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Information About Health & Workplace Bullying Work

Sometimes it is hard to admit that you are stressed, depressed or just suffering from bullying. And when you do decide to admit it, you may have reservations about telling people or taking medication. Here is some important information on what you may experience and what work issues you may need to know about. You may also wish to check out the 'Experiences' section in jfo:i.

You and the Health System

Some people may attempt to cope with depression by abusing drink, either regular drinking or 'binge' drinking, or drugs. Although considered self-medicating, alcohol is a depressant itself and initially it may help you forget things, but it will only make your mood lower later. Drinking does not make the underlying issue go away so any respite through drink is only temporary. Some doctors may overlook that this is a coping strategy for depression and instead may use it to explain why you are depressed.

You may feel that you are admitting that you are weak - although some people are more at risk than others (such are inherited risk or early childhood trauma), this just means that you have a slightly greater chance of suffering, just as you would if you had a history of breast cancer in your family. It does NOT mean that you are weak, whatever your risk. What is sometimes overlooked or forgotten is that without the experience of workplace bullying, most victims would NOT succumb to depression.

Treatment for depression can be very effective and can take two forms, medication and talking treatment. Your doctor may advise one or the other, or more commonly, especially for those who have suffered from workplace bullying, both.

Do not underestimate how ill you may be. If you are depressed, you may not be able to accurately establish how bad the depression is or you may be in denial, whether consciously or not. Be honest with your doctor. And if you have had any suicidal thoughts, please tell someone. If you cannot tell someone you know, then call or email an organisation like the Samaritans. 15% of people with a Major Depressive Episode die from suicide - please don't be one of them.

Make sure that you let your doctor know what stressors you feel have contributed to or caused your depression. Do not be afraid to admit to your doctor that you are being bullied. Although you may initially think that it only happens in school playgrounds, it does not so you are not childish for complaining of being bullied or by admitting you are unable to sort it out - bullying is not a normal situation that you can deal with in any normal way. In the long-term, you will be glad you did as some victims have problems legally if they were unable to admit to being bullied, as an adult being unable to sort an issue out at work that they normally would be able to or that they cannot cope at work. Workplace bullying is not a normal situation and the affect on you is very real.

A response for you to say to those who tell you to 'draw a line under it and move on': 'OK, I will - just tell me how?' Those who have a response that is so devoid of empathy, understanding, knowledge and experience will not be able to answer it and show themselves for what they are. If you hear this response or similar, stay away - they are bad for your health and if they are a 'professional', then they clearly are not.

If your doctor does not appear to help you, listen or appear sympathetic either to depression or workplace bullying, change them if you can. This also applies to psychiatrists if you have one. If you have specific complaints about their care, put it in writing. If you feel that the diagnosis is wrong, ask for a second opinion - every patient has a right to have a second opinion. Try not to accept the situation or think that things will improve, they rarely do. By not changing your doctor or delaying it, your health will suffer for longer unnecessarily and you may also harm your legal case, should the medical opinion or case notes be wrong. Don't forget, doctors don't know everything - and they certainly do not know you more that you know yourself. You know how you are suffering, it is real - sometimes they do get it wrong.

You may suffer from either a misdiagnosis or feeling that you are not being diagnosed with what you think you are suffering from. You may feel that your symptoms match that of PTSD but are told that bullying cannot cause PTSD. Sometimes, the communication of the message that you do not have PTSD can do more damage. This is because some doctors do not take the time to explain that it is merely the criteria, currently set down in DSM-IV, that you do not meet - and in the process fail to validate your symptoms and feelings. The criteria of PTSD and other diagnoses has changed over time and will continue to do so. Read more about trauma and ask your doctor to consider some of the alternatives that you may meet the criteria for, as your symptoms and feelings are very real.

If this area interests you, you may wish to take a look at the Experiences section.

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