Victimization in the work place causing depression is not a new concept.
We’ve all come across cases of sexual harassment, racial discrimination, and bullying taking place in the workplace. It is portrayed in news articles, television, movies, songs, and more. It is considered a social issue and has inspired a degree of activism.
The complexities of how these experiences of victimization affect us psychologically have not gained much coverage. It is expected that being victimized at work will have a negative impact on a person’s mental health and stability. However, do we understand the many ways in which it affects us? How exactly does it affect us mentally, emotionally, and physiologically?
The dictionary defines the word “victimization” as:
“The action of singling someone out for cruel or unjust treatment.”
We can all agree that this has no appropriate place in the work environment. If you go to work each day and you are being victimized this will eventually have grave consequences on your overall well-being.
How do we know we are being victimized?
Laws in effect, prohibit overt forms of victimization such as sexual harassment, discrimination, and prejudice. So does this mean that victimization never occurs in the workplace? Of course not, and the complexities surrounding this are important to note.
Research has been conducted on victimization in the workplace and it has been found there are various constructs that may exist within the workplace that align with the definition of victimization.
Victimization Constructs in the Workplace:
After reading some of these constructs you may feel an eerie sense that you may have been victimized at some point during your career. It may have been at a past job or a current job. These constructs may even coincide with experiences you’ve had going to school.
These constructs illustrate the various forms that victimization can be presented and it is not limited to the workplace.
It is important to understand how experiencing these forms of victimization may affect us. It is possible we are being unknowingly victimized. Exploring the effects of these victimization constructs may help us to make connections with how they are presented in our life.
The Psychological Outcomes of Victimization and its impact on depression:
Many studies have analyzed the connection between workplace victimization and the negative psychologically, emotionally, and physiologically consequences it has on the individual.
Increased symptoms of Anxiety and Depression
Increased job related stress
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
Decline in overall mental health
Negative somatic symptoms
Emotional exhaustion/ Burnout
Substance abuse as coping mechanism
Decreased emotional well being
Low level of job satisfaction
Low level of life satisfaction
Chronic feelings of:
Coping with Workplace Victimization:
We all have basic emotional human needs, this includes needing a sense of belonging, self-worth, and trust in our environment. The outcomes of victimization in the workplace undermine these needs and create serious mental health problems that we do not deserve to experience.
Coping strategies for situations where you feel you are being victimized allow you to have greater control of the situation. We will discuss in detail effective coping strategies in our next blog!
Read more about the mental health disorders that are linked to experiences of victimization discussed in this blog here:
Thank you for checking out our post and please contact us if you would like to connect with a mental health professional.