How Can Workplace Harassment Affect Your Health?


Workplace harassment refers to aggressive behavior whose impact can be long-lasting and lead to post-traumatic stress for the victim. The high psychological cost of workplace harassment has been accounted for by WHO and similar occupational health organizations as one of the biggest problems plaguing the working millennials. This phenomenon is increasing rhetorically with a greater number of complaints being filed with every passing day. 

While many people are coming forward and reporting these issues, others are silently succumbing to the harassment as it often gets difficult to prove the same. Slowness in the courts and bureaucracy might make the victims suffer more and this is why they prevent reporting the same in the first place. The situation is more complex for civil servants who stay silent out of the fear of job loss. Continued stress can lead to grievous consequences, in the long run, forcing workers to commit suicide in the worst scenarios. 

Today we are going to take a look at the different ways in which workplace harassment can deeply impact your health:

  • Adverse psychosocial working conditions like harassment at the workplace can increase the chances of cardiovascular disease. Violence and bullying have already been linked with anxiety and such negative emotions lead to increased heart rate, heightened blood pressure, and increased systemic inflammation levels. When left untreated for long, it can even heighten the chances of stroke and heart attack.
  • Being harassed at the workplace is bound to add up to your stress levels and heighten the cortisol hormone in your blood flow. This in turn causes us to binge eat fatty and sugar-rich foods. Our body tends to store sugar as an aftermath of stress and this leads to the formation of abdominal fat. High levels of cortisol are also infamous for slowing down your metabolism and making it difficult to lose stubborn weight. 
  • Harassment has been linked with irregular sleep cycles, insomnia, and waking up to sudden nightmares. Apart from impacting your productivity at work, this can affect your mood and lead to clinical depression when left untreated for long. The sense of fear keeps on lingering even after the victim has left work making it difficult for them to concentrate on any other thing. They also tend to avoid certain groups of people and places leading to low confidence levels. 

Final Words

Some of the common examples of workplace harassment are making hurtful jokes or remarks, sexual harassment that can cause discomfort, excluding the victim from participating in certain activities, holding back information deliberately for causing difficulty, and delegating impossible assignments. If you are being discriminated against, bullied, victimized, or harassed in any other manner at the workplace, then you need to immediately convey this to a union member or supervisor. 

Keeping a diary or journal by recording your daily events like the date and time of events, name of the witness, and outcome of the event can help you remember small details while seeking out the assistance of professional attorneys at Hayber, McKenna, & Dinsmore. The frequency, number, and pattern of incidents are also important for revealing harassment or bullying.