therapy is to process traumatic memories in a safe atmosphere, learn healthy ways of coping, and foster more positive thinking patterns. By finding the right clinical team who understands your specific experiences, you can begin restoring balance to your life and eventually move forward again.

Post-traumatic stress can be a difficult thing to deal with, especially in the workplace. But by understanding what it is and how it manifests, you can start identifying your triggers and warning signs. If you’re struggling to cope with post-traumatic stress, seek professional help. You can also create a support system at work, whether that means talking to a trusted colleague or joining an employee assistance program. Contact us today at (385) 474-6946 if you need help dealing with post-traumatic stress in the workplace.