Do you remember the first day of your job? You may have felt excited, nervous, fearful, happy or a mixture of emotions. After a few months, you finally settled in. Your boss praised your work and your co-workers were friendly and helpful. You enjoyed going to work.
Has your workplace changed? Maybe your company hired a new manager or your boss assigned extra job duties to your position. Perhaps a co-worker harassed you and others joined in. You may have felt stress. Eventually, you began to dread going to work. Now you want to resign. What happened?
What are signs your workplace is hurting you?
Changes at work are inevitable; however, the law mandates that your employer must not jeopardize your physical or mental health. A hostile work environment can cause you to develop a serious mental health condition such as Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Do you experience any of these common symptoms of workplace-induced mental illness?
- Your sense of mental well-being deteriorates over time
- Your boss overloads you with work
- You find out that co-workers spread malicious rumors about you
- Your manager withholds information you need to do your job
- You discover your co-workers wrongly blame you for errors
- You develop depression, anxiety, hypervigilance or fear
- You have nightmares about work or have trouble sleeping
- You cannot concentrate or focus on your work
How can you protect yourself?
Maybe you wonder if you should file a complaint with your HR department. When you are under stress from a bad work environment, you may not make good decisions. Your HR department works for your employer, not for you. There are strong reasons why you may want to seek help outside your workplace.
Take private notes when anyone who works for your company causes you emotional pain or stress, even if you believe it is somehow your fault. Keep your notes in a safe place and preferably take them home with you every night. You have a right to document your experience and get the help you need to recover.